May 11th, 2010
08:05 PM ET

The 'Idol' Top 4 go to the movies

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8:52 p.m. –The final duet of the evening is Casey and Big Mike singing "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman."

Again, the two of them play their guitars, and I enjoy it. Their voices seem to blend even better than Lee and MamaSox.

Still, I can't help but think that we are looking at our bottom two.

8:44 p.m. – MamaSox is the last woman standing.

She thinks the judges have been tough on her lately, and I agree. Jamie takes it to church and says her version of Kenny Loggins' "I'm All Right" needs to be a testimony.

MamaSox is as saucy as ever, turning the song into a bluesy anthem. And unlike last week, she gives "Idol" the big finish with the notes at the end.

Yay MamaSox!

8:34 p.m. – "Seduce me?"

Really Jamie? His advice to Casey James seems to have done the trick, because his "Mrs. Robinson" was kind of hot. The Casey we know and love is back!

Almost getting voted off last week must have shook him up a little bit, which was a good thing.

Even if he may have been singing to Kara.

8:26 p.m. –I love the song "Falling Slowly," and Lee and Crystal "MamaSox" Bowersox sound good singing it together.

I love seeing the two of them, facing each other singing and strumming their guitars. They rocked!

I wouldn't be mad to see the two of them in the finals. And MamaSox has a "musical crush" on Lee? Her man better come with that proposal soon!

8:14 p.m. – Hey "Big Mike" Lynche.

He says he feels pressure from his family, friends and city to make it into the Top 3. A year ago, he set a goal to make it into the top trio, but it's going to be a tough fight.

Jamie gets him to dance to loosen "Big Mike" up. There is also some hand punching, so for me, more "Ali" flashback.

"Big Mike" sings "Will You Be There," and it sounds like he starts out in the wrong key. Michael Jackson is hard to pull off, and this is a powerful song.

I heart "Big Mike," but I did not love this performance. Such a disappointment.

Cowell is so British and so confused. Loves it!

P.S., I attended the Michael Jackson memorial in Los Angeles, and former "Idol" contestant Jennifer Hudson blew "Will You Be There" out of the atmosphere, so perhaps the bar has been set too high for me.

8:04 p.m. – First up is Danny Go ... oops, I mean Lee DeWyze singing "Kiss From a Rose."

Jamie reminded me of his character in "Ali" when he coached Lee.  All up in the face to get him to perform and connect.

Not sure that it helped. The audience is loving it, but I was not moved. Once again, song choice is key, people. The judges weren't overwhelmed either.

And is Kara DioGuardi wearing one of Ellen's suits?

8:01 p.m. – Awwww, Idina Menzel and Taye Diggs left the baby home and are enjoying date night at "Idol." Cool to see them in the audience.

Is there anyone cooler than Jamie Foxx? He's trying to motivate them with ... T-shirts? I guess.

May 5th, 2010
09:09 PM ET

'Idol' Top 5: Find out who is going home

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SPOILER ALERT!!! Tonight's blog entry will reveal the contestant being sent home from "American Idol." Don't read any further if you don't want to know the results.

9:55 p.m. – The results are in and the person leaving tonight is ...

Aaron Kelly!

I am freaking out right about now. I can't even believe it.

I love that "Big Mike" takes some time to share some words with him. This is so wrong on so many levels.

9:48 p.m. – The lights dim, and MamaSox has to start a group over by the piano. Oh these wicked games!

"Big Mike" is next, and he has to start a group in another part of the stage. Seacrest has Aaron Kelly stand and he has to go to "Big Mike's" "group." That leaves Casey James to go and stand with MamaSox.

Seacrest tries to get Lee to choose. Come on, you know he is not going to do it!

And the bottom two are....

"Big Mike" and Aaron!

What?!?!? Are you kidding me?!?!?

9:32 p.m. – Harry Connick Jr. is hysterical!

