'American Idol's sixth season Top 4 take the stage and perform
By Christopher Rocchio, 05/09/2007
American Idol's sixth season Top 4 took the stage last night and performed disco tunes from the 1970s while being mentored by Bee Gees' singer Barry Gibb.
Last night's live performance episode was the first time the remaining Idol finalists each performed two songs -- and it was a good thing they did -- as they all struggled with the genre and needed the additional opportunity to showcase why they're still in the competition.
The following is Reality TV World's recap of the performance broadcast in the order which the four finalists sang. Also included are comments from each of the three judges -- Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell -- as well as additional information about each performance.
Song: "Love You Inside and Out" Randy said: "Melinda... so check it out. This is going to be an interesting night because I'm looking to see who's really in it to win it at this point. It was another solid performance. I mean, I don't know if I was jumping up and down but it was good." Paula said: "You know it's hard to critique you Melinda because your vocals are always spot on. So now it's almost like... What we're looking for is something that you're going to wow us and make us go, 'Whoa, whoa, whoa. What did she just do?' And that might be song choice, that might be your styling, I don't know. But your vocals are great and that's consistent... Thank God." Simon said: "Melinda I think what Paula was attempting to say was that she wasn't that impressed by it. I... you know, four people are left. I expect incredible tonight. That was not incredible. Actually, I'll tell you what that was, that was more of a backing vocalists performance. It wasn't what I call... (boos from the studio audience) Sorry! There's nothing wrong with backing vocals but it wasn't a star's performance. You are better than that, and luckily you've got a second song. I want to see better than that." Additional Info: Barry said Melinda's song choice was "little confusing" and "unusual" because it was originally a falsetto song... Melinda said her goal was to take the song -- which was originally performed by a group -- and turn it into a solo... Idol host Ryan Seacrest asked Paula if Simon was correct in summing up what she was trying to say. She answered, "It's a good thing that I say it very short and succinct..."
Song: "Should Be Dancing" Randy said: "You know what's really interesting is that sometimes when you do the beat-boxing, it works. Tonight for me dog, it really didn't work. That song didn't need none of that. It actually... (lots of boos from the audience) To be honest with you! Just keeping it very real! It actually made it very corny for me. I felt like I was at some weird discotech in some foreign country (more boos)." Paula said: "I have a different take on it. I think that it started a little shaky. You're melody... the pitch was a little off and I actually think your beat-boxing... you show true musicianship. Nobody can do what you do and that's great. You didn't have the best night with that song, but you did show why you're unique and why you're on that stage." Simon said: "I'll give you unique. And I know this is a matter of personal taste, but I thought it was absolutely terrible that performance (boos). Sorry!" Additional Info: A sign in the audience behind where Blake's family and friends were seated read "We Love the Lights"... former Idol 6 finalist Haley Scarnato could be seen in the audience during Blake's performance... If you didn't know by now, Blake beat-boxed throughout his performance... Barry called "Should Be Dancing" the "dance anthem of the late 1970s"... Blake called Barry one of the "pioneers of dance music"... Barry thought Blake's beat-boxing suits the song because there is a breakdown in it.
Song: "Staying Alive" Randy said: "Once again, what seems to be a theme starting tonight... It's a good thing you guys get two songs. Lakisha that was weird for me because these songs are great melodies. They don't really need to be changed that much. I know you were trying to make it your own, but baby it wasn't working man. All of the stopping and starting with the melody (boos). You tried to do too much with it. There was too much going on." Paula said: "It's always good to gauge the audience, and everyone is on their feet, but you taking the tempo down... (Simon interjects about the audience, 'They're heading for the exits.') They're not heading for the exits Simon! But taking the tempo down took everybody ready to be dancing and then it kind of brought the mood down a little bit. So what? We love you." Simon said: "Well Lakisha... no kiss tonight baby (boos). You know what? We're back to the shouting again. You know you were out of your comfort zone, the performance was verging on scary in parts. As Paula said, you've got two songs, you've got to bring it back on the second song. Not great tonight so far." Additional Info: Barry said Lakisha's song choice "presents challenges" because it's a high-falsetto song, but added he was looking forward to her performing it with the band. "I think that will be amazing," he said... Following Simon's comments, Ryan said, "Simon not the type that calls back on first dates just to see how you're doing."... A sign in the audience read "Can't Decide" and had all of the Top 4 finalists' names written on it with question marks.
