Wednesday, April 16, 2008

American Idol:
The Top 7 Results Show

Bottom Three:
Syesha Mercado ("Vanishing")
Brooke White ("Hero")
Kristy Lee Cook ("Forever")

Kristy Lee Cook

Watch video of Kristy Lee Cook elimination:

To no one's surprise, a girl was eliminated tonight. As Simon Cowell called it Tuesday night, "I think the guys, funny enough, are going to have an easier time than the girls tonight because there's not the comparison." Ryan Seacrest said the finalists received almost 36 million votes, the highest total of the season to date.

Interestingly, the amount of money the show received for "Idol Gives Back" week may have been a disappointment, as, unlike last season, they didn't say a word about the total this week. The last total announced was $60 million last week, down from the $76 million collected in '07. The show's producers had projected they could reach $100 million year, but apparently were overpredicting the success of their year's fund drive for needy children in Africa and the United States. The "Idol Gives Back" show drew the least number of viewers for an Idol-related telecast in more than four years.

This week, the Top 7 finalists performed the Mariah Carey-Boyz II Men duet "One Sweet Day." Perhaps in an omen of what was to follow, Kristy Lee Cook performed a horribly pitchy solo.

Watch video of Top 7 group medley, "One Sweet Day":

Next, Ryan Seacrest pimped the songwriting contest, telling viewers there was only one more week to vote for the no-doubt ickily-sweet coronation song. Titles of some of the 20 finalists include "Believe," "Dream Big," "Something Like Heaven" and "The Time of My Life." The song titles are SO original, there's even a "You Believe in Me" and a "You Believed in Me." Thanks, we'll take a pass on the voting. Hearing the coronation song numerous times during the finale will be too much.

Time to begin the eliminations, and it's the old seven remaining finalists game. Ryan first sent Jason Castro to one side of the stage, then David Cook to the other. What? Everyone just knew that Cook was safe. Did this mean that Castro was in the Bottom 3? We're stunned, being sure it was going to be three ladies. Next out, Carly Smithson, who tells everyone that the judges have been hard on her, singling out Simon, who tells Carly he's hard on her because she has the potential to be great and he expects more from her. She is sent to stand with Jason. OK, that seems logical, her Tuesday night performance being sucky. Kristy Lee Cook comes onstage and continues the Simon bashing, calling him a butt. Interesting night, the women are getting daring. Perhaps they all think they're leaving and figure it's their last time to take a shot at the judge who's tormented them with his comments. Kristy Lee is sent to join David Cook.

We go to commercial break and come back to the Ford com-
mercial. In it, the finalists are puppets in an office environment singing "I Want to Break Free." They then cut their strings and escape. Hmmm, we can relate to that sentiment.

Watch video of Ford commercial "I Want to Break Free":

Season 5 third-place finisher Elliot Yamin, who, sadly, lost his mom last week, returns to the "Idol" stage to perform "Free," the lastest single from his freshman CD. Elliot tells Ryan that it's the first time he's taken the stage without his mom, but he knows she's watching him. It's hard to remember the buzzcut, fanged-toothed Elliott who originally appeared on the show. Though a little shaggy in the hair department, his makeover is still working for him. He wears jeans and a velvet jacket over a white shirt and long white scarf that almost looks like a tallis under his jacket.

Watch video of Elliott Yamin performing "Free":

Back to the results. Syesha Mercado actually looks pissed and upset when she is sent over to join Jason and Carly, who we're sure she knows is the Bottom 3 group, while Brooke White, who, unlike Syesha, actually deserves to be in the Bottom 3, comes out and is told to join the Cooks -- David Cook and Kristy Lee.

We pause the results again to go to the viewer Q&A's. We learn that the man who Kristy Lee sold her horse to won't sell the horse back to her. Ryan makes an on-air appeal to the guy to sell Kristy Lee her barrel horse back. Next, the judges recall the first records they ever bought. For Randy Jackson it was Led Zepplin, the Beatles and James Brown. Paula Abdul says she bought the Jackson 5, Earth Wind and Fire, and Carole King's "Tapestry." Witty Simon answers that as a 10-year-old he purchased Paula Abdul's "Straight Up," cracking Ryan up. Paula then takes a question from Megan, who tells Paula, "I was the Megan your TV show." Paula gives a completely blank look to the camera, obviously having no idea what Megan is referring to. Megan, oblivious, continues, asking Paula what song of hers best describes her relationship with Simon. On a roll, Simon immediately jumps in with "Straight Up," to which Paula gives a you wish retort, while Randy jokes that it's "Cold Hearted Snake," which Paula says is too obvious. She finally tells Simon it'll never be "Forever Your Girl."

And the questions continue. Simon is asked what the difference is between all of the various adjectives he employs to describe contestant performances. He obviously is annoyed by the question which sets off Randy and Paula laughing at him, so he mocks the caller with faces as she continues, then replies that all of his descriptive adjectives mean the performance was horrible and not something you want on the show. The last question is to David Cook. The caller wants to know if he's single. David asks which camera to look into, then gives an emphatic "yes." Good for him. That makeover has made him a real hottie.

Watch video of viewer question to David Cook:

Mariah Carey performs "Bye Bye" from her just-released CD "E=MC2." She then talks to Ryan about mentoring and Ryan tells her that Randy always takes credit for her success. She laughingly agrees that it is all Randy. Unlike the Tuesday night contestant videos, she comes off a bit full of herself and diva-ish on the results show, the Mariah Carey personality we hate.

Watch video of Mariah Carey performing "Bye Bye":

Finally, back to the results with the two groups. Ryan tells us that there are too many Cooks in the kitchen, and has David C. exchange places with Syesha. Now it all makes sense. David C., Jason and Carly (which is a surprise) on the safe side; Syesha, Kristy Lee and Brooke on the Bottom 3 side. Ryan calls David Archuleta out, tells him he's safe, then asks him to join the group he thinks is safe. As in previous years, David sits down on the stage, refusing to make the choice. Ryan moves over toward David, Carly and Jason, telling Archuleta that to move toward the safe group he'd have to move in that direction. Archuleta remains seated, so David C. sits down next to him, followed by Jason and a standing Carly, who can't sit because of her tight skirt. Ryan has them stand up, and declares them all safe.

The Bottom 3 ladies have to wait through another commercial break. Ryan releases Syesha to safety, then asks Randy is America picked right. Randy says it's tough every week now and he can't make the call. Paula does her patronizing BS about how she's proud of all of them. Simon, never shy, says "No surprises, maybe Kristy. You know, your time's up this time, sweetheart." Randy injects, "Oh, so positive," and Simon answers, "Well, it has to be one of you." Randy says, "Yeah, it's true." Well, duh, yeah, Randy. Kristy answers Simon, "Well, I made it past the Top 10," getting herself a round of applause. Meanwhile Brooke keeps protesting, saying "We don't know what's happening." She must have checked out, which had her almost in a dead heat with Syesha for last place, while Kristy Lee was fourth from the bottom. Finally, Ryan tells Brooke she is safe. After her journey video, we see Kristy sitting on the judges' table singing the beginning of "For-
ever" to Simon, a cute and classy depar-
ture move.

Next week, the 6 remaining finalists will be mentored by and sing the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber. We would love to see David Cook do one of his daring takes on something from "Phantom of the Opera."

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