Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Best Singer, the Most Gracious Loser

Kudos to Melinda Doolittle, one of the, if not the, most talented singers ever to grace the "American Idol" stage. And grace is the right word, because everything this lady has done on Idol has been enveloped in grace, including her exit.

She was mature, she was professional, she was prepared. She never shed a tear, kept a beaming smile and, as always, gave a flawless performance singing her exit song. We can't speak highly enough of Melinda Doolittle. We are tremendously saddened by her elimination, but are sure she will soar professionally. Her backup singer days are gone. We can't wait to hear her first CD.

Other highlights of Top 3 Results show:

OK, we loved the opening. You can't go wrong with "The Simpsons." Matt Groening may be the sharpest, funniest man alive and we love the snippets of Simpsons humor that he writes for Idol. Watch video of Homer Simpson introducing "American Idol":

Blah, blah, blah the producers again pimp the Idols Live 07 Tour. (This year it really will be a Pop Tarts tour, heh.) Is it coming to YOUR TOWN? Did you know it's the biggest one evuh? Will it still be the biggest one evuh when they pimp it next week? Is Jordin Sparks 17?

Film of each of the remaining finalists hometown visits are shown. First up is Jordin Sparks who was feted with a parade on Jordin Sparks Day. She also had a reunion with her best friend, visited her former school (she's currently being home schooled) and performed for a crowd of thousands. Watch video of the Jordin Sparks hometown visit.

After the clip, Ryan Seacrest acts as if he's going to give Jordin her results, by reading back the judges' opinions of her performances the day before. But we all know it's waaaaaaay to early for that and, of course, it is a fakeout. Jordin will have to wait 'til later (about 9:56 p.m.) to find out she's safe.

Next, it's time for the American Idol Developmentally Challenge quiz. Today's question is: "Are you breathing?" Answer "a" for yes, "b" for no, or "c" for not sure. You may win a trip to attend preschool in Hollywood.

It's time to watch Blake Lewis' trip back to Seattle and Bothell. To introduce it, Ryan starts singing, you read right, "This Love" while Blake jumps in with a bit of beat-boxing. Wish that segment lasted longer. (But you can catch it on the next video). Blake reveals that he had done a few shows with Sir Mix-a-Lot prior to his triumphant return home, where he also received a parade. Ryan and Blake talk about Blake's dad, a big emotional lug, who gets weepy in the video. Blake also sings the national anthem at the Mariners-Yankees game. Watch video of Blake Lewis returning to Seattle for his hometown visit:

When the clip ends, Blake's dad is standing onstage with him (awwwwwwwww), then has to be convinced by Ryan to leave the stage. After recapping the judges' comments of his performances from the previous night, Ryan asked Blake what he thought happened with the results. Blake said that they'll cut to a commercial break. Ryan said close, then asked if they are that predictable. Instead, it's time for Elliott Yamin to perform. Watch video of Elliott Yamin singing "I'll Wait for You":

After the video, Ryan speaks with Elliott, who, after growing out his hair and having his teeth fixed, now looks like Adam Sandler in "Reign Over Me." Ryan then goes to the judges to evaluate Elliott, while Elliott says "no judges." Randy Jackson tells Elliott he is happy that Elliott came home. Paula Abdul says she's speechless and very proud. Simon Cowell joked that it wasn't that great, then said, no it was great. Elliott tells the final three that this is only the beginning for them.

The Ford video is next. It features the threesome singing Billy Squier's "Everybody Wants You," first as youngsters than as "American Idol" star adults. It's actually kinda cute and the casting of the kids playing the three was spot on. Watch video of Ford commercial "Everybody Wants You":

Before going into the next commercial break, Ryan says, "When we come back, Melinda goes home." Now, he meant to her hometown, but in retrospect, it really seemed shocking when we watched it back. Did he mean to say it exactly that way, or was it a Freudian slip? The best parts of returning home for Melinda were getting to drink sweet tea and being able to look people in the eye and thank them. Watch video of Melinda Doolittle's hometown visit:

Pimp, pimp, pimp the Idol producers' new band show before Maroon 5 take the stage to sing "Makes Me Wonder," not one of one favorites by the group. BTW, in an interview with TV Week, executive producer Nigel Lythgoe, speaking of Tuesday night's producers' pick for Blake, Maroon 5's "This Love," said:

"We didn’t think we'd get it cleared, to be honest with you, and we suggested it, but then, we couldn't get it cleared, and Blake actually called them up and said, 'Hey, can I sing your song?' And they very kindly said, 'Absolutely, Blake.' We were delighted."

Watch video of Maroon 5 singing "The Next One Makes Me Wonder":

Finally, at 9:56 p.m., it was time to actually find out who was going to be eliminated. First Jordin was declared safe, next Melinda was told it was the end of the road. Daniel Bubbeo in Newsday said:

"Doolittle took the news of her elimination with the humility that's been her trademark, though Sparks seemed genuinely surprised by the results. Comfort came from the judges who all expressed their admiration for Doolittle. Randy Jackson told her she had
'nothing to be ashamed of' and Paula Abdul gushed
'You already have made it and you're going to have a big career.' A disappointed Cowell remarked: 'You are one heck of a singer.'

Watch video of Ryan Seacrest giving the 3 finalists the results:

Watch Melinda Doolittle's journey video:

Watch video of Melinda Doolittle's last song, "I'm a Woman" encore:

Eleventh-place finisher Stephanie Edwards did some analysis of this week's performances and results for her home TV station:

Top 12 finalist Stephanie Edwards talks about Tuesday night's performances.

Top 12 finalist Stephanie Edwards talks about Wednesday night's elimination.

Next week, the grand finale from Hollywood's Kodak Theatre. Kelly Clarkson performs, Taylor Hicks performs. Many guest stars we'll write about as we get info.

We're so annoyed with last night's results, that we're turning on a dime here, going out on a limb, knowing full-well that the producers want a Jordin victory, and predicting that Blake Lewis will take it all. What the heck, call us crazy.

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© 2007

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