I love that he called the judges out for their overuse of "pitchy." He looks super serious when he's singing "And I Love Her."

He is such a throwback to the cool cats. Harry is definitely the heir apparent to Sinatra.

But what a strange flow to go from Gaga to Harry. The audience seems to be digging it though.

He totally takes over the stage, and if I was Seacrest, I would be a little nervous right about now cause this dude could easily come on, host, mentor, judge, arrange and lead the band.

The Top 5 sing a melody of Harry's songs, and they sound great. If Casey had sung like this last night, I wouldn't be predicting his ouster tonight.

9:22 p.m. – Yay Lady Gaga!

She's rocking the haute couture beekeeper/sex kitten look. After giving us a little taste of "Bad Romance," she launches into "Alejandro." Is it me, or is this an updated "La Isla Bonita?"

Gaga's dancers even look like Madonna's back-up crew. It's like she's Madge's kid paying homage.

9:15 p.m. – We jump right into the results after we hear from "Big Mike" Lynche and Casey James as to how they feel about Wednesdays.

First up on the hot seat is Lee, who says "you know" quite a bit. Poor nervous dude.

I don't buy for a minute that Simon doesn't like to watch himself on TV. He loves it! I agree with his remarks about Lee's new-found confidence.

Lee is safe and takes his on the stool of success. He looks kind of freaked out.

9:09 p.m. – Everyone does look lovely in their Rat Pack gear.

Hey, there is a mention that Lee DeWyze worked at a paint store. Wow, is this some type of drinking game or something?

I like the backstage look at what the contestants have to deal with on Tuesdays. Where in the world did they find those stand-in judges? That was hilarious!

9:02 p.m. – I like the little Sinatra medley.

Poor Crystal "MamaSox" Bowersox has to carry on solo for the ladies. Way to represent for the ladies, MamaSox – even if you are lip synching.

Seacrest interviewed Harry Connick Jr. as the "guest mentor and band leader." I could very easily get used to hearing the second half of that description.

May 4th, 2010
08:06 PM ET

When Harry met 'Idol'

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8:54 p.m. – I totally see the resemblance between Harry and Lee DeWyze.

Lee sings "That's Life" and he makes it resonate. He's giving me a little Michael Buble with the hand gestures and the stroll. It worked well with the organ Harry was playing.

Great moment when Harry hugs him and then playfully pushes him off with a "That's what I'm talking about!"

Lee is going for broke and I love that.

Good Lord, I thought we might be able to go one week without being reminded that Lee worked in a paint shop, but it was not to be. No more, please!

8:43 p.m. – Nice look "Big Mike" Lynche.

He is rocking the hat. Me likey.

Harry is really working with these singers. I like his style in directing them.

"Big Mike" sings one of my favorites "The Way You Look Tonight." This is where I think the "Big Mike" ego will come in handy. Sinatra was no shrinking violet, and neither is our "Big Mike."

Even Harry has to give him some love for that vocal. It was fire!

Swagger, thy name is "Big Mike" tonight.

8:33 p.m. – Sir Anthony Hopkins is in the audience?

How freakin random is that?

Crystal "MamaSox" Bowersox sings "Summer Wind" and I love that she won't tell Harry why the lyrics mean so much to her.

She looks great in her dress and she sings that song like the rent is due!

Casey may not have been able to hear himself sing and nail the notes, but Crystal worked it out. I disagree with Randy: I thought she sounded pretty darn good.

Simon calls it "indulgent." These judges are tripping. MamaSox is one of the few this season who knows who she is as an artist and she knows what she wants to do with a song interpretation.

Way to do you, MamaSox. Even if you were a little sassy.

8:22 p.m. – They are giving Harry a lot of freedom and rightfully so.

He's a great mentor so far. The man knows his music.

How funny is it that one of Casey James' friends didn't know he's on "Idol" and called him for  a gig?

