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
Judges: Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell, Kara DioGuardi, Randy Jackson
Announcer: Mark Thompson
Simon Fuller (based upon "Pop Idol")
EP: Ken Warwick, Cecile Frot-Coutaz, Simon
Packager: 19 TV, FremantleMedia North
Origin: CBS Television City, Los Angeles, CA
Airs: Tuesdays & Wednesdays at 8pm ET and at 9p ET
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Round of 3:
The Wheel of Death Round
The strongest top three in ages has
finally emerged. But alas, Nokia Theatre LA Live only has room for
two of them next week. Only one thing can solve this quandary...
Time to spin the Wheel of Death!
First up, we get a brief recap of what happened with each Idol this
weekend when they went home.
As a reminder, the singers get TWO songs this week, one of their own
choosing and one chosen by the judges.
First up... Danny Gokey in Milwaukee gets a text message from
Paula... Her choice for Danny... "Dance Little Sister" by Terence
Trent D'Arby. Paula thinks that Danny possesses that magical quality
that Terence did. He doesn't know. This should be fun.
What they say: Randy says he has a lot of energy. Kara says that he
keeps in his money tone, but the dancing was a little too much. He's
a great singer, but she's not going to remember that performance.
Paula says his voice is magical. Again. Simon says that this is a
singing show, not "that funny little dancing show next door." HA.
Vocally, it was good, albeit the wrong song.
What we say: He flubs the lyrics and switches up the pitch
needlessly. I'm guessing this is the Danny that didn't learn a damn
thing from last week. And can someone please strap Paula in?
Actually, she'd probably like that, so... never mind.
Next up, the man from Arkansas Kris Allen gets a message from Kara
and Randy on a brand new phone... that is surprisingly given to him
outside of an AT&T store, plug. They give him "Apologize" by
Onerepublic. A big song with a big range, dark and melodic. For a
dark and melodic horse.
What they say: Randy says it's about who's going to win this. This
is the kind of artist who he can be right now and in the future.
Kara says that it wasn't swinging out of the park. It was too
soundalike. Paula's used to artistic license... and there were some
bum notes... that were audible. Simon takes Green Ranger to task
when she says that "you can't tell him to do a song, and then blame
him for doing the song." It was competent, but not as good.
What we say: Ryan Tedder called... he wants his piano, voice,
haircut, and song back. It's THAT soundalike.
Outside of another AT&T store *cha-ching*, this time in San Diego,
Adam Lambert gets a message on his phone... Simon wants him to do
"One" by U2, which he had to personally clear. "Alright, Simon...
What they say: Randy says he's in the zone... but he's going off the
melody. Green Ranger says Adam has a way with making it
unbelievable. He did his own version. Paula... has to sit next to
Simon gloating, saying it was one brilliant song from one American
Idol. Simon's a little bit biased. He worked out what he wanted to
do. If he's not in the final, it will be one of the biggest upsets
in AI history.
What we say: Nice of Adam to surprise by starting subdued, but that
bridge left a little to be desired. That was more like an actor
singing a Broadway number than a singer interpreting a song
creatively. We have three strong singers.... And three weak
performances... I AM NOT WELL-HANDLED.
Mulligan, I say. This time, we switch to the guys' choice. Back to
Danny, who thought this was a tough choice. He went through songs in
his head and came up with something he just came back to... "You Are
So Beautiful" by Joe Cocker.
What they say: Randy says he can really (x3) sing. Kara says that
everything he didn't do in the first performance for her, he did
now. Paula was left breathless. Simon says it would've worked with
just the piano and the plain-singing, but this was a masterclass.
What we say: Okay. I was waiting all series for Danny to sing this
song. He just doesn't sing the song on this number, he tells the
story, and it's relevant because you can tell he believes it. And if
he believes it, then you are going to believe it.
Next up is Kris Allen with a very interesting choice... "Heartless"
by Kanye West. How is he going to pull THIS one off? Ah, with a
What they say: Randy says that this is going to be one of the
toughest votes of the competition, saying it was better than the
Fray OR Kanye. Kara wonders what America's wondering... why didn't
he do that with "Apologize"? Paula calls him the bravest artist and
relevant. Simon can no longer count Kris out.
What we say: Now why didn't he pull this off LAST round? Granted
it's not the perfect vocal; it reminds me of open-mic at the coffee
house... But it shows us why Kris is where he is, and why he has a
legitimate chance of being in the final two.
Finally, we have Adam Lambert... who has decided to go with
Aerosmith and "Crying", calling Steven Tyler "the Man". Why we don't
doubt that, we're wondering what Adam's going to do with this.
What they say: Randy says he's charismatic and that he should be a
rock star. Kara wonders where those power notes come from, saying,
quite plainly, we'll see you in the final. Paula says he set the bar
high. Simon wants to spend his time reminding his fans NOT TO ASSUME
that Adam's going to the final. Only votes count.
What we say: I don't know what Adam is doing with his voice that is
making him warble so, but I wish he would stop. It's a quality Adam
performance. He's not so much asking for your vote as he is saying
"You will vote for me and it will be because of this."
Well round 1 went to no one, because no one really dazzled. It took
the singers knowing who they are and what they want to do vocally in
order for cases to be made for the final. Adam stuck to his guns and
rocked it out. No question or doubt that he will be at Nokia next
week. But the question is... who's joining him? Because if you think
about it... Danny and Kris are splitting the pop vote. And neither
of them really killed until they BOTH killed in the back nine.
Simply put... it's just too close. Kris stepped up his game, but is
it too little too late? Danny stuck by what got him to the final
three in the first place, but is it starting to get boring?
For the first time since season 4, when I first helped Gordon out
with AI... I'm absolutely without an opinion...
So for this virtual coinflip, I'm going to have to result... in an
... and it is heads.
CLOSE SHAVE: Danny
CLOSE GETS YOU NOTHING: Kris
That's what the coin says. See what the VOTES say tomorrow.
footage from this episode, visit the
official website at