'American Idol's sixth season Top 8 take the stage and perform live
By Christopher Rocchio, 04/11/2007
American Idol's sixth season Top Ocho performed live last night and were mentored by Jennifer Lopez while performing Latin songs.
A successful recording artist in both English and Spanish, J.Lo helped the eight remaining finalists bring the Latin heat and passion into the songs they were performing. Some of the guys impressed, one of the judges was a little harsh on a few of the girls, and two of the finalists continued to try and impress with assets other than their voices.
The following is Reality TV World's recap of the performance broadcast in the order which the eight finalists sang. Also included are comments from each of the three judges -- Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Cowell -- as well as additional information about each performance.
Wednesday night at 9PM ET -- which will be Idol's first hour-long live results show of the season -- one of the finalists will be eliminated from the reality competition series. J.Lo will also perform her single "Que Hiciste," marking the first time a guest artist will sing entirely in Spanish on the show.
Song: "Sway" Randy said: "So check it out. These genres we do every week are kind of interesting. I was waiting to see what you were going to do this week. I'm telling you, another solid performance. I don't know if it was your best, but it's another solid performance. And at the end, you kind of echoed a little Celia Cruz... I was kind of like, 'Yeah! Alright!' I kind of liked that." Paula said: "Very, very sultry. Very smooth. And it wasn't one of the performances where you had to wow us. It was kind of subtle, sexy and beautiful." Simon said: "Well it had to happen Melinda... I didn't like it. I'll tell you why. That song is all about personality, and you appeared much, much older than you are. I found it very lounge-cabaret. I thought the end was quite good, but you know at this stage I've got to tell you someone as good as you has got to come out here every week and put on a 'Wow'-factor performance, and that is not something you're going to look back on in three weeks time and remember. I thought it was a bit lazy, a little bit wooden. I think you're better than that." Additional Info: J.Lo had previously recorded a Spanish version of "Sway"... J.Lo noticed Melinda "got sultry and sexy"... Melinda said that was going to be her "biggest challenge" this week because she said she's "so not sexy"... Idol host Ryan Seacrest asked Melinda if she was worried about what Simon said, and she replied, "I'm happy because I think he really wanted to say something bad and I'm glad he got the chance."
Song: "Conga" Randy said: "What I actually love about that is you came out, you were having a good time, that's exactly what Simon said a minute ago that wasn't happening on the stage with Melinda. You were having the best time, having fun, you made it your own, you put the little runs in there like Gloria Estefan... That was hot baby! That was hot right there." Paula said: "First you look lovely, but I didn't feel it as much as Randy did. I felt it was more of a real safe Lakisha performance. Very safe (The live studio audience as well as Randy booed Paula for this comment). I thought it's now time to really bring out the very best because it's getting down to the wire here. And you're great. We all love you, but we want you to push for it." Simon said: "Do you agree with [Paula] Lakisha? (Lakisha answered, 'I don't think I wa being safe. I actually went outside my comfort zone to move a little bit because I'm always kind of here...') So the answer is no, you don't agree with her. No, obviously not. I have to say I actually do agree with Paula because it's one of those songs which is not a singer's song. It's a fun performance song. You were having fun. I'm not sure how much fun everybody at home would be though. That's the problem (Boos from the audience). It's quite a safe song to do (Randy interjected, 'She was dancing and moving though.') Yeah but the dancing wasn't very good." Additional Info: Lakisha was the first to answer a fan's question this week, and said she auditioned for Idol's sixth season "to provide a better life for me and my daughter" as well as to "share the talent with the world" that "God blessed her with"... Lakisha needed some help from J.Lo on how to pronounce "Conga" correctly, which she found "very cute"... J.Lo helped Lakisha with "movement" for the performance and told her to "ride the rhythm"... When Simon told Lakisha her dancing wasn't very good, she replied with "Thank you Simon" and Ryan said to Simon, "I'd pay to see you try and do that." Never at a loss for words, Simon replied, "I'm sure you'd pay a lot!"
Song: "Smooth" Randy said: "So check it out dog. You know what? I was wondering how you were going to do that song because Rob Thomas and [Carlos Santana], they laid it out when they did it. But you know what, you did a really good job. And I like that you found yourself at the end and did some runs with it. It was very, very good. Very good dog, very good." Paula said: "It was a hot, hot performance. What am I going to say? It was sexy!" Simon said: "I'm not going to say it's the best vocal I've ever heard because it wasn't. But I actually preferred it to [Lakisha and Melinda] because it felt more contemporary. My issue with [Lakisha and Melinda] was it was all a bit hotel-cabaret. As, as, as... whatever her name was, it was a good performance (Paula said, 'Paula.') Additional Info: Like with Lakisha, J.Lo had to help Chris correctly pronounce one of the words in his song... J.Lo noticed Chris was signing "a little low" and suggested he "try it up a half-step"... Ryan said he noticed Paula was "ascending" during Chris' performance, "on her feet moving."
