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In the world's ultimate talent search - where the eyes of a nation are upon the best undiscovered singers in the country, where the audience has the power to make or break you, and where a million-dollar recording contract is on the line, there is only one rule: If you can sing it, bring it.

Is your favorite still in the running? Check out the Idol Set List!

Recaps by Chico Alexander & Gordon Pepper, GSNN


FACT FILE:

Host: Ryan Seacrest
Judges: Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson
Creator: Simon Fuller (based upon "Pop Idol")
EP: Nigel Lythgoe, Ken Warwick, Cecile Frot-Coutaz, Simon Fuller
Packager: 19 Entertainment, FremantleMedia North America
Airs: Tuesdays at 8pm ET and Wednesdays at 9pm ET on Fox


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Web design by Jason Elliott. Logo by Chico Alexander. 

"Round of 8: Songs from the Year of Your Birth" - April 12-13

Ah, 1980... Twas a good year. The year that "My Life" by Billy Joel came out, but enough about my song choice. This round of eight, we go into... Embarrassing baby photos! But oh so cute!

Okay, the theme today is "Songs from the Year You Were Born". Expect a lot of 80s tunes, folks. Roll sound, it's Idol time!

First on tonight, Nadia Turner, born in 1977. A big hit for Crystal Gayle in 1977, "When I Dream". Apparently, it isn't big enough, because I sure as hell never heard of it. And my musical knowledge is extensive.

What they say: Randy says, "A year's worth of songs and you picked that one. That was just an OK performance. I did not love it." Paula adds, "You look stunning. I wasn't crazy about the song choice." Finally, Simon tells Nadia, "That was the equivalent of musical wallpaper. It was an appalling choice of song, and I think you could go home after that."

What we say: Ditto, ditto, ditto. The pitch is off. The song choice is not believable, and frankly, we're getting into the A&R stage of the competition where they choose a song style that best suits them, and adapt song choices to that style. That song... did NOTHING. In short... Worst... Nadia performance... ever. And no amount of eye-humping will save it.

From a dream-turned-nightmare, we go to the dream rocker, Bo Bice. We all know that this guy can throw down when he wants to. At 1975, he's pushing 30 and admits that his Christian name is actually "Bogart".

*awkward silence*

Some redneck next door: "Play Freebird!"

FINE!...

What they say:   Randy says, "I love that song. That was the perfect song. You could have a hit with that song. Excellent, dude. Excellent." Paula... "See you at the finals." Simon won't... "I have to disagree with Paula. I think that where you'll do well is to use the rock influence in your voice on well known songs."

What we say: Is it me or have we seen this performance before! Oh yeah! It's the same old Bo Bice that we're USED TO! Congratulations, Bo. You've reached "go-to" status. Unfortunately, a performance like that isn't long for the competition. I'd suggest pulling a changeup to let people say "Hey, Bo can do that, too?" Oh yeah, and the sneering and the right pitch often don't go together THAT well.

From "Freebird", we go to Dionne Warwick a la Anwar Robinson.  "I'll Never Love This Way Again", the song from 1979. He started singing when he was a shy little kid, "and I haven't shut up since."

What they say: Randy tells Anwar, "Great, great job. I'm proud of what you did tonight, baby." Paula says, "Consistently great. You're just so pleasing to the ear." Simon adds, "One of your better performances for a while, but you've turned into the musical equivalent of a blanket. It was comforting and safe."

What we say: The uphill climb continues for our smooth soulster. The start was a tad rough, but better than last week. And way to go with the pocket rockets at the end. But still, you need to come, like Bo, with a changeup from usual, because that was, while good, as safe as it gets.

From psychic friend to psychotic voice, as we move to... yeah, Anthony Fedorov. But I shall reserve judgment until after I hear "Everytime You Go Away" from Paul Young in 1985. Written by Daryl Hall... who's with his partner in vocal crime John Oates in the audience. This will be relevant, trust me.

