"It was very tough, because she was a very good singer. She just picked some bad songs the last few times," said judge Kara DioGuardi of Grace's elimination.
"I want to have the contestant challenge their artistic integrity, mix it up. Suprise us," added judge Paula Abdul of what she wanted to see from the contestants in their Motown performances.
The following is Reality TV World's recap of the performance broadcast in the order which the finalists sang. Also included are comments from each of the four judges -- Paula, Kara, Randy JacksonSimon Cowell -- as well as additional information about each performance. Barring the use of the new The Judges' Save twist, one finalist will be eliminated at the conclusion of tonight's results show broadcast.
Matt Giraud, a 23-year-old from Ypsilanti, MI who currently resides in Kalamazoo, MI
Song: Let's Get it On" by Marvin Gaye
Jackson said: "Yo, this is what I'm really happy about tonight. This is Motown night, some of the greatest music in the history of music, the great Barry Gordie, [Smokey Robinson], But you set this off on a tone right here dude. I know there's some other guy front runners in this, but that run that you did at the end and how strong our [falsetto] is, you've come up so far in this, think you're challenging them for the top spot. Matt you worked it out baby." DioGuardi said: "I think there are a lot of girls out there going 'Yeah, let's get it on!' This is what I like about tonight, get it started on the piano, you did your thing, but you got up, and you're coming out of your shell. Because you've been shy and reserved, and you came out and did your thing. And I like some of the vocal interpretations, I think you could've pushed it more because I know you have it in there. But it was a solid performance." Abdul said: "I'm glad that you are as comfortable behind the piano as you are coming out here. You really showed a sexy, cool vibe, and where most pop artists today overdue it with ripping, yours are tasteful, classy, spot on and they fit the melody. You are respectful of the melody and it's like wearing a great pair of old, worn-in jeans. Great job." Cowell said: "I thought it was a brilliant choice of song Matt. I mean, other than the corny bit in the middle where you came up here, apart from that it was a cool performance. As Paula said, you got up from the piano. Your voice absolutely suits that kind of song, this is exactly what you should be doing. Actually Randy repeated what I said last week, you are one of the front runners now in this competition."
Additional info: Giraud used a piano for the start of his performance before stepping away from it for its second half. Robinson said that Giraud's interpretation of the song did more than justice to music and added that Gaye would have loved to hear it.
Kris Allen, a 23-year-old from Jacksonville, AR who currently resides in Conway, AR
Song: "How Sweet it is To Be Loved By You" by Marvin Gaye
DioGuardi said: "Here's the thing, you didn't do James Taylor, you didn't do Marvin Gaye, you did Kris. And the thing about this point in the competition is about artistry. How do you make a mark on that song? And you did it. You had different phrasing, you had different rhythms, you had riffs, you had dynamic, you started low, you got high, you did everything right on that performance." Abdul said: "Well Kris it's really nice seeing you come into your own, there's such a comfort level now with you onstage. You picked a great song, you're personality is infectious, technically speaking the note that you hit at the end, that's like a 'high A' or something like that. It was brilliant and I'm just really proud of you, you're growing and growing every week." Cowell said: "Kris you're having a good competition right now. I thought that was smart that you did your version of the song. I think the only thing you've got to start doing is starting to believe in yourself though, because you haven't got that kind of swagger and confidence some of the other people have. Even the way you're standing now you could be at a bus stop. Because to be a star you've got to be conceited. It's about self belief, you've got to make an impact." Jackson said: "Kris, listen dude. Once again you're very consistent. I think you've hit your zone. Just keep it in stride. You ain't doing nothing wrong, it's all good baby."
Additional info: Robinson said that Allen's rendition of the song "Blew him away." Following the performance, Allen said he "felt good" about his performance and added that he understood the comments by the judges. "You've got to have a good time, but I like to think about the 'gotta have self belief,' I appreciate that. I don't know about the conceited part."
