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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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Round of 8: Imported From Detroit
March 27

It's a story of innovators. It's a story about the American Dream. It's a story of visionaries. It's a story that will take our remaining eight Idolers through Dearborn all the way to Hitsville USA. This is the story of Detroit.

On hand to assist Jimmy with his mentoring is the one and only Smokey Robinson (who, by the way, is working on a duets album while working on "Motown the Musical: The Life of Berry Gordy").

Candice Glover's "I Who Have Nothing" drove Mr. Robinson to tears, but will he be smiling after she sings Marvin Gaye's "(I Heard It Through the) Grapevine"?

THEY SAY: Keith says she has great instrument control, calling it her best performance. Nicki says that it was good to see that rocky, bluesy side of her. Randy thinks she believes that she belongs in this competition. Mariah gives the old standby: "You are what this competition is."

WE SAY: Sounds like she's playing from the Gladys Knight playbook. This was perhaps the perfect song choice for Candice. She honestly can do no wrong. Or at least she has yet to do wrong. In any event, she's a shoo-in for survival with a raspy, soulful, sultry take on this classic. The gauntlet, she is thrown.

Next up, a non-scoring round with a group collabo. Here's Janelle Arthur & Kree Harrison with a country-strong version (pulled from Jennifer Nettles) of Madonna's "Like a Prayer".

Lazaro Arbos was called out by Jimmy last week. Tonight, he'll answer those charges with Stevie Wonder's take on "For Once in My Life".

THEY SAY: Randy says it's "far better than last week". Mariah liked it. Keith says tonight had to be about choosing the right song that rhythmically fit him. Nicki says "Ricky" is back, and then says something about Smokey being his sugar daddy and a sexy piece of specimen?

WE SAY: This is perhaps the song that Lazaro was waiting for. We hear both the slow and mellow Frankie vibe and the quick Stevie vibe, and they mesh together well. Now if only he did a little more with it. I mean, this was high energy and frantic when Stevie did it. When Lazaro does it, it's just ... meh. Not to mention sharp.

Janelle Arthur "country-fying" "Keep Me Hanging On". First thought. Why? Second thought? Why not? Let's see what she can do.

THEY SAY: Mariah says "Janelle at her finest!" Keith loves the arrangement and the hidden angst therein. Nicki says she's "amazing", but her voice "isn't how it normally is". Randy thought it was "incredible"

WE SAY: Janelle is falling into a familiar trap. She's becoming "the country artist". That's good for a country audience, but she's performing for votes, and that means tapping into genres that she would probably not picture herself doing. On the other hand, she's got a nice little outlaw radio vibe for her guitar skills.

Devin Velez is going to pay homage to the Miracle man himself with "Tracks of My Tears". If he doesn't deliver a solid, exciting vocal, he could be the one crying.

THEY SAY: Keith could feel Devin relaxing into it, but he can see him thinking about what to sing next. Nicki... says something about a ripe banana. Randy says Devin is back. Mariah loved it from the second she heard the piece. Smokey thought it was awesome.

WE SAY: Devin is up against Burnell.... Candice... AND Amber. There's a glut in the R&B department. And Devin still hasn't done anything in a voting round to stand apart. The tracks of his tears could lead him back to Chicago.

(FUN FACT: according to the Twitterverse, 38% of Idol fans love country, compared to 27 for pop, 18 for R&B and 17 for rock. Could be a factor later on)

Next group number is Amber, Angie, and Candice goofing on the Supremes with "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me". I know this is a non-scoring performance, but... DAMN! If the Idol thing doesn't work out, you have a hell of a girl group here.

We go right into Burnell Taylor with Stevie's "My Cherie Amour", a song about a woman who is so near, yet so far. It's the quintessential love song. Is Burnell going to quintessentially love singing it?

THEY SAY: Nicki is reminded how she fell in love with his voice, being rich and soulful. Randy thought he was in it. Mariah appreciated the song. Keith wonders where Ron Burgundy is while commenting on how original Burnell is.

WE SAY: He has the tone down pat, but the phrasing was kinda off. And there was a disconnect between him and his "cherie amorb."

Angie Miller's hoping to "Shop Around" her voice to Smokey, who knows a thing or two about how to do that song proper justice. Does Angie?

THEY SAY: Randy thought it was strange and pitchy. Mariah wanted her at the piano. Keith says we'll see her next week. Nicki says that Angie tried to show a side of Angie that didn't need to be shown. You know what... this is her. "It doesn't feel like an organic choice just for your swag... If your thing is not R&B or bluesy, switch it up and do what you shine at. Don't try and give us another side. We ain't ask for another side yet!"

WE SAY: ... we agree with Nicki? Wha? Huh? In short, a giant. Step. Backwards.

Going back to Stevie for a mo, here's Amber Holcomb with "Lately". It hasn't been done since Jodeci did it in the 90s. Will Amber be a reminder as to why?

THEY SAY: Mariah thought it was a tour de force before .... well, going blue. Keith thought it was mesmerizing. Nicki: "When God created those vocal chords, He was just showing off, honeychild." Randy thought it was the best of the night.

WE SAY: Simple song sung simply is always the best bet to go. Amber didn't need to go to certain places. She didn't, and the song is all the better for it. She was singing for survival. And she's only going to get better.

Now the MEN of Idol take on "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)." ... Yeah.

Time to end the tour of Detroit with Kree Harrison with "Don't Play That Song" by Aretha Franklin. She's looking to bring more attitude to the stage. She still remembers singing "Shop Around" at age 6 (maybe SHE should've sung it!), but will her performance tonight leave us saying THE EXACT SAME THING?

THEY SAY: Randy thought she was here to say. Mariah agrees. Keith loves that she stayed true to herself. Nicki says she's organic and natural.

WE SAY: Janelle, take notes. This is how you play to win Idol. You choose a knockout song, you don't go by the book on it, and you draw everyone in. Don't be afraid to take a risk. Not the perfect vocal, but it got the job done.

And so this trip to Detroit comes to an end thusly.

DRIVER'S SEAT: Amber and Candice (tied)
SHOTGUN: Janelle, Lazaro, Burnell, Kree

But who's headed on the next plane back to... the UPPER PENINSULA? GASP! Results tomorrow! 

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