What they say: Randy echoes the heart of America: "I was surprised." Paula drolls, "Much better than last week. I'm proud of you." Simon adds, "Last week was a low point. This week, I think you were very good. That was a good choice of song for you."

What we say: It was one of the better Anthony performances, but again, that isn't saying much. For what he lacks vocally, Anthony uses all of his weapons (faux sexiness, white boy rhythm) to perfection, and the performance just sorta falls into place. Is redemption his? Probably.

From let's hear it for the boy to "Let's Hear It For the Boy". From 1984, here's Vonzell Solomon doing her best Deniece Williams.

What they say: Randy gives props on "another great performance". Paula gives props for being cute and picking the right song. Simon agrees. "That was a very good choice of song. On tonight's performances, I think you're going to stay, and Nadia's gonna go. You have to make the audience want to vote for you. With that performance, that made people pick up the phone."

What we say: Vonzell just keeps riding that wave she started a few weeks ago. I think she, and Bo from earlier this season, prove that cozying up to the judges works. But the only downside I have... the upper register isn't... well, registering. But not bad. That, and being in the bottom three UNJUSTLY, means that she's not going anywhere any time soon.

From Baby V to Scotty the Body. Here's Scott Savol with "She's Gone" from Hall & Oates in 1976. After being in the bottom three last week, could that title be foreboding? He thinks he's the real rocker... Hoo boy.

What they say: Randy says to one of the true dawg pound members, "The low notes were a little pitchy, but when you hit the chorus, man…You brought it home in the end, dawg." Paula says something like awesome more times than necessary. And Simon, calling Scott a nice guy, says, "There were more bum notes than there were good notes. Keeping it real, on the whole, it wasn't very good."

What we say: Again, Scott starts off a bit weak, and then overpowers the song. The lower register wasn't registering, and the overall tone was lacking. Definitely points for improvement that Scott should be paying attention to instead of trying to shout the song all the damn time.

What Scott says: "What's real is that I'm up here, and there are millions of people at home who didn't have the nerve to do this. I think I rocked it."

What Hall & Oates say: "Keeping it real, baby."

See, I told you that was relevant! So from deliberate audience shot to deliberate change up, as Carrie Underwood goes back to the year she said "What up?" to the world, 1983. The song: Pat Benatar's "Love Is a Battlefield." "I would rock out and sing the wrong words to every song imaginable." And somewhere Gordon is screaming...

What they say: Randy says, "Some of the high notes were a little sharp. It was a'ight for me. I'm not sure I'm loving the rocked-out Carrie." Paula ... irrelevant. Let's go to the Cowell... "You probably needed to do that after last week, but it was a bit like watching a kitten who wants to be a tiger." Randy agrees.

What we say: "Mom, she's ruining the song again!" Carrie tries to channel the .... *goes into seizures* ... sorry, strobe lights. Anyway, channeling the genre instead of incorporating it, and then bungling the lyrics. Carrie is definitely out of her element here, and it's about as see-through as the holes in her ripped jeans. Way to try too hard, Carrie. My advice: do not deny who you are. It's what makes you consistent. It's what makes you you. That is your juice.

Oh yeah, and learn the f(^_^)ing lyrics.

And finally, we come to the true rocker (the other one), Constantine Maroulis, who takes us on a "Bohemian Rhapsody". Queen takes us back to 1975 and the end of the show.

What they say: Randy: "For showmanship, I give you a 10. For singing, I give you a 7." Paula adds, "That was awesome. You've now proven that you're the one to beat in this competition." Simon sums it up by saying "astonishing".

What we say: I'm going to defer this one to my brother.

What D says: Astonishing... in a GOOD way!

Yep! So we go to the rundown...

Cute babies: Anwar, Vonzell, Constantine
Cute-in-an-ugly-way babies: "Bogart", Anthony
Miscarriages: Carrie, Nadia, Scott

Looks like Carrie has her work cut out for her. But who's going home? That's why we vote... Gordon and his flying circus returns with the results...

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