Song: "You Can't Hurry Love" by Diana Ross and the Supremes
Abdul said: "Scott, so I think you pleased both Simon and I. I think you did bring something different by having the singers surround you at the piano it brought a whole new life to your performance. And I love the beginning, the chord changes... it really was a nice, nice choice. And when you feel it, the audience feels it too." Cowell said: "Oh dear. There was a line in the song where you sang 'How much more can you take,' I mean sorry Scott it wasn't a great version of the song. I thought your piano playing was terrible, it was all of that honky-tonk piano, it didn't sound right. The backup singers I thought were a mess with you. I actually thought it was completely the wrong song for you. It actually was a bit cheap, the whole thing to me. I actually think you're better than that as an artist. Week after week, for whatever reason, you are choosing the wrong songs. It's got nothing to do with if you're playing the piano or sit on the piano. It's about emotion choice of song and standing out as a relevant artist today. That, as a standalone performance, I've heard a million-billion times." Jackson said: "I don't agree with Simon often, but it was a very hotel kind of performance, and as you see each contestant's turning up the knob now, it's getting tougher and tougher and tougher and people are coming into their own. I think you've got to take some risks. And Simon's right, I don't think it was the right song for you because you're a better singer than that, you can challenge bigger songs. It's just, nothing great happened with it, it's just very average for me and I think you're better than that." DioGuardi said: "Here's the thing, I disagree on the song, I think you brought tempo tonight, which I wanted to see from you. Finally some tempo. But I have to say the things that I wasn't crazy about is you did take liberties with the melody, and when you take liberties with the melody with that kind of song you have to nail it because it's classic. So you had some good ideas, but the execution was not perfect, That was my problem with tonight's performance.But the song, give it some rhythm Scott, I like it."
Additional info: Prior to his performance, MacIntyre said that while he wanted to take risks with his performances, he did not plan on abandoning his piano any time soon. "It's part of who I am as an artist. I'm a singer/songwriter and that's what I want to do after this as well. I have to be true to myself," he said.
Megan Joy Corkrey, a 23-year-old from Taylorsville, UT who currently resides in Sandy, UT
Song: "For Once In My Life" by Stevie Wonder
Jackson said: "You know I got mad love for you right? And I like the outfit, the ensemble is jumping off. But dude, that song was a train wreck for me man. I'm telling you it's bizarre, it's just that type of a song that fast doesn't really fit what you do with the whole jazzy thing. You needed to slow it back a little bit so you could get the vibrato just to last, because it was so rushed and hectic and mad crazy. I don't know dude, I didn't feel that one." DioGuardi said: "Randy, it's true you know. 'My Guy,' that's more you. This was all over the place, you hit bad notes all over the place, the phrasing was weird, the rhythms. The song, it took you over, you weren't dominating the song, the song was dominating you and that's not the Megan that I am used to." Abdul said: "I'm gonna tell you this, you're stunning beauty just takes my breath away, and the camera loves you. But I'm gonna have to agree this was not the right song for you. At the beginning I thought maybe you had to raise the key because it was too low, but at the end I thought it was too high for you. It was just very confusing and I don't feel you've found the pocket and you weren't as comfortable as you normally are." Cowell said: "Oh dear. Oh dear, dear, dear. The good news is you look good, the bad news is it was horrible, and whoever is advising you I would fire, seriously, because you're getting some really, really terrible advice. It was an atrocious song, it was a horrible arrangement, the vocals were just all over the place, and you know what? I think you could be in serious trouble after tonight's performance Megan. I really hate to say that but I think you could be. Sorry."
Additional info: Following the performance, Corkrey didn't express any regret over her song choice and hoped that her fans would help pull her through to the next round. "I love that song and I had a good time and my fans are still there, so give a call guys," she said.
