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April 1

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, Quisla Alexander, Jason Block, Don Harpwood & Gordon Pepper, GSNN

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

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Round of 8: From the Year You Were Born
April 7

This week on the big show, we have the top 8 singing songs from the year that they were born. This can only mean one thing... Expect many embarrassing baby photos.

Presenter and judges included.

And if you think we're going to post our baby photos... You got another thing coming.

First up, we start with the oldest contestant. The Gokey... Danny Gokey, that is... He was born April 24, 1980 in Milwaukee, and was told at an early age that he could sing. Tonight, he'll birth the round with Mickey Gilley's version of "Stand by Me".

What they say: Randy loves his voice, even though he didn't care much for the arrangement. Kara says he killed it three times and made it his own. Paula says that the other seven are on notice. Simon sums it up. First part good, second part lazy, third part terrific.

What we say: The standard in showmanship for tonight has been set. And way to surprise with the changeup on the arrangement, but a pro-tip... Don't let the band do all the work. Put in some grunt work of your own. Still, though, very good but not perfect. But again, it's the Gokey, so who cares?

Next up is Kris Allen, who detailed the kids' day off at the beach. A ride operator recognized him as an Idoler... and tells him to tell Adam Lambert hello. Kris was born June 21, 1985 in J-vegas, Arkansas. Growing up, he wanted to be a cab driver. Tonight, "All (S)he Wants to Do Is Dance" like the Don Henley did it.

What they say: Kara is a fan, but it sounded like "Jazz funk homework", saying it lost its youth. Paula says he's genuine and unique and likable. Simon said it was indulgent, boring and forgettable. "It came over as a guitarist who wanted to sing."

What we say: A calculated risk, but he gets lost in the song. It doesn't sound karaoke, but at the same time, he doesn't really look that comfortable in that whole raised mosh pit thing. Part of the problem was song choice and the arrangement of said song choice. Kris might get swallowed up in the shuffle if he's not careful.

Now the truth of Lil Rounds, born October 20, 1984 as ... Lil. Named after her grandmother Lily. Her song comes from a woman born Anna Mae Bullock. It's Tina Turner's "What's Love Got to Do with It?"

What they say: Paula thought it was important for her to think outside the box, but at the same time, Lil is not yet taking the reigns in creating her own sound. She uses the dreaded K-word. Simon translates: "We're not looking for a second- or third-rate Tina Turner." She's making too many bad decisions, and she has to become original. Randy agrees. She's not listening to the judges. Kara says she has to make the leap from singer to artist now... if ever.

What we say: It's sharp in a lot of places, very rangy, and once again, it's a song that ends up kicking Lil's butt. And it's a big butt. It's a nice butt. But it still gets kicked. Lil needs to rediscover her own voice and not just that of the stereotypical soul singer. Otherwise, all the votes she's getting are all in vain.

The North Carolina Tar Heels are the national champions in basketball. Going into the half, and trying to follow in Psycho T & the Boys' footsteps, is Anoop Desai, who apologizes for being an overreactive ass last week. Born December 20, 1986 in Chapel Hill, NC, Anoop was always seen as doing something great, but his parents didn't know what. Hopefully, he'll do great by Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors".

What they say: Randy congratulates the Heels AND Anoop for coming back from disaster last week. Kara says that he controlled the song. Paula says the phrasing is beautiful. Simon calls him a singing yo-yo, saying that he's not fantastic, but it was good. Oh, and he doesn't have to apologize for being "horrible" to the judges. It's a two-way.

What we say: I don't know, Simon. Whenever my dad called me a yo-yo, it was never good. We're back to Anoop just singing baby and just singing well. He goes from "guy singing soul songs" to "guy injecting his own soul into songs." The problem is that at this point in the competition, it's not enough to just be a good singer. We're looking for a star. Still, the audience may have enough of a pull to avoid his ouster.

Scott McIntyre, born June 20, 1985, wanted to be a train operator. He STILL wants to be a conductor. A conductor who plays haunting music on Halloween. Tonight, a scary move... He trades the piano for a black Stratocaster on Survivor's "The Search Is Over".

What they say: Kara isn't sure she would've picked that song, and she's not sure that was her best performance. Paula gives him props for changing his own tune, but she would've gone unplugged. She calls him screechy. Simon says go back to the piano next week. That's where he's comfortable. The song was horrible. Randy says it was "all okay."

What we say: So many songs... and he chose that one. This is not a repeat from a couple of weeks ago. The guitar is a good fit for this song. Scott... isn't.

Next is the only 90s baby. Allison Iraheta, native Angelino, 1992. Also from that year, Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me".

What they say: Paula says that she has a gift that she can't put a price on, the same arrangement with Allison's voice making it her own. Simon thought it was very good, but she still needs to be a little more likable. Randy compares Allison to a little girl from Texas who went on to win the whole shebang in year 1. Kara says that she is young and believable. "Let's go make a record!"

What we say: Talk about your 180s. We got Allison at her worst last week... and now this week... Allison at her best.

Matt Giraud, who's had issues so far in the competition, gets to sing 'Part Time Lovers' by Stevie Wonder. Will he make America one of his part time lovers?

What they say: Paula gives Matt a standing ovation. Randy calls it one of the best of the night while Kara calls it incredible. SImon calls it a million times better than last week.

What we say: This was not worth a standing ovation. It was, however, a million times better than last week. And Paula needs to take a tranquilizer.

Finally, it's Adam Lambert, who...oh wait, the show is over. Awwww...okay, okay, we'll cover it, although he's 10 minutes over. His song of choice is 'Mad World' by Tears for Fears.

What they say: They don't say anything. only Simon talks and gives them a standing ovation.

What we say: Now THIS is worth a standing O. Nice job on a song that didn't deserve to be sang that well. They need to get Adam singing the song if they do another commercial for Gears of War.

So who ended up stillborn tonight?

Survived, stayed in 2009: Danny, Allison, Adam
Shot by a bullet, ended up in 1981: Anoop, Matt
Run over by a car, ended up in 1973: Kris, Lil, Scott

Come back tomorrow to watch the blessed event... and to watch one contestant get cursed.


To see footage from this episode, visit the official website at