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American Idol 9: Idol Gives Back, Top 7 Results

Posted by K.C. Morgan Categories: Music, Prime Time, Reality, FOX, American Idol, Video,

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At the top of the spectacular, host Ryan Seacrest immediately introduced the President of the United States and his First Lady, Mr. and Mrs. Barack Obama. Two praised the Idol Gives Back event and urged viewers to contribute to the cause. In his typical contemporary fashion, President Obama then gave a message to the Idol contestants: “As Randy Jackson says, you’re all my dogs.”

Ryan then reappeared on stage to introduce the judges and hype up the crowd. served as the host of the event at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, which was filled with a screaming crowd.

The Top 12 were brought back together for the first group performance of the night, an incredibly weak number. The only big moment in the song was given (predictably) to Crystal Bowersox. Could this show please make it more obvious that they want her to win? I’m not sure the astronauts on the space shuttle have managed to get the message yet - they’re so far away, and all.

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American Idol 9: Top 7 Perform


It’s week, which means the Top 7 performance round was stuffed with plugs for the upcoming event. In honor of charity week, the Idols sang “inspirational songs,” a topic so broad we were pretty well guaranteed a grab bag of styles.

Casey James picked the imminently popular “Don’t Stop,” a bit of a dangerous decision, for the first performance of the night. Mentor tried to help Casey find some personality within his performance, a quality she felt was essential for the popular tune. On the big stage, Casey James was more raspy than usual, full of energy and absolutely generic. His guitar solo was pretty hot, but he’s been relying on that crutch a bit too much. All the same, James delivers consistently solid performances that the crowd seems to enjoy. I don’t think he’ll do too poorly in the industry…when he’s finally let out of his Idol cage.

“It was a good performance,” Randy Jackson told him, though he grudgingly added “every week, we’re seeing the same thing.” He asked for James to deliver “something different,” a request he’s made in the past. “We’re getting to the point to where you have to be great…and it wasn’t great,” Ellen DeGeneres expanded on Randy’s theme. “You made yourself like everybody else tonight,” Kara DioGuardi likewise expressed her disappointment. “That wasn’t particularly inspiring,” Simon Cowell noted.

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American Idol 9: Top 9 Performance - Again


Thanks to the judges’ save, Michael Lynche is still a cast member on American Idol 9. Therefore, we were treated to a Top 9 performance on Tuesday, the second of the season. was very energetic as he started things off for the night.

A night which was dedicated to the King himself, Elvis Presley. Though he reached his peak in the 1960s, Elvis is still widely-regarded as the best-loved rock performer in music history. He is certainly one of the most successful. It being Elvis night and all, the mentor for the week was , naturally. Because that makes sense. Both men, at least,  were and are incredible showmen. Lambert is the first former contestant to mentor his fellow Idols, an honor I feel should have been given to someone with better record sales.

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American Idol 9: Top 9 Perform


began this week’s performance round on American Idol 9 from the control center, a room filled with monitors and techs. It’s here that camera angles are called out, cast members are queued - truly, it’s the hub of the entire show.

Songs from the Lennon/McCartney songbook were the feature of the week (which is almost every single tune The Beatles ever recorded, minus a few little ditties like Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and Ringo Starr’s “Octopus’s Garden“). Sir Paul McCartney didn’t have enough time to mentor the Top 9, but he did offer a pre-recorded video message for the contenders.

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American Idol 9: Top 10 Perform


started the Tuesday performance show in the backstage area, something of an unusual start for American Idol. After Simon Cowell and Ellen DeGeneres exchanged a kiss, the host walked to the big stage to soak up applause from the waiting crowd. Ellen’s outfit, by the way, was pretty weird-looking.

The Top 10 performers of this performance round will for ever be part of the Idol pantheon. This summer, they will tour the country and continue to peddle music. After that, only a few of them - if even that many - will go on to lasting recording industry success. Will your favorite season 9 contestant soon be a Grammy-winning artist? Maybe…but first, they’ve got to get through this week’s elimination.

was the mentor for the week, the theme of which is R&B/Soul in honor of the star. “To be a great performer, you really have to understand what it takes,” he told the contestants upon their group meeting. “I want you to be great.”

“This is their time to shine, and this is the stage to do it on,” Usher seemed to accept his responsibility with sincerity and seriousness.

