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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 Mariah Carey
Randy Jackson
Nicki Minaj
Keith Urban
Mentor Jimmy Iovine
Announcer Mark Thompson
Creator Simon Fuller (based upon "Pop Idol")
EP Nigel Lythgoe
Ken Warwick
Cecile Frot-Coutaz
Simon Fuller
Trish Kinane
Packager 19 TV & FremantleMedia North America
Origins CBS Television City, Los Angeles
Web americanidol.com
Airs 8p Wed & Thurs, Fox
@American Idol

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Vegas Semifinals: Part 1 - The Girls
February 20

This has been a season of new beginnings with new judges paring a new class of singing hopefuls down to the top 40. Now they take a new stage with a new challenge in the Semifinal Round. One song. One shot. Who has what it takes to sing for YOUR VOTE? Welcome to SUDDEN DEATH!

The Beatles Love by Cirque du Soleil Stage at the Mirage

Here's what's going to happen. Tonight, 10 will sing, and five of them will go home. Tomorrow night, same thing. Next week... SAME THING. Then in two weeks, we have our top 20, and America votes for the top 10. Got it? Good.

In the even that the panel is deadlocked, Jimmy Iovine, the season-long mentor and voice of reason on this show, will act as a tiebreaker.

Here's tonight's 10, who started a long road to the top five months ago.... AND THEY ARE!

- Jenny Beth Willis (17; Owensboro, KY; HS student)
- Tenna Torres (28; Queens, NY; promotional model)
- Adriana Latonio (17; Anchorage, AK; HS student)
- Brandy Hotard (26; Port Allen, LA; psych nurse)
- Shubha Vedula (17; Mt. Pleasant, MI; HS student)
- Kamaria Ousley (29; Oakland; backup singer)
- Kree Harrison (22; Nashville; demo singer)
- Angela Miller (18; Beverly, MA; student)
- Isabelle (22; Duluth, GA; student)
- Amber Holcomb (18; Houston; student)

First up, it's Jenny Beth with Trisha Yearwood's "Heaven, Heartache and the Power of Love".

THEY SAY: Keith didn't think that was the best song for her, but she loved her confidence and range at the end. Nicki didn't think she came alive until the end, thinking that the audience was more excited than she was. Randy thought it never got in sync. Mariah tells her to be a little more dynamic.

WE SAY: ... there are a million country singers in this contest this year. Jenny Beth... is simply one of them. For a song about heaven and hell, it was pretty down to earth, milquetoast, weak, and with no real substance. And while the end was good, it's not going to save you. Stay in school, kid.

Batting second is Tenna Torres, who went to Camp Mariah when she was little. Will she always be our baby with "Soulmate" by Natasha Bedingfield?

THEY SAY: Keith thought it was a beautiful song to do, and deceptively big for her. He likes what she did at the end. Nicki says she has control. Randy finally says that the night has begun. I'm sure Jenny Beth is pleased to hear that. Mariah thought that she meant every word she sang.

WE SAY: It's sharp, it's cabaret, and she can't sing the song without flapping those arms of hers? This is a song about true love. You shouldn't sing it while looking like (and sounding like) you're lady parts are constricting upon themselves. She finished very restrained and in timbre about the song, but she started like she was about to fly the coop.

Next up, the first AI semifinalist from Alaska, as Adriana Latonio delivers Aretha's "Ain't No Way".

THEY SAY: Keith says NOW the night starts, with her channeling all the soul of the songs. Nicki says she commands the stage; there is no fear. Randy says that she was born to do it. Mariah was happy for her.

WE SAY: NOW... the night has begun. Very soulful, very heartfelt, and she commands the stage with the grace of the song. The last note got away from her when she held it out for weeks, but WOW.

Brandy Hotard was working since 16 to be on this show. Funny, we haven't heard much from her. We'll hear this from her now. It's "Anymore" by Travis Tritt.

