Wednesday, April 2, 2008

APRIL 2, 2008

The Top 9 took on the songs of Dolly Parton last night on American Idol. Following the show's typical guest-star format, each performance was preceded by footage of the contestant rehearsing with Dolly interwoven with interview bits.

Brooke White was up first and took the stage with a guitar and some accompanying musicians to perform "Jolene." Paula Abdul said Brooke has "an emotional connection with the songs," but Simon Cowell disagreed, saying, "I think what was lacking was any emotion."

Next up was rocker David Cook, who did his own arrangement of "Little Sparrow." Dolly said his voice is "absolutely beautiful," and the judges seemed to agree. Randy Jackson was the most enthusiastic, calling it "another hot, consistent performance."

Ramiele Mulabay performed "Do I Ever Cross Your Mind." Randy rated it a six-and-a-half out of 10, but Simon said, "We're not going to remember this in 10 years."

Heartthrob Jason Castro covered Dolly's "Travelin' Through" accompanied just by his guitar. In her taped interview, Dolly said, "I though he went a little outside himself," and Paula agreed, calling it "one of your strongest performances." But Simon, who was sour on most of the night's songs, said, "I didn't like that at all."

Irish transplant Carly Smithson took on the Barry Mann-Cynthia Weil composition "Here You Come Again." Dolly loved it, saying, "She killed it, I thought." Randy and Paula agreed, as did Simon -- but he saved his criticism for Carly's clothing choices, suggesting she talk to "whoever is dressing you."

17-year-old David Archuleta turned in the performance of the night with his rendition of "Smoky Mountain Memories." Dolly said, "I could feel he was so into it." Simon paid a rare compliment, saying David was "absolutely on the money."

Kristy Lee Cook came on stage barefoot and sang "The Coat of Many Colors." Paula called it "your best performance," but Simon said it was "pleasant but forgettable."

Syesha Mercado took on what Randy said was the "biggest tiger of the night," "I Will Always Love You." Both Randy and Simon felt that it fell short of the mark Whitney Houston set with her chart-topping cover of the song.

The evening wound down with Michael Johns doing "It's All Wrong, but It's All Right." Johns told Dolly his first concert was one of her shows in 1986 and that he was a huge fan. His performance reflected that -- Randy said, "You keep on bringing it up a notch every week."

So here's the official prediction...
Bottom Three: Brooke White, Ramiele Malubay, and Kristy Lee Cook
Out: Tough call... Ramiele Malubay

It wasn't much of a surprise that the Dancing With the Stars competitors bid "Gutte"-bye to actor Steve Guttenberg and partner Anna Trebunskaya during last night's elimination. The judges did see fit to invite him back for the encore dance, but not with Anna. Due to illness, she was unable to rehearse and her husband, professional Jonathan Roberts, took over teaching Steve the tango. It was that pair who performed what the judges called the "mango."

Kylie Minogue and the Alvin Ailey Dancers took over the performances during tonight's show while the celebs and their partners prep for next week's round of competition.

Recently, Billy Crystal celebrated his 60th birthday by playing a game with the New York Yankees-- his favorite baseball team. He called it his "dream day".

So what would you do on your dream day?

I said I'd like to work on a TV show-- maybe do Ryan Seacrest's job... or work for ESPN. Even being able to follow the President for a day would be neat.

We heard from you... everything from having one more day with loved ones who have passed away, to opening a much needed animal sanctuary in Kern County.