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American Idol 9: Top 5 Perform

American Idol 9’s Tuesday performance episode was opened by Ryan Seacrest and That’s right, folks - it’s Sinatra night. Connick, Jr. is perhaps best known for his hit “It Had To Be You.” Sinatra was best known for his baby blues and his velvety voice. He was, arguably, the greatest singer of standards, and he is certainly a legend.

Unlike most Idol mentors, Harry Connick, Jr. brought his own band members and worked on the arrangements of the contestants’ songs. He performed with them all, playing piano on the stage for all five songs.

Before the singing began, ’s daughters gave Simon Cowell one of Sinatra’s monogrammed handkerchiefs, an item which is now amazingly valuable. The Sinatra connection, the Cowell connection, the American Idol tie-in…eBay would be thrown into a frenzy over such an item.

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American Idol 9: Top 6 Perform

Only six remain in the competition, and there are no more saves to see them through the elimination rounds. All must go for one to stand alone, and they all must present their very best for the oh-so-important Tuesday performance rounds.

This week, the theme was , who has often bridged the gap between pop and country. She’s a multiple Grammy award winner and she’s enjoyed plenty of Number 1 hits, which makes her a good mentor choice. She advised the Idols to make her songs their own, as if they had written the tunes themselves. “I’m going to be sitting on the edge of my seat,” she predicted of the performance round.

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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,

American Idol logo

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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Clash of the Titans: American Idol Visits the Simpsons

American Idol judges on The Simpsons

FOX is planning some extra-special stuff for May sweeps, that wonderful season when ratings matter more than ever. The network has always booked the finale during May, but this year AI’s popularity seems to be cooling a bit. In case sharing the Glee time block isn’t enough to bring the reality series back up to its number 1 ratings spot, another FOX series will get getting an Idol tie-in.

That’s right: the regular Idol cast will be appearing on season finale. Simon Cowell, Ellen DeGeneres, Kara DioGuardi, Randy Jackson and Ryan Seacrest will lend their likenesses and voice talent to the episode, which will air on May 23. Gossip says the tie-in involves bartender Moe, who will receive an invite to judge on the reality series.

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American Idol 9: Top 9 Results

A montage of clips from Tuesday’s performance round as the Beatles music played in the background. Such was the intro of the Top 9 results show of . Would this results show be the one to feature the judges’ save? Ryan Seacrest promised “shocking” vote tallies at the top of the episode, which was jam-packed with a mishmash of performances (with a few results thrown in).

Idol Gives Back will air in two weeks. To aid in the effort, Idol judges are donating prizes and items to raise money. Just go to the official Web site for details or to give.

The Top 9 appeared on stage to sing a medley of Beatles tunes. Lee DeWyze kicked it off beautifully. As “Here, There and Everywhere” progressed and fans screamed, I couldn’t help but feel impressed. When Andrew Garcia came out with “Got To Get You Into My Life” the number truly became fun. The wardrobe was really, really good too. Other songs featured in the medley included “Fool on the Hill,” “All You Need is Love” and “She Loves You.” It was definitely the best group performance of the season.

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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 Results

’s Top 10 results show opened with a Clash of the Titans movie tie-in. Simon Cowell, of course, was the villain, with the contestants portrayed as Titans in the opening video package. It was pretty cute, but it’s still blatant cross-promotional advertising.

Viewers were not graced with a group performance this week. To see the entire Top 10 singing together on one stage, it seems you’ll have to go to one of the summer tour shows. Though the Idols did not sing together, this particular results show was still jam-packed with stage shows, starting with one favorite AI alum.

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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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