THEY SAY: Keith says there's "emotional connection inconsistency". That's Australian for "she sang the song, she didn't tell the story". Nicki wishes that Keith would get out of her head and stay out. "That was a pageant delivery of a song." Randy makes it three. Mariah... tries to makes sense of it.

WE SAY: Nicki took the words right out of my mouth. PAGEANT PERFORMANCE. Ironically, the lyric is "I'm tired of pretending." I bet you are tired.

Shubha Vedula wants to be seen as "unique". We see a unique take on Lady Gaga's "Born This Way".

THEY SAY: Keith says she did a LOT with that song, calling it "confusing", yet empowering. Nicki thought it was "comical", comparing it to "Christina Aguilera and the Gangnam-Style guy." Randy said that she didn't have to overdo it. Mariah... says things.

WE SAY: It was a schizophrenic performance. Personally, I wanted to see more of the piano, because it was a different. Yes she has the chops, and if she gets chopped, it'll be close. But this needed a lot more consistency.

Kamaria Ousley has been in the business for a while. She wants to step into the spotlight. Here's her chance with "Mr. Know It All" by the ORIGINAL American Idol.

THEY SAY: Keith doesn't know if it was a great song for her. Nicki thought it was a put-on that didn't work. Randy thought it never caught on. Mariah just thinks she's adorable. That's so nice.

WE SAY: This is why you're only a backup singer. If you sang like that during the audition, no way in Hell you get to this point.

Let's keep it moving with Kree Harrison, who blends country and soul with "Up to the Mountain (MLK Song)" by Patti Griffin.

THEY SAY: Keith calls her a natural born singer. Nicki puts all the other country girls on blast, saying that Kree "makes love to the song". Randy agrees with the panel. Mariah calls it "unaffected" and "organic".

WE SAY: That was a natural performance in every form and facet, and that's what being an American Idol is about, being an original, celebrating who you are. And her range isn't that bad either. A good start for her.

Angela Miller brought the judges to their feet the last time. Can she do it again with "Nobody's Perfect" by Jessie J?

THEY SAY: Keith tells her to believe in her gift. Nicki calls her a top contender whose voice is unmatched. Randy calls her "the real deal". Mariah says her potential is limitless.

WE SAY: This is what you call emotion through the song. And Angela doesn't miss a beat all the way through. No standing O's this time, but good nonetheless.

The former Christina Pasqualone changed her name and her face to get into the contest, but will she change her tune as well? Next up, it's Isabelle with "God Bless the Child" by Billie Holliday.

THEY SAY: Keith and Nicki pretty much bring every guy who ever rejected this lady to task. Randy thought it was old-fashioned. Mariah tells her to keep things simple.

WE SAY: I forgot what the name of it was, the thing that's almost like the thing you want, but not quite... So we'll have to go with that.

Playing closer tonight is Amber Holcomb (who was cut at this phase for being a wallflower) with "My Funny Valentine" by Mitzi Green.

THEY SAY: Keith thought it was technically amazing. Nicki thought it was A+++, BUT she's wondering if the inner shine will shine for America. Randy thought that the most important run was the greatest. Mariah can't wait to see what else she has in store.

WE SAY: Simple song sung simply. And she makes love to the camera and absolutely nails the last bar like she owned it. PERFORMANCE OF THE NIGHT.

Now comes the hardest part. FIVE of the ladies will make it to the public vote. The other five are going home. LET'S PLAY... SUDDEN DEATH!

Should be noted that the judges were unanimous. SERIOUS LIGHTS, SERIOUS MUSIC!

- Tenna Torres
- Kree Harrison
- Angela Miller
- Amber Holcomb

- Jenny Beth Willis
- Brandy Hotard
- Isabelle
- Kamaria Ousley

That leaves us with Adriana Latonio and Shubha Vedula. One stays, one goes. The one that stays... is ADRIANA!

We're going to do this again with 10 guys tomorrow...

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