March 31st, 2009
08:40 PM ET

Top 9: Allison Iraheta leaves us with No Doubt

What is up with this show and big, audacious hair accessories?

Allison Iraheta

Allison had some God-awful thing in her hair tonight that reminded me of the monstrosity Carrie Underwood sported two weeks ago.

She sang "Don't Speak" by No Doubt, and I was so distracted by her baby Cyndi Lauper outfit that I didn't really totally grasp the performance.

Part of me thinks it was a little rough. I liked that she played the guitar a little bit, but it wasn't her strongest performance. She can sing, and I really wanted to see something other than her hair accessory shine.

Am I wrong?

–Lisa Respers France, writer

Filed under: Uncategorized
March 31st, 2009
08:33 PM ET

Top 9: Danny Gokey is a little rascal

Nashville, were you listening?

Danny Gokey

Danny Gokey was all over Rascal Flatts' "What Hurts the Most."

That's the Danny we fell in love with during the auditions. All raspy-voiced emotion, wringing so much feeling out of every note without overdoing it.

It was the right song, right time and right place. He needs to kiss whoever placed him in the line up after Megan.

–Lisa Respers France, writer

Filed under: Uncategorized
March 31st, 2009
08:23 PM ET

Top 9: Megan Joy turns the lights down low

Megan why?!?!?

Megan Corkrey

She chose the Bob Marley/Lauryn Hill version of "Turn Your Lights Down Low." I wanted to shut them completely off and hide under the covers.

It was wrong on so many levels that I don't even have time here to list all of the issues.

Simon said it was "indulgent," his word du jour when he hates it.

Megan thinks the audience and her fans were "feeling it."  I don't think so.

–Lisa Respers France, writer

Filed under: Uncategorized
March 31st, 2009
08:18 PM ET

Top 9: Anoop is 'Caught Up'

Anoop as Usher? Hmmmm.

Anoop Desai

There's just something about him singing about "his homeys" and how this girl has "got him twisted" that just didn't ring true. It reminded me of David Archuleta's version on Chris Brown's "With You" last season.

I've got love for Noop Dogg, but he needs way more swagger training in order to pull off an Usher song and be an R & B artist as he says he wants to be. Good luck with that, Boo.

–Lisa Respers France, writer

Filed under: Uncategorized
March 31st, 2009
08:09 PM ET

Top 9: And we're off

The intro is done and now we have entered the land of "Top Downloads."

Idol logo

When I first heard tonight's theme, I immediately started thinking all types of wicked thoughts. With so broad a range, there's no telling which downloads the contestants will choose to sing.

I couldn't help but imagine someone rocking a little Flo Rida, Miley Cyrus or (heaven forbid) Britney Spears' "If You Seek Amy." That will never happen, but how delicious would that be?

The latter got me considering what a Britney themed night might be like. Especially if "American Idol" could convince Ms. Spears to serve as a mentor. Can't you just see her telling the contestants to "Sing the lyrics like you feel them y'all!"

Oh well. A girl can dream can't she?

Back to the show. Randy says the "competition is just getting started," and Kara gets to define artistry. They don't trust Paula with a serious question, and she just gets to tell us that she is hiding no props under the table tonight.

Ryan says the door is thrown wide open for song choice with the popular downloads from iTunes. The group took a field trip to Ryan's American Top 40 radio show. Nicely played, Ryan. Way to cross-publicize!

–Lisa Respers France, writer

Filed under: television
March 31st, 2009
03:08 PM ET

Watch 'American Idol' with

“American Idol” is down to nine. Tonight, the group will perform selections from some of the most digitally delectable songs available.

"Top downloads" is the show’s theme this week and we can’t wait to see who picks what to show off their vocal stylings – or lack thereof.

Watch tonight along with’s Lisa Respers France, who will be blogging live during the show.

Last week’s elimination show had a few surprises. You can check out CNN Radio’s Michelle Wright’s reaction to who went home and see if you agree.

Is your favorite still in the game? Watch “American Idol” with us and let us know your opinions about the remaining contestants.

Post your comments below, or head over to iReport to submit video of your reactions to the performances.

Your comment or video may appear on CNN!

–Lisa Respers France, Writer

Filed under: television
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