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Season 7
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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

Ryan Seacrest
Judges: Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson
Creator: Simon Fuller (based upon "Pop Idol")
Nigel Lythgoe, Ken Warwick, Cecile Frot-Coutaz, Simon Fuller
Packager: 19 TV, FremantleMedia North America
Origin: CBS Television City, Los Angeles, CA
Airs: Tuesdays at 8pm ET and Wednesdays at 9p ET on Fox


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Round of 4 - Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
May 6

Two words. Final Four.

Six more words. Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

One word... Goodbye. That's what one person will be hearing tomorrow.

Meanwhile, we hear that no one is safe and nothing is guaranteed. This is the dread round of four, so... yeah, safe assumption.

The Rock & Roll story begins with a Cleveland DJ named Alan "Moondog" Freed. The story continued through Woodstock, Ike Turner, and through to 1983, when the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame was established in Cleveland. Tonight, the Idols will deliver from the 500 most influential rock songs of all time.

We're back to the original judging format with David Cook first and Duran Duran's "Hungry Like the World".

What they say: Randy thought it was an OK choice and a solid performance. Not amazing. Paula is left with a big appetite. "Almost makes me tolerate being the only girl in the boys club." Simon agrees with Randy, but says it's good enough to get him to next week.

What we say: I was half expecting him to bust out Les Paul. Altogether, this performance is kinda... there. It doesn't go one way or another, and that's pretty much a dangerous position to be in in this part of the contest. Lucky for him, he has another go at it.

Syesha Mercado is next on the block, and she's just excited about "meeting her fans". She's believing her own hype. Meanwhile, she starts with "Proud Mary" by Tina Turner.

What they say: Randy says Syesha's in the zone. "You're showing the heat late in the competition." Paula says that she's looking like a star. "Magic happens, and you made it happen." Simon thought it was a bad shrieky impersonation of Tina Turner.

What we say: Too concerted with her dancing and not concerned enough with her singing. I don't care how many fans you have. If you don't deliver on all fronts, you're going to the house. But again, you have one more shot at it.

Next up is Jason Castro, who sings Bob Marley... go figure. Here's "I Shot the Sheriff."

What they say: Randy thought it was a "real karaoke bomb." Paula says he performed to the audience, but she wasn't crazy about the performance. Simon: "That was utterly atrocious. This was like a first round audition massacre. I don't know what you were thinking."

What we say: I'd like to quote Lily Allen here... "Oh... dearie me. My baby brother's in his bedroom smoking weed." 'Cause seriously, that's what it felt like.

David Archuleta goes with "Stand By Me" by Ben E. King, a song he sings to his dog. His words, not mine. He ends up channeling both Bill Withers and Sean Kingston in the process.

What they say: Randy thinks he's the ONLY guy left to put it all on the line every time. Paula thinks that he's way beyond his years. Simon: "You could've whistled and it would've been better than the last song." He calls this the best so far.

What we say: His dog must be proud. He took a couple of creatives and they paid off. Round 1 to Archuleta.

Halfway through and we're back to the start with David Cook. He was excited about this week, but the first round brought him crashing back down. He tries out the Who's "Baba O'Reilly" next.

What they say: Randy says David is back. "Just be you, because you were great." Paula wants more. Simon: "Welcome back, David Cook."

What we say: Redemption on all fronts. I wanted him to do a little bit more with that song, but it was scores better than his first entry.

Next up, Syesha with "A Change is Gonna Come" by Sam Cooke.

What they say: Randy says that she didn't need to do anything more to the melody to take away from it. Paula gives it a standing O. Simon agrees with Paula.

What we say: trademark Syesha performance. She's got the tone down right, but there's a bit of a power issue. She's definitely believing in her own press, and it would not surprise me one bit if she's on the bubble tomorrow.

Two performances, two redemptions. Will Jason Castro make it a turkey... or will he just be one? He sings "Mr. Tambourine Man" by Bob Dylan.

What they say: Randy: "Jason is not in the zone tonight." Wag in the audience: "Yes you are." Chico: "No he's not!" Paula was blown away. Simon: "Jason, I'd pack your suitcase."

What we say: Remember that scene in "Intolerable Cruelty" when the guy had an inhaler in one hand and the gun in the other, and he ended up shooting himself in the mouth and spraying George Clooney? That was Jason Castro tonight. That sound you just heard was the America getting buttraped. Sorry, Jason, but "Don't Forget the Lyrics!" airs on THURSDAYS.

And finally, the closer... David Archuleta... Elvis... "Love Me Tender".

What they say: Randy likes the way he caressed all of his words. Paula felt his heart. Simon: "You crushed the competition tonight."

What we say: It's a little sharp, but David's stylistics more than make up for it.


So here's where we stand.

Rockin' in a free world: David A.
Bridge over troubled waters: David C., Syesha
They sold your soul for rock'n'roll: Jason

Jason's going to need a miracle to stick around another week. Will he get one? Find out in 24.