Song: "To Love Somebody" Randy said: "This has been kind of a rough night for me so far. But I'll tell you what, that's probably the best vocal so far because I like that you did a whole kind of [Mariah Carey], almost like [Aretha Franklin] kind of throwback vibe on it. Very nice, very controlled... Jordin so far you're winning baby. Tonight so far you're winning!" Paula said: "You look so beautiful. And it's not sort of, kind of the best vocal... It is the best vocal so far tonight." Simon said: "Best song choice, best performance so far. We're back in the competition." Additional Info: Jordin was the first to answer a fan's question during the broadcast and revealed Idol has taught her, "I can handle a lot more than I thought I could," adding she's taking three-hours of classes daily, with A's and B's as grades... Barry said it was "hard" to imagine a girl singing "To Love Somebody"... Jordin wanted to show the "feeling" in the song... Barry said he's heard hundreds of people sing "To Love Somebody," but none of them "greater" than Jordin.
Song: "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart" Randy said: "Alright so check it out. Second song, much better. Great song, great vocal, beautiful ending. You're our resident pro. You know you got it going on... come on!" Paula said: "No doubt a beautiful vocal. You're a throwback to Stephanie Mills (Randy agreed with this). But also remember that vocals sometimes isn't all... I would love for you to just throw all your technique away and just surprise us because we know that you're the most brilliant technician. I'm just waiting for that... I'm waiting for it." Simon said: "Melinda you don't understand a word of that do you? So you don't? Because I didn't. I think the second half of that song has put you into the semifinals." Additional Info: A sign in the audience read "Disco Doolittle"... Melinda also answered a fan's question, and revealed the first album she purchased, "It was definitely a tape because I'm a little older. It was Michael Jackson's 'Bad.' My mom crossed it out and put 'Good.'"... Barry couldn't find any criticism with Melinda's performance, except Idol producers wouldn't let her sing the whole song... Melinda changed the lyric "How can a loser ever win?" because as she put it, "I'm very careful not to sing about being a loser on American Idol." Barry approved, "If I were her I'd probably want to leave that line out too."
Song: "This Is Where I Came In" Randy said: "Check it out dog. Check it out, check it out. I do definitely think this was better than the last one. I'm still not jumping up and down. Just remember you ain't gotta beat-box on every joint dude. You don't have to do it. We know you can do it. It's okay to sing it. I like the little reggae spin you put on it... but I don't know." Paula said: "But if he can [beat-box on every song], he can (Randy comments, 'Yeah but he ain't got to do it on every song. It gets old.'). There ain't nothing old about Blake. Blake you are the contemporary rebel in this competition (cheers). I also want to tell you this, I don't know that song, but I think I enjoyed you singing it and it could be a contemporary song. That's another thing, it's hard if you don't know the song. But I enjoyed it and you sang spot-on key, so way to go." Simon said: "Okay Blake I'm going to be honest with you, I don't know what that song was. I found it completely tuneless. I don't know way you chose it. I don't think you've had a good night tonight... I really don't (boos). You've got a lot of young support, which is good, but I can't say these have been good performances, because they haven't. And that was a really weird, bizarre choice of song." Additional Info: Barry described Blake's song choice as "obscure" and added it was a "bit of a shock"... Blake said he wanted to put "something contemporary" to it... Barry thought the song had been "waiting for its time" and said Blake could have a hit with it... a sign in the audience read "Washington (hearts) Blake"... Another read "Blake is Staying Alive."... Blake beat-boxed during the performance, but not as much as he did during his first song.
Song: "Run to Me" Randy said: "I know you got a little hoarse at the end but it was much better than the first joint that you did tonight. So good looking out. That was good, that was good." Paula said: "Do not beat yourself over that -- not at all my dear -- you're still a champ." Simon said: ":Lakisha we haven't got much time it was better than the first song but still wasn't great. I think you and Blake are vulnerable tonight." Additional Info: A sign in the audience read "We Believe in Lakisha"... Judge Judith Sheindlin -- star of the syndicated judicial show Judge Judy -- was in the studio audience. Prior to Lakisha's performance, she said she and Simon were "separated at birth."... Barry thought Lakisha's second song choice was "very interesting"... Lakisha said she picked it because it's a "beautiful ballad"... Barry hoped Lakisha would "rise to" the challenge of performing it.
Song: "Woman in Love" Randy said: "I don't think it was your best performance. It was pitchy kind of all the way through, Paula and I were sitting here like... (boos) It's a tough song, though. It's a really, really hard song to sing. But you know what was really cool tonight Paula? We've got to give props to Barry Gibb. He has some hot songs they're performing up her." Paula said: "Amazing songs, amazing songs. Alright Jordin. You are absolutely beautiful. It wasn't... it was not... You know my dear. I love you anyway." Simon said: "I love the song. I've got to be honest with you. I thought it was old-fashioned and actually very pageanty, from your dress, from your arrangement (boos). Sorry! You're 17 Jordin aren't you?!" Additional Info: A sign in the audience read "Jordin Sparks Hits the Mark Every Time"... Barry said Jordin's version of "Woman in Love" was a "little different" than the Barbra Streisand version, but said "it's subject to different people's interpretations"... Barry said Jordin has a chance to be "one of our greatest recording artists."
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