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Thursday March 19, 2009 10:20 pm

American Idol 8: Top 11 Results

The mood was appropriately grave at the top of the Wednesday night hour. It was a somber Ryan Seacrest who started off the evening by saying, “one will face the fire.” He also inferred that the evening would hold “shocking” results.

Could it be that, as suspected, Adam Lambert was up on the chopping block? The audience would have to wait awhile to find out what the evening held.

First, the filler. The Top 11 were seated on the stage, the judges were introduced, the performances of the evening hyped. Clips from Tuesday night aired, which featured mentor Randy Travis.

The Top 11 then performed “Trouble,” which started out with the men. Scott MacIntyre jammed on the piano while the male contestants sang, horribly out of harmony, before the girls appeared to gyrate oddly and screech onstage. I didn’t much care for the group number.

Read More | American Idol

The Ford music video, featuring water balloons, premiered after the break. It was another somewhat low-quality effort from Ford, creativity-wise. Who directs these? They’ve grown progressively worse since Season 6 - which often featured very clever, amusing video jaunts.

Idol then revisited last week’s elimination (because there isn’t enough filler for this particular elimination night). There were a lot of heart-tugging clips and talk about last week’s news. Michael Sarver broke up a bit during the contestant chat with Seacrest, talking about missing his family. Megan Corkrey spoke about her flu symptoms.

Finally, it was on to business. Danny Gokey was called to attention first, but he of course safely landed in the tour-bound Top 10. Remember, this group will be coming to a state fair near you in the summer. Lil Rounds was the next to be featured and the next to be welcomed to the tour - Lil is secure for one more week. Anoop Desai was also pronounced safe.

Allison Iraheta and Michael Sarver stood up together. “can’t believe” either of these two might be in the bottom three of the night. “I don’t think any of ‘em deserve to be in the bottom three,” she said, but admitted “Allison, probably.” And Paula was right - Allison Iraheta was the first to be moved to the group of bottom three vote-getters. This is very surprising, but there are many elimination rounds when the best singers fail to get the most votes. Michael Sarver should have been sent to safety, but surprising he joined Iraheta on another bottom-feeder’s stool. Just like that, and two of the possible eliminates were chosen early on in the night.

Brad Paisley then appeared on the Idol stage with his guitar and white cowboy hat. He sang a soft country song in a soft country lilt and never missed a note. It was a very professional performance, a great addition to country week.

More results were featured after the performance. Scott MacIntyre was called to stand, and after a bit of hesitation he was given good news: he made it to next week, and next summer. Megan Joy Corkrey, the judges’ favorite, was the next to stand. She also made it on to the tour and the next performance round. Matt Giraud was featured next, and he’s also safe from elimination for one more week.

Next it was Kris Allen, a favorite with female Idol watchers. Ryan Seacrest’s words said it all: “Welcome to the Top 10!” Alexis Grace and Adam Lambert were brought forth together. Both had lackluster performances - Adam’s was downright awful, and Alexis’ was only boring and dreary. Simon Cowell found that Lambert’s performance was “even worse” when he watched it the second time around, after the live show. “It’s really hard to say,” who would be in the bottom three, said , but admitted “it might be Allison…Alexis, sorry.” And the dog is slipping.

Alexis Grace was sent to center stage, and miraculously Adam Lambert will live on to potentially mutilate another song. Michael Sarver and Allison Iraheta joined Grace on stage, but Allison was sent right back to safety.

And so, Michael Sarver and Alexis Grace would wait to find out which of them would be banished from the Idol stage. But first, the show brought back one of its own: , the Season 4 winner.

She joined week mentor Randy Travis in a duet, the first time they’ve performed the ditty in front of a live audience. The song was “I Told You So,” and Underwood sounded absolutely perfect when she belted out the first verse solo. Randy Travis brought out applause the moment he began to sing, and together the pair offered up an absolutely beautiful number.

took a seat next to Alexis Grace and Michael Sarver, the week’s bottom two. “One of them, we would consider saving,” Simon Cowell admitted, when asked about the possibility of a judges’ save on the evening. But which?

Michael Sarver was declared safe after the break, which left Alexis Grace on stage alone. “You were the one we were thinking about saving,” Cowell told her, with the dire warning that her entire fate now hung on the performance she was about to give.

Alexis Grace

And so, Alexis Grace stepped up to deliver “Jolene.” The four judges conferred as Grace belted out her song. This time around, she added more big notes and really seemed to give the number her all. It was indeed a vast improvement from the evening before. But was it enough for the judges?

“We’re kinda unanimous on this….it was good, but it wasn’t good enough,” told her. Paula Abdul tried to soften the blow with a few kind words, and that was the end for little miss Grace. Barack Obama will take center stage next week, so the Top 10 performances will air on Wednesday…sans one Alexis Grace.

(You can find all the American Idol 8 posts here.)


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