Song: "Oh Baby Baby" by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles
DioGuardisaid: "[That] has to be one of the most beautiful songs ever written, and probably one of the hardest songs to sing because it goes from being in your chest to your head. And there were moments in your chest that I really connected to it. There were also falsetto points where you really hit it on, but a few you didn't. But overall I can tell you that was pretty hard to do and I think you did a pretty good job. And what you're really showing people is that you can sing, you have a skill set, you really do, and I'm just now seeing it in the last two weeks what you're capable of doing and I want you to push it more and be a little bit more creative with how you change up the melodies, because that's what you're going to need to show us in the weeks coming up." Abdul said: "I can't even imagine singing on that stage when there are two legends sitting in the audience, that's tough to do... But Anoop, you have a newfound confidence but I want to see more confidence. But I gotta say your phrasing, your delivery and your falsetto for the most part is not only spot on, it's sweet, it's tender, and you're just doing a great job." Cowell said: "It was a great vocal, I think you looked as if you were half asleep though throughout the song. I think its one thing to be serious and another thing to be a bit boring, and it was a little bit like someone singing it in a musical and the point of this show is that you've got to find that balance because you've got to become a recording artist at the end of it, so it's showmanship. But you've had two good weeks in a row now, you're up there." Jackson said: "And Anoop, what I would do, when you sat down at the edge of the stage I thought 'There's the serious 'Anoop dog.' What I would do next week is turn it back up, give me that energy with the great vocals now because I see you more like that as opposed to just the balladeer guy. But it was nice to hear you croon and swoon a little. The falsetto was a little pitchy here and there as the guys and girls said, but dude turn it up next week, bring it on baby, get the party on!"
Additional info: When asked to compare Desai to the other male performers in the competition, Jackson said that he was "doing his thing" and riding two strong consecutive performances and "was up there."
Abdul said: "Well, um for me this was a tough performance because it kind of felt a little old Las Vegas lounge-y for me, the way you were working the microphone... Here's the thing though, honestly, you need to really be dominating that song and driving it and not let the reverse happen. Some of the notes that you were trying to slide up, the A notes, they weren't always reaching. I'm sorry Michael, I love you though. I love you very much." Cowell said: "Let me make this a little bit more easy, it was, actually I couldn't wait for it to end because you were actually screaming and shouting the song. And here's the problem with you right now... you are taking part in this competition, you have no chance of winning it, based on that type of vocals. You don't, it's a reality. It's no point... hoping that it's good enough. Once again, in the real world it's just not good enough. That's the truth, and you've really got to forget all this nonsense about domination, or whatever she was saying, it's just about choosing your song, finding what's gonna suit you and try and be as good as everybody else. but that was below par." Jackson said: "And by the way, here's the problem with the song. It's an unbelievable song... but I think the song was just a little too big for you, because where you have some R&B chops you're not like an R&B kinda dude, so to have the whole kinda vibe to pull that off is not just about singing a bunch of runs. You made it a little bit corny because you tried to do too much with it. It's a great melody and all of that, it was just not the right song choice, it just wasn't a great performance of it, that's all." DioGuardi said: "Michael at this point in the competition it's not about singing, it's about artistry. I think what we're looking for is an artist, and that's somebody who interprets it in their own way and makes it their own. And beyond what everyone is saying, in the future when you leave here or you stay here, the next week you gotta bring that. That's what we need from you. Who are you as an artist? What can you do that's different to that song that makes us go 'Now that is hot.' That's what I didn't feel this week.
Additional info: Sarver missed out on the trip to Detroit because he was sick, but was visited in L.A. by Robinson to help mentor him with his song. Following Cowell's comments, Sarver said he agreed with the comments and knew that it was going to be a sub-par performance before he got onstage, but maintained that he "didn't give any less than 110% tonight."
Jackson said: "This song for me for you, like you got mad crazy vocals. You got a big ol' voice. By the time you hit the end of the song it was cool. But the front of the song was really a little bit tortured for me, Like you've got unbelievable vocals, it just wasn't the right kind of song for me for you. I felt like you were rushing through the whole song because there were so many words, and when you have the big voice, like we said to someone earlier, you need a little bit more space in the bars. Up tempo things are a little bit different for someone with a big voice because you wanna feel that. So it wasn't the best performance for me for you." DioGuardi said: "Yeah, Lil, you know you look great you really do. It's a beautiful dress, you're a beautiful girl. But I gotta say you were the diva tonight that everyone was waiting to hear, I mean this is your week, if you don't nail this week, hmm. I don't know, and I gotta tell you I don't think it was the right song... Here's the thing, you've got this voice that, if you'd had melodies that breathed more you could've interpreted more, and you didn't. You stayed kinda true to what the song was and we need more from you right now. And it was screaming at certain parts and I don't every wanna hear you screaming. You're an effortless singer, and I didn't get that from you." Abdul said: "I disagree completely with these two. I do agree with the fact that you look unbelievable, you're a throwback to classic Motown mixed with couture chique. It's amazing because you didn't change anything musically, but it's what you do vocally that feels fresh and like I heard a classic song for the very first time, and I think you owned that song." Cowell said: "Look Lil, we could all see in the film, understandably, why you got emotional and how much this all means to you. I think what you did tonight was a kind of authentic tribute to the sound of Motown. However, I wouldn't have chosen that song, because I don't believe it gives you a moment. and I agree with Randy it sounded like it was going too fast. If you'd chosen something like 'I Heard It Through The Grapevine' and had done something credible you could have had a moment tonight... It was authentic, but you are, let me remind everybody, one of the bet singers we've got in this competition. So all we want, I'm dying for you to do what you did a few weeks ago where you just blow everybody away. You just can't do it with a song like that one."