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American Idol 9: Top 11 Perform


started the Tuesday performance round of American Idol with well wishes for Lacey Brown, who was eliminated from the Top 12 last week. “This is a big night…the Top 10 make the tour,” Randy Jackson explained the stakes at the top of the episode. Ellen DeGeneres then took a few moments to promote voting (because that helps make the show more money). Kara DioGuardi and Simon Cowell also buried the hatchet at the beginning of the episode. Cowell offered an apology after Kara explained her point of view: that “every song tells a story.” Then, quite randomly, Ellen and Ryan kissed - quite awkwardly.

“It’s probably the worst night to go,” Simon Cowell grimly reminded the contestants, just before they were brought onto the stage.

The theme for the week was Billboard hits - again. This led into a video package about Billboard’s “Hot 100” list. The mentor for the week was , who certainly knows something about #1 hits. “The talent is not the question. It’s just making them feel comfortable,” Miley explained her mentoring style.

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American Idol 9: Top 12 Perform

American Idol Top 12

The Top 12 have the honor of performing on the big Idol stage, a privilege which can only be earned after three intense results rounds. Some always fail miserably the first night, while others shine like never before. Which of the contestants would tank terribly on Tuesday…and which would rock the stage?

The judges got a big intro for the episode, strolling out onto the stage shoulder-to-shoulder. took the long walk down the stairs right after them, and suddenly the show was under way. The Top 12 had the honor of performing Rolling Stones songs for the night, truly a huge and varied catalog. First question: which one has the nerve to do “Paint It Black?” We shall see.

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American Idol 9: Top 16 Results


American Idol’s Thursday elimination round opened with an expectant promise: by the end of the show, we would know which contestants will make up the Top 12. Heady stuff, and the show gave the moment the appropriate drama.

The Top 16 performed “Haven’t Met You Yet” to kick off the show. Alex Lambert and Casey James sounded terrible together, but the other pairs of males were pretty good. The women eventually joined in, but the easy-listening vibe really wasn’t so hot. The group performances this year have been absolutely horrible.

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American Idol 9: Top 8 Girls Perform


Two more girls will leave this week, which gave the remaining eight females only one chance to win the hearts of the nation: Tuesday’s performance round. Only six of them will win a position in the Top 12, when voting becomes a free-for-all for the males and females equally.

As the show opened, Ellen DeGeneres was on Simon Cowell’s lap. “This is quite uncomfortable,” Simon was exasperated with Ellen’s joke. “I would say this is probably the worst night to go,” he said of the upcoming performance round.

The show began with Katie Stevens, who chose Kelly Clarkson’s banner hit “Breakaway.” This was a bold choice, and Katie started out a little hard to understand and weak. She sounded much better when she hit the chorus, but the performance was still messy. Katie was a little ahead of the music, incredibly wooden on stage and she still reeks of insincerity. found the performance a little “karaoke,” saying “it wasn’t great.” Ellen DeGeneres was pleased with the song choice, but found that Katie was singing but not feeling. “We have people who really know themselves, and people who don’t,” Kara DioGuardi summed it up. Simon Cowell agreed with Kara, saying Katie made the tune “a little bit gloomy.”

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American Idol 9: Top 10 Girls Perform


After a few changes to the schedule, American Idol 9’s Top 10 girls were ready to sing their hearts out for Wednesday’s performance round. Crystal Bowersox, who was hospitalized Tuesday night, was back in the studio and looked wonderful at the top of the episode. She spent a few moments talking to before the performances began. “I’m a tough cookie,” Crystal promised. I had no doubt she would deliver a great number for the night.

“The guys were hot last night,” Randy Jackson exclaimed. “I’m hoping the girls show up like that tonight.” 

Crystal Bowersox, for whom the week’s line-up was switched around, was the first to be featured. She revealed in her video package that she’s a twin. She picked “Long As I Can See the Light” from CCR, a pretty bold choice, for her Wednesday performance. The bluesy/gospel feel of the song beautifully highlighted Crystal’s vocal talent. It was a great way to start the show. was enthusiastic about the performance, shouting “that girl is hot!” Ellen DeGeneres loves Crystal’s “pure, raw, natural talent,” saying “you’re amazing.” Kara DioGuardi found the performance to be “effortless,” and compared Bowersox to “the greats.” Be interesting to know whom Kara includes in that category. “I completely misunderestimated you,” Simon Cowell admitted, saying “the vocal was incredible.”

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