Song: "Turn the Beat Around" Randy said: "Oh God... you know for me man -- just keeping it honest and real dude -- that was really karaoke for me tonight dog I'm sorry. I didn't get that one at all. I could have been anywhere. Any bar, anywhere on earth." Paula said: "Again, it's not a singer's song, it's a fun song. And I think you had fun up there." Simon said: "I think you have a very good tactic at the moment Haley: wear the least amount of clothes as possible (Of course, this brought some cat calls from the audience). Because, look I'll be honest with you, you can't do well in this competition based on your voice because there are much better singers. It's true. So all you can do is have fun. I agree with Randy, the vocals, they were so rushed towards the end. I actually couldn't understand most of what you were singing." Additional Info: J.Lo said "Turn the Beat Around" is a "hard song to sing because it's all about rhythm"... Haley thought she "totally needs a beat" during rehearsals with J.Lo -- who suggested bringing in Blake to beat-box -- causing Haley to comment, "We definitely needed the drums in there, so Blake came in and beat-boxed."... Haley ventured to the platform behind where the judges are seated during her performance... Ryan asked Haley how she wanted to respond to Simon's comments, and she answered, "I appreciate all the judges. They're here for us and I appreciate it. I had fun... it is a great song, I got the audience going."
Song: "Maria Maria" Randy said: "I don't know if it was your best performance dog. The thing for me is -- Jennifer's actually right -- you didn't quite for me connect with the passion in that song. I found myself for most of it thinking it was kind of boring, and you had little cracks at the end. You've still got a great upper-range dude, but it didn't all come together for me. I don't know. What'd you think Paula?" Paula said: "Vocally I thought -- with the exception at the end there -- it was a real good vocal. You turned out a really good vocal." Simon said: "Phil you're a nice guy and you chose a good song but I'm going to be honest with you, I found no originality in the performance. I thought it was all a bit lifeless, a bit flat. Your voice cracked towards the end. So there's nothing I can get particularly positive or excited about tonight to be honest with you. Sorry." Additional Info: During rehearsals, Phil said he was trying to sing the song and kept "glancing" at J.Lo, commenting "It's like Jennifer Lopez is sitting there watching me or something. Then I'm like, 'Wait! It is Jennifer Lopez. What am I singing?'"... J.Lo said "at the last minute" Phil gave her some "goose-pimples"... A sign in the audience read, "I'm Loco for Phil"... Ryan asked Phil if it was "tough on the voice" singing every week, to which he replied, "It get's tough on the voice." He then quickly changed the subject. "I'd like to say my daughter just got a stuffed-animal cow and she calls it Simon Cow. Isn't that cute?" Ryan answered, "She'll be scarred for life Phil."
Song: "The Rhythm is Gonna Get You" Randy said: "That was an absolute wonderful performance... absolutely great. To see somebody at 17 -- it doesn't matter what age you are -- you got it because you got it. That was the Yo-factor on blam!" Paula said: "I love just you're authentic and you're you. You don't care about anything else... you're just out there having a great time. You're adorable." Simon said: "I feel about you how I've felt all night to be honest with you... they're okay performances. There's nothing stunning (The audience began booing). Sorry. We all know Jordin you're a good singer. I haven't seen a progression thought tonight. And that's very frustrating for me (Randy commented, 'But the songs are difficult Cowell.') yeah but there were too many ad-libs in that song." Additional Info: Jordin also answered a fan's question, and said if she were choosing next week's theme she'd "probably choose 1980's music because she love it," even though she wasn't born until December 1989... J.Lo commented, "Jordin has such a sweet voice" and added her voice "reminded her of Michael Jackson when she was singing" and suggested "let the rhythm in her body move her a little bit."
Song: "I Need to Know" Randy said: "Best song choice of the night. That was a hot song choice for you and a hot performance for you dog. I liked that." Paula said: "It just captured who you are and the essence of who you are. Excellent choice. Excellent performance." Simon said: "Best choice of song of the night, best performance of the night so far." Additional Info: "I Need to Know" was originally recorded by J.Lo's husband, Marc Anthony... J.Lo said she was trying to get Blake "into the passion of the song" and thought "he's gonna do real good"... A sign in the audience read "Shake N' Blake."
Song: "Besame Mucho" Randy said: "You know what? You're one of the smartest contestants I've ever met dude. That was actually really good! It was!" Paula said: "Pretty good pitch... smooth. It was nice. It was very, very, very nice." Simon said: "Right. I couldn't understand a word of it. You sang like a 14-year-old. And I'm going to hate myself for this, it wasn't horrible (the studio audience erupts with applause)." Additional Info: Ryan referred to Sanjaya as "the embodiment of Latin passion"... All of the lyrics of "Besame Mucho" are Spanish, and J.Lo said Sanjaya "really impressed" her and added "I think Simon will be really impressed" before breaking out in laughter... Instead of styling his hair in an interesting fashion like he's done during previous performance episodes, Sanjaya had some stubble on his face... Following Simon's comments, Ryan said, "You realize how painful that was for him to say"... Ryan then poked fun at the way Sanjaya stared into the camera, commenting "Clearly unaware of the camera though too right?" Ryan than mimicked Sanjaya and stared into the camera.