Additional info: Robinson complimented Rounds, saying that she was "one of those singers who could sing the phonebook." Following the judge's comments, Rounds accepted the comments as constructed criticism and said that she needed to find a slower song that still showcased her vocals for future performances.
Adam Lambert, a 26-year-old from San Diego, CA who currently resides in Los Angeles, CA
Song: "Tracks Of My Tears" by Smokey Robinson
DioGuardi said: "I got six words for you: 'One of the best performances of the night.' You showed artistry on that stage. Awesome." Abdul said: "Adam, what I love so much about this season is that someone like you comes along that is completely in his own league and you have that gut and instinct to have that element of surprise. And by the way I did take a good look at your face and I do love the clean look, no nail polish tonight, the hair, the pants are very handsome and classy. I just think that it's amazing to me how there's an element of surprise, but it's just an extension of who you are as an artist. And that's what makes it so exciting, and you are exciting! You are it!" Cowell said: "Well Adam I'm gonna disagree with Kara because it was THE best performance of the night. You're just able to sum up everything we were trying to say tonight about originality, choosing a great song, being a relevant recording artist, and it also shows what a brilliant songwriter [Smokey Robinson] is because this song sounds as good today as it did thirty years ago or whenever it was. You tonight really have emerged to me as a star. Congratulations. Jackson said: "From Day 1, I will say I saw you and was like 'This guy has the range, he can do anything,' and tonight you showed that you're not just a cool indy-kinda-cool-rocker or whatever, you can pull it down, you can straighten it up. You got the suit on, and you sang such tender moments still using your falsetto and everything that's in your arsenal. Unbelievably hot, the bomb tonight."
Additional info: Lambert admitted to being "really scared" when meeting with Robinson. However, Robinson said he was very proud of Lambert's "tender sweet and soft" interpretation of his song. Following Lambert's performance, Robinson was quick to his feet to give a standing ovation to the performance.
Abdul said: "You are undeniable, you're identifiable, you're always reliable on giving us a first class performance every week." Cowell said: "I'm also gonna keep it quick. We know you're a good singer but I think that was clumsy and amateur." Jackson said: "You remind me of the great Levi Stubbs, all of thee great singers. Let me tell you something, you got definitely a dope voice, it wasn't your best performance but I love the energy and just the feeling of it." DioGuardi said: "I loved your personality tonight. I thought it was good, not great but I'm still a huge Danny fan."
Additional info: Robinson suggested that Gokey sing the background singer's part as well during their rehearsals together. However, while he told Robinson that he would for the performance Gokey didn't heed the advice and let the background singers sing the part instead.
Allison Iraheta, a 16-year-old from Los Angeles, CA who currently resides in Downey, CA
Song: "Papa Was A Rolling Stone" by The Temptations
Jackson said: "You might be 16 but you're one of the dopest singers in this whole thing this season, that was blazin' hot." DioGuardi said: "Oh my God! At 16-years-old and you were in the Bottom 3 last week!? What?! America you've got to vote for her, are you kidding?! Amazing, you sing like you've been singing for 400 years. That is from God, you can't teach that!" Abdul said: "You look fantastic, you kept your rocker edge, and I just wanna say you are awesome, you belong in the competition. You are amazing. Beautiful." Cowell said: "Allison you are a survivor. You had a terrible week last week, a very difficult song to do and that was really one of your best performances. Very good."
Additional info: Abdul and Cowell laughed their way through each of their comments after Cowell drew a moustache on Abdul's face that she couldn't get off before her time to comment.