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Season 11
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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.

Recaps by Chico Alexander, Jason Block, Don Harpwood & Gordon Pepper, GSNN
 
Host Ryan Seacrest
Judges Randy Jackson
Jennifer Lopez
Steven Tyler
Mentor Jimmy Iovine
Announcer Mark Thompson
Creator Simon Fuller (based upon "Pop Idol")
EP Nigel Lythgoe
Ken Warwick
Cecile Frot-Coutaz
Simon Fuller
Packager 19 TV & FremantleMedia North America
Origins CBS Television City, Los Angeles
Web americanidol.com
Airs 8p Wed & Thurs, Fox
Available
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Round of 12: Year Of Your Birth
March 14

Last week, the road to Idol glory claimed its first casualty in Jeremy Rosado. Now that the playing field is even again, will.i.am is going to channel their inner Idols to bring out the best in ... SONGS from the Year of Your Birth... we're looking at from 1983 to 1995.

But there's an additional hitch. As has been stated in the past, the integrity of the search for a superstar comes into question when a contestant is less than honest. This show has not been without its fair share of controversy, and tonight, we add to that, as Ryan starts the show thusly...

"With the cooperation of law enforcement, we discovered information that left us with no choice but to eliminate one of our finalists from the competition. When you're doing a live show, anything can happen." We all know who it is... ahem, Jermaine... but we won't know how it went down until LATER in the show. BUT as is also oft repeated... the show must go on.

As was stated before, this week's mentor is will.i.am, a hip-hop legend in the making and one of the founding members of the multi-platinum Black Eyed Peas. He also has made a name for himself as a talented producer. The show glosses over his STELLAR role in "Wolverine"... and so will we.

1. Phil Phillips - Hard to Handle (Black Crowes, 1990)

Yes, Yes and Yes. This is a great way to open. This is a statement song as to what he is. I liked the vocals and I liked his attitude. SAFE.

2. Jessica Sanchez - Turn the Beat Around (Gloria Estefan, 1995)

Has a lot to live up to from last week and for the most part she did. Her pipes are killer and her attitude is amazing. Mark it down...if she doesn't falter, she is going to be in the final four. SAFE.

3. Heejun Han - Right Here Waiting (Richard Marx, 1989)

Yet another off key ballad from Heejun. His breathy vocals just didn't fit this. He is in TROUBLE.

4. Elise Testone - Let's Stay Together (Tina Turner, 1983)

Started off slowly but the rasp brought me in. I liked this. SAFE.

5. DeAndre Brackensick - Endless Love (Luther Vandross & Mariah Carey, 1994)

This isn't baby making music, this is putting the baby to sleep music. I was bored. He should have stuck with his original choice - "Can You Feel The Love Tonight?". TROUBLE.

6. Shannon Magrane - "One Sweet Day" (Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men, 1995)

Oooh, scary choice. One of the seminal ballads of our age. And I was right. OUCH on the money notes and yes I am comparing this to Mariah. Not good at all. TROUBLE.

7. Colton Dixon - "Broken Heart" (White Lion, 1991)

Obscure choice. While the performance is very very good, this is OBSCURE. But his performance outshines the obscurity. SAFE.

8. Erika Van Pelt - "Heaven" (Bryan Adams, 1985)

Something about this version I didn't like...I can't put my finger on it. It felt very very disjointed. She didn't know what she wanted to be. TROUBLE.

At this point, we get the nitty gritty on what we've already known to be true. Due to information from law enforcement, American Idol producers had to eject Jermaine Jones from the competition. All of this went down YESTERDAY at the AI offices with EPs Ken Warwick and Nigel Lythgoe at about 4:56p PT/7:56p ET. He would have sung "Somewhere Out There". We are treated to his dress from shortly before the events transpired.

But it is business as usual. Tomorrow, someone WILL have to sing for their life.

9. Skylar Laine - "Love Sneaking Up On You" (Bonnie Raitt, 1994)

This is the 2nd person tonight who really picked a great song for herself. This is another finalist right here. SAFE.

10. Joshua Ledet - "When A Man Loves A Woman" (Michael Bolton, 1992)

While the vocals and performance were WAY over the top...and I mean WAY over the top, this is not even close to being in the bottom three. SAFE.

11. Hollie Cavanagh - "The Power of Love" (Cèline Dion, 1996)

Great way to close the show. She was one of the few females to recreate and even top the vocalist she chose. SAFE.

So my four in TROUBLE:

Deandre, Erika, Shannon, Heejun

Bottom three:

Deandre, Shannon, Heejun

Bottom two:

Shannon, Deandre

Out: Shannon (IF they do a double elimination).

CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE

To see extras from this episode, go to www.americanidol.com.