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"American Idol": The Top Six Rock Me (Gently)

"American Idol": The Top Six Rock Me (Gently)

With no rockers left in this year's "American Idol" crew, I expected Bon Jovi night to be a bust — especially once I learned that everyone had to pick Bon Jovi songs, many of which have been ruined forever for me by too many nights of awful karaoke. Surprisingly, though, I thought this was one of the better all-around performance nights on "Idol" this season, even if the rocking was mostly mild. I don't forsee any of these kids having a sparkling alt-rock career, but it was fun to watch them try.

Two quick "Idol Gives Back" notes: The event has now raised $70 million, and George and Laura Bush popped in via pre-taped message to thank everyone for their generosity.

Now, onto the RAWK! Don't forget to cast your vote for which two singers are going home, and to hear my take on the night,

Phil Stacey: Phil said he was the kind of kid who sang "Blaze of Glory" into his comb in front of the mirror. Why he needed the comb in the first place remains an open question. He gave the song a little country twang for "Idol," which was a good call, and Randy and Paula both thought it was great. I didn't think it was Phil's best performance (though it was also far from his worst), and his consistent position near the bottom of the voting plus drawing the unlucky first performance spot on Tuesday might mean he's going home this week; I agree with Simon that he didn't do well enough to get another chance.

Jordin Sparks (at right): Well, it had to happen sometime — Jordin was really not very good this week. It could be her age finally showing through, because she seemed like a little girl playing rocker dress-up, from the big Diana Ross hair with red streaks to her out-of-tune "Living on a Prayer" that did absolutely nothing to show off her voice. She got points with me, though, for admitting that she knew the performance hadn't been good and confessing that rock week was hard for her. Simon called her shrieky and accused her of oversinging, but I thought she actually should have done more with the song.

LaKisha Jones: LaKisha picked "This Ain't a Love Song," which Jon Bon Jovi called a soul singer's rock song. I thought the first half was a snoozer, but in the final chorus she actually started strutting around the stage and showing some personality and really performing, which she hadn't done for a while. It made me remember why I liked LaKisha way back when. Simon told LaKisha he could kiss her after that performance, and then he ... did. On the lips. And then kept absently rubbing the bits of her lipstick off his lips. Nice.

Blake Lewis (at left): Dude, Blake went brunette! Jon Bon Jovi was not sold on Blake's beatboxing rendition of "You Give Love a Bad Name," but I thought it was totally awesome. Sure, it was risky, and a lot of people might feel it's messing with a classic, but if you don't take risks with that song, you remind people of that time they had one too many mai tais at the karaoke bar, you know? At least his version sounded fresh and fun, and I'm glad he showcased his beatboxing after several weeks without it. Somewhat shockingly, the judges all praised him — even Simon, who said his willingness to take chances is what will bring him back next week.

Chris Richardson: He was not at all amused by Seacrest introducing him as Justin Timberlake, was he? Then he totally flubbed his answer to one of those stupid audience questions. Dude, grow a sense of humor. Anyway, he seemed comfortable singing "Wanted Dead or Alive," and though his boy-band bouncy-dancing bugged me during the performance, he didn't sound so bad when I closed my eyes. The judges said vaguely nice but not enthusiastic things that essentially amounted to "too little, too late."

Melinda Doolittle (at right): Her "I'm so not a rocker" speech was adorable, flubbed "rock on!" sign and all. Then she came out singing "Have a Nice Day" by strutting all over the stage, dancing with the guitarist, and, dare I say, totally rocking. It occurs to me that she's truly a student of music, altering her style and performance to each week's theme, but not in a fakey way. It was great to see her showing more attitude, too.

Who should be in the bottom three: Based only on tonight, it should be Chris, Phil and Jordin

Who will be in the bottom three: Based on both last week and this week, it will be Chris, Phil and LaKisha

Who's going home: Chris and Phil (in, uh, a "Blaze of Glory")

