Carly Smithson ("Blackbird")
Kristy Lee Cook ("You've Got to Hide Your Love Away")
Amanda Overmyer ("Back in the U.S.S.R.")
Watch video of Amanda Overmyer elimination:
At the top of the show, Ryan Seacrest announced this season's mentors: Dolly Parton (who just released her latest CD, "Backwoods Barbie"), Mariah Carey (whose next CD, "E=MC2," releases on April 15), Andrew Lloyd Webber (currently appearing on the BBC 1 show 'I'd Do Anything,' in which he is conducting a search for stars to take on the leads in a new production of "Oliver") and Neil Diamond (whose new album, "Home Before Dark," releases on May 6). Are you beginning to see a trend here? Got a new CD or something else to promote? Dial 1-555-IDOL-PRODUCERS.
Still, we have to give credit to "Idol's" producers for checking out our exclusive poll that ran from the middle of last season until January 2008, where we asked our readers to vote on whose songbook they wanted to see featured with that person mentoring on the show. The producers apparently weren't able to get your most popular choice, Carole King, but they were able to snag two other of your most popular choices to appear.
Here are your results:
Musically, the show gets off to an inauspicious beginning with audio problems during the Top 11 Beatles medley. First the audio starts fading while Jason Castro and David Cook sing their section of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." Next Ramiele Malubay joins Brooke White for "Here, There and Everywhere," but only Brooke's microphone is working. We're beginning to think it's going to be a very long hour (and, in fact, it was. The show ran over to 62 minutes. Who knew there was that much fluffy filler in the world?)
Watch video of Top 11 Beatles Medley:
Part of the fluffy filler included not only the week's Ford commercial by the Top 11, but also a video of the making of the week's Ford commercial. Does Ford have to pay double for the ad time this week?
Watch video of Top 11 Ford commercial "Should I Stay or Should I Go":
And just when you think it can't get any fluffier -- or stupider -- we come to this year's lamest segment, the viewer call-in Q&A. Someone needs to tell the producers that this segment is even worse than last season's "Man/Woman/Child on the Street" interviews by Ryan Seacrest. Those were dazzlingly entertaining by comparison! Simon Cowell was asked why he spends so much on cars and so little on clothes, a question Cowell called "rude." Simon and Paula Abdul were asked if they would considering filming a sequel to their kiss scene from Season 2 (He says "yes," because Paula is a good kisser. Paula never got to answer). Ramiele was asked what the last song she downloaded to her iPod was (R. Kelly's "I'm a Flirt") and Michael Johns was asked if his "Idol" experience has been everything he thought it would be (yes, and more. It's been very stressful). Wow! How illuminating.
Watch video of stupid viewer call-in Q&A.
Watch video of Kellie Pickler performing "Red High Heels":
And finally, just prior to the elimination, the show does its weekly pimp spot for this year's "Idol Gives Back" on April 9. This week it's a clip of Elliott Yamin and Fantasia in Angola distributing mosquito nets. Elliott gets all verklempt when a woman names her newborn for him. OK, it was touching and we verklempt, too. Sue us! We've also learned, though Ryan strangely didn't announce it, that Ellen DeGeneres will again be cohosting the show this year. DeGeneres will host from the Kodak Theatre with Seacrest hosting from the "Idol" stage.
The updated list of performers includes Maroon 5, Heart, Gloria Estefan, Boyz II Men, The Clark Brothers, Bono, Brad Pitt, Reese Witherspoon, Miley Cyrus, Mariah Carey, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, Fergie, Chris Daughtry, Carrie Underwood, Annie Lennox, John Legend and Snoop Dogg, with many more to come. This year's event will raise awareness and funds to benefit six charities: the Children’s Defense Fund, The Global Fund, Make It Right, Malaria No More, Save The Children and the Children’s Health Fund.
Watch Elliott Yamin, Fantasia in Angola video:
Next week, the Top 10 finalists perform songs from the year they were born. On Wednesday night, Season 2 finalist Kimberley Locke will perform her new single, "Fall."
e-mail Idol Addict