Wednesday, April 16, 2008

APRIL 16, 2008

Congratulations to Kendra Cowart, the winner of our Keys To The Concert contest... She'll be sitting thiiiis close to Elton in the front row on Friday night at the Rabobank Arena!

Remember, tickets are still on sale at!

Frontrunner David Archuleta opened the night in a simple T-shirt for a soft melodic take on Carey's "When You Believe." Randy Jackson said, "Dude you can sing anything. That was the bomb." Paula Abdul said, "You made Mariah proud." Simon Cowell said, "I thought it was very, very good. You have set the benchmark."

Irish favorite Carly Smithson donned black for a heart-tugging rendition of "Without You." Randy said, "I liked that you challenged yourself. You have to believe and trust in yourself. It was pretty good. Paula said, "I actually like that you shared some vocal restraint." Simon said, "I really wanted you to sing this song. I don't think you pulled it off."

Resident diva Syesha Mercado wore gleaming gold for a strong take on "Vanishing." Randy said, "You did a good job on it all things considered." Paula said it was "unbelievably magical for you." Simon said, "Technically it was very good. I am not sure I would have chosen a song though that not many people know."

Brooke White was at the piano for a stripped-down take on "Hero." Randy said, "I was really digging it till the bridge." Paula said, "I think this unplugged version was a very brave thing to do, and you sounded really good." Simon said, "It was like ordering a hamburger and only getting the bun. The vital ingredient was missing."

Country-leaning Kristy Lee Cook did "Forever," starting softly and building to a big finish. Randy said, "I didn't think it was amazing, but I gotta tell you, that stepped up at the end." Paula said, "It wasn't just the end. You have this all worked out. Kristy Lee Cook, I am blown away. You could have a hit with that in country-western." Simon said, "You didn't give me chills. You managed with what you could."

David Cook, known for his daring non-traditional takes on songs, did a cool smoky rendition of "Always Be My Baby" that spiraled up into a big finish. Randy said, "You are ready to make an album. I thought that was the most brilliant performance yet." Paula gushed, "That's pretty awesome. That could be in a movie soundtrack right now." Simon agreed, "It was like coming out of karaoke hell into a breath of fresh air. It was original, it was daring, and stood out by a mile."

Dreadlocked Jason Castro left his guitar at home for a down-tempo bongo-heavy take on "I Don't Wanna Cry." Randy said, "I didn't love that -- weird beach luau." Paula said, "I would love to be at that luau. You are in that zone." Simon said, "I am going to have to agree with Paula. Not the best vocal, but it was identified with you."

Here's the official elimination prediction...
Bottom 3: Syesha, Brooke, Carly
OUT: Carly

We were right!

Priscilla Presley's ambitious split at the end of her rumba Monday on Dancing With the Stars wasn't enough her as she and her partner Louis Van Amstel were eliminated last night. Though disappointed, Priscilla said the experience was "life-changing." Christian de la Fuente and his partner Cheryl Burke, who were in the bottom two, will need to step up their game as the group gets smaller and the judges get tougher. Kristi Yamaguchi, who continued her reign at the top of the leader board, got to do an encore of her nearly flawless rumba. Other highlights of the night included a rousing performance by Grammy winners Ozomatli and pop singer James Blunt, who sang his latest single, "Carry You Home."