Photos courtesy of Fox

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HeatherStJoeMI HeatherStJoeMI 9 years
I knew when they called Chris and Blake down who was GOING HOME !!!!! I like the Final 4 on Idol this year.
sellmecandies sellmecandies 9 years
i love blake! =D
danni711 danni711 9 years
Bon Jovi was sooo great. i can't wait to see his sexiness again tonight! LOVED Blake's "Shot' version too.
UTgirl UTgirl 9 years
I love Blake and hope he takes it all!
Sweet-Adeline Sweet-Adeline 9 years
Bon Jovi was the best part of the show. I so enjoyed his comments about his music and how the contestants should stretch to belt out his hits.
miss-britt miss-britt 9 years
Blake just gain a new fan from me. I thought his risk was great, i loved every minute of it. Phil and Chris will probably go home. ****"Everything in life is only for now."-Avenue Q****
Justinsbelle Justinsbelle 9 years
My bottome 3: Lakisha, Phil, & Jordin. Going home: Phil & Lakisha. Chris must stay! :) I did not like Blake last night. He bothered me. To me he is very cheesy~ "If sexy never left, then why's everybody on my shit?"
lemuse20 lemuse20 9 years
Last night was an off-night for Jordin. I'm still rootin for her though. I missed Phil's performance, but I heard that it was good, good enough to record. I actually liked Blake's remix. When Melinda sang, I got so annoyed and felt like throwing my shoe at the TV. Her voice gets to me, it almost sounds like at some point that she has a frog in her throat, but I guess some people like that kinda sound. *shudder*
rainonme224 rainonme224 9 years
I think Chris will definitely be going home, I'm not sure about the 2nd person but I'm leaning towards LaKisha going home. I thought Jordin was horrible, and Chris was just boring. I used to be a Chris fan but lately he's been boring me with his performances. Blake was awesome! I hate his hair now but I thought he did an amazing job. I'm not a Melinda fan so I really don't think she did that great. Phil was ok but he'll be in the bottom 3.
nikkipez nikkipez 9 years
loved blake last night...doolittle was good as usual, too
swimkari swimkari 9 years
I think since the votes are being combined with last week's votes, it'll be Chris and LaKisha going home tonight. Phil will probably join them in the bottom three, although Jordin deserves to after her performance last night. I think Phil is really coming into his element, and it'd be a shame to see him go, whereas Chris is not getting any better and LaKisha has been going downhill steadily (with the exception of last night). For sure Chris is out, though. Blake was OUTSTANDING last night!
Bonfire Bonfire 9 years
At first I thought it was the cutest thing ever when Simon told Lakisha he could kiss her and then Ryan led her down to do just that! The whole thing was ruined by the way he then proceeded to rub any lipstick off so exaggeratedly and Ryan saying he was looking forward to Simon watching back the footage. Totally rude. I thought Blake was awesome! I hope that brown hair washes off in the sink today though and he is back to blonde tonight!
KristineEL KristineEL 9 years
Don't feel bad; I missed it too somehow.
crispet1 crispet1 9 years
How did I miss the reference to JT? I must have zoned out when Ryan said this.
kristyrk kristyrk 9 years
Chris came off to me as a total A-Hole last night and was not amused with the JT reference. If he doesn't want to be compared to him, he probably shouldn't continue to copy him. What got him through to the top 24 in the first place is that the judges said he reminded them of Justin. What a jerk.
Mrgan Mrgan 9 years
As a major Bon Jovi fan I HATED what Blake did to his version of "You Give Love A Bad Name"..I think it is time for him to go bye bye..And is it just me or does he look like a munchkin from The Wizard of Oz just stick a lollipop in his hand and have him sing The Lollipop league..Chris had nerve doing wanted Dead or Alive when Chris Daughtry totally rocked that song last season..Even though this week was not a good one for Jordin I still want her to win it all..This week I hope we see the last of Chris and Blake..
Maggie-Mae Maggie-Mae 9 years
GOOD summary! I think that Jordin is going home- I love her but really she picked the wrong song last night. Chris will go too I am betting. I LOVED Blake's song- if we could download it from itunes I would play it alll the time. it was AWESOME
RCLdesigngirl RCLdesigngirl 9 years
My picks for the bottom 3 are exactly the same...I've wanted Chris to go home for weeks now! I really feel like as far a singing goes, the competition should come down to Lakisha and Melinda. But we'll see.
workinggirl83 workinggirl83 9 years
I agree with yiddidea, I think country fans will vote for Phil and his version of the Bon Jovi song. Chris and Lakeisha(I'll miss her) are gone.
crispet1 crispet1 9 years
Nice recap, always! I agree with what you said about each contestant. And LMAO to the fact that Phil never had a reason to sing in front of the mirror with a comb! Blake and Melinda were awesome last night!
cravinsugar cravinsugar 9 years
Great recap buzz, but I didn't think Jordin was as bad as all that, just the low notes. and, I think because vote for the worst.com is backing phil, he won't go home tonight and it will be chris and lakisha. _________________________________________________________ Why don't you wear the face you have when I am not around?
yiddidea yiddidea 9 years
Chris is probably going home, but I think it is a toss up between Phil and Lakisha. I thought Phil did a great job last night and Bon Jovi fans would have loved his rendition. As for Blake, thank GOD he is back. I absolutely loved what he did last night and think he could have a #1 Hit with that version of "You Give Love a Bad Name".
Linda-McP Linda-McP 9 years
Great recap, Buzz! I agree that Chris is going home, but I'm not sure that Phil is. Since the votes are being combined, Lakisha could be in trouble even though her performance last night was stronger than it has been in awhile. Jordin earned point with me as well; she accepted the criticism with class.
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