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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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"Round of 3: Judge's Choice" - May 17-19

We're down to the final three, and you know what that means... You can only go so far on your own power, so that's what this round is all about. Going so far on your own power... with someone else's assignment. And who better to sit in with the judges than Clive Davis, head of Sony BMG Music. He will produce and the label will release the winner's single in two weeks, so you better come with it this week. First, though, fresh from a hometown stay are the final three! And helping me out today.. my two siblings: Quisla and D'angelo.

Tonight, three performances. First song, their choice. Second song, judges' choice. Third song, Clive's choice. Not in that order. First up, it's Clive's picks.

First up, Clive picks "I'll Never Love This Way Again" for Vonzell Solomon.

What they say: Clive notes that she hit the notes great, but warns her about giving false emotion to true pain. "The song is about holding onto passion, fearing you'll never love this way again. So no smiles." Randy thought it was pitchy and tough to sing. Paula thought her range was beautiful, but the start was failing. Simon calls her nerves, and said that she has to do two better songs.

What we say: It's a bit pitchy to start, but again, she comes into her own.
But the performance is kinda confusing. She's talking about loss, and she's
smiling. But it sounds good. "The song sucks and the dress is horrific. But she's doing a good job with it. But it's like turning nothing into something, I'm not expecting much."

Next, Clive gives Bo "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me"

What they say: Clive calls it "heartfelt". "You made Elton John & Bernie Taupin proud." Randy gives Bo lifetime membership in the dawg pound. Paula says "Pure brilliance." Simon prefers this to the rock thing. "You come in this week favorite to go through and after that, I think we're going to see you next week."

What we say: I wish Bo would come up with another move for the mic. You're holding on for dear life, and there's so much you can do with it. Twirl it or something. That said, this is no longer an Elton John song. This is a Bo Bice song. Very good. And wait... the Mic Messiah. THAT's the move I was looking for! Coining a phrase from last year... "Write a letter to Clive
Davis saying 'thank you very much for booking me a spot in the final.'"

Now, Clive gives Carrie "Crying." Let's hope she isn't crying after this...

What they say: Clive thinks it was strong, but would've loved more spark. Randy called it perfect. Paula called it haunting, subdued, and nice. Simon wanted a little more stripped down, calling the performance wooden. Round 1 goes to Bo.

What we say: Weak to start. Rigid to finish. And no range whatsoever. "I
think that was a death sentence."
"kd lang did a better job." "Towards the
end, she kinda sounded tired."
I think all the judges are deaf, dumb, and
blind. "They're trying to pimp her."

Round 1 goes to Bo, hands down. Vonzell chooses "Chain of Fools" for
herself.

What they say: Clive says she has a good voice, but missed the soulful essence of the song. Randy thought it was one of the best. "That was what this show is about." Paula says that she nailed it. Simon says that she had the likability factor, saying that the vocals didn't matter as much.

What we say: Classic Vonzell. Good job. Cash money, baby.

Next, Bo chooses... and he's singing "In a Dream" WITHOUT the band.

What they say: Clive says "It was indeed bold, very crazy. I'm going to make a prediction: we are going to have a great time making a very special album." Randy liked that it reminded him of the original audition. "It was courageous and it was unbelievable." Paula calls Bo a gift on the inside. Simon? "You may have just put 34 musicians out of work."

What we say: "Bo Bice goes against a vandal unarmed. My opinion... Suicide." My opinion: he doesn't NEED a band. "No one is ever so good that the band took AWAY from it." Don't tell that to Simon last week. kinda reminds me of a good live performance of the national anthem. That was phenomenal. It's great for Bo to return truly to this roots.

Carrie chooses "Makin' Love (Out of Nothin' At All)".

What they say: Clive says that she threw herself into it. Randy says that she can definitely sing. Paula calls it unbelievable. Simon says that she sang the first song better. "You may have pushed that song a little."

What we say: Were you saving all your energy for that performance? Because it sure felt like it. Not to say that that was a good thing at long last. I mean, there's a time and a place for an energetic performance, and you got NEITHER right.

Hard to follow Bo, I know. Now to the final judges' choice.. Simon chose "On the Radio" by Donna Summer.

What they say: Clive says that she was totally in her element. Randy enjoyed it. Paula seconds it. Simon seconds... Clive.

What we say: Camera schmooze (*drinks*). Simon did Baby V right on this one. Reverb.... Good job. Totally in her element.

Paula had Bo. She picks "Satisfaction" by the Rolling Stones.

What they say: Clive: "Tonight, you've taken three totally different songs; you made each one your own. Tonight, this has been your night." Randy feels like he's at the Bo show. Paula: "One more week, everyone gets one more week for free, then you're going to have to pay." Simon says that he's heard this before at weddings, calling it light fluff.

What we say: Another new mic move! And I'm getting a Gordongram here...

(Gordongram: Tonight has been the coronation of Bo.)

Yeah, mix it up, dude... "He's won. He's so in." Dude... Welcome to the Kodak. Have a Fruit Roll-Up. Will you please be our leader? "And hell, even if Bo DOES get the boot (and I couldn't understand WHY), I wouldn't be surprised if Clive Davis signed you and your mic stand anyway." And the ATGS salute to cap it. Yeah, I know who I'M voting for.

And finally, Randy chooses Carrie's song as... "Man! I Feel Like a Woman."

What they say: Clive calls country pop her element. "You really nailed it." Randy is happy to see her have fun. Paula agrees. Simon thought it was "enough to get her to the final."

What we say: I do agree with my sister (who has correctly predicted the  winner ever since Kelly Clarkson) that Shania Twain did a better job, I'm far less forgiving. In fact, my opinion can be best described by the blurb currently up at votefortheworst.com. If allowed, let me transcribe.

"Carrie Underwood can sing country all right, but give her anything else and it becomes obvious that she's not that talented. Her wooden dance moves, lack of stage presence, and overall terrified looks on stage are that of a contestant who barely has the full package that Simon Cowell wants us to believe Carrie possesses. If Carrie was on "Nashville Star", they would have booted her ass off the second they realized what a one-trick pony she is. "Love is a Battlefield" was terrible with a reminder of Carmen Rasmussen's sheep like vibrato, "If You Don't Know Me By Now" was a trainwreck, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. Take away the twang, and you've got something pretty terrifying."

Basically put, to coin another phrase from last season... IT HAS TO END TONIGHT. Checotah, you can have her.

Final judgment: Bo has a one-way ticket to the top, while Vonzell and Carrie will have to spar for the second spot. Vonzell has two good weapons on her. Carrie has but one. Carrie fans are pretty much assured that the one is enough, but what about the rest of us? You know the vote was, between first and third, split with one percent. Every vote will count, and tomorrow, every vote will be counted. And the trips to the Kodak will be finalized.

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