Casey sings "Blue Skies" and it starts a little rough. He seems super nervous and the band seems like it's overwhelming his vocals. When you are singing with this orchestra, you have to own the song.

Hmmm. I didn't love it. And his little vibrato irked me to no end. Casey is in trouble again.

And I think Ellen is gonna get in playful digs at Harry throughout the show. They are old friends, both being from the same city.

8:11 p.m. – What a wonderful reception for Sinatra's daughters Tina and Nancy.

They give Simon a monogrammed hankie that belonged to their dad. That is wicked cool!

Our first performer tonight is Aaron Kelly and he sings "Fly Me to the Moon." Sinatra was quite the teen heartthrob and I can see Aaron being one too.

He vibes well with the Harry Connick, Jr. trio, he looks adorable and he sounds pretty good. Very jazzy and not country like he usually rocks.

Harry looks on like he's waiting for some serious critique. I dare one of the judges to criticize the arrangements tonight.

I agree with Simon that Sinatra was the "King of Cool" and had swagger, but there is no way they can expect any of the contestants to match that tonight. There will only ever be one Sinatra.

8:06 p.m. – Harry says the Top 5 were "humble."

Yeah, they just ought to be.

I love Harry's N'awlins accent. And he is so tall and cute. Then again, just about everybody looks tall standing next to Seacrest.

Can you tell I totally have a crush on Harry? Something tells me I will be rocking the "When Harry Met Sally" soundtrack on the old MP3 player tonight.

8:02 p.m. – Wow. Harry Connick, Jr. has sold over 25 million records. He's awesome.

Very nice clips of Sinatra. He was such the man!

Harry is arranging the songs tonight. How cool is that?

Bear with me as I suspect I will be using the word "cool" a few times tonight.

April 28th, 2010
09:07 PM ET

'Idol' Top 6 learn their fate

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SPOILER ALERT!!! Tonight's blog entry will reveal the contestant being sent home from "American Idol." Don't read any further if you don't want to know the results.

9:56 p.m. – And the person going home tonight is ...

Siobhan Magnus!

MamaSox looks devastated. We get a look at Siobhan's journey before she sings us off with "Think."

9:46 p.m. –Shakira busts out the harmonica for her song "Gypsy," and Rascal Flatts backs her.

She's rocking a prairie skirt with a sparkly gold top. It's like she is Beyonce on top and Loretta Lynn on the bottom.

She and her back up dancers did a little bit of moving, but it wasn't the hipalicious performance I was expecting. I dug it all the same. She does manage to quote President Roosevelt with a line I only ever heard Casey Kasem use.

Back to the elimination: "Big Mike" is safe, and Lee greets him enthusiastically over in the safe section. That leaves us with Casey and Siobhan.

9:37 p.m. –Lady Antebellum = The bomb!

Love "Need You Now." With all of this killer music tonight, who even needs an elimination?

9:29 p.m. – Hey Carrie Underwood!

She's back to introduce the group Sons of Sylvia, who sing "Love Left to Lose." I dig them. Their lead singer looks hella intense though. He is not fooling around.

9:14 p.m. – Ryan Seacrest is in the new "Shrek" film?

I swear there is no work left in Hollywood thanks to this dude.

The gang looked like they had a great time visiting the studio and attending a special screening of the movie. I want some "Shrek" horns now.

Two of the films stars, Antonio Banderas and Cameron Diaz, show up on the "Idol" stage, and Antonio tells Seacrest he is the "best host in the world." Loved Antonio saying "Dim the lights" in the Puss -in- Boots voice.

Finally we get to the results, and Siobhan Magnus is up first and sent to the far end of the stage to form the first group.

Then we have Aaron Kelly who heads to the center of the stage. Then "Big Mike" forms a third group. Good Lord they are making this complicated out of the box. Lee DeWyze stands and is sent to the far side of the stage with Siobhan. Uh-uh.

Cutie Casey James is sent to stand with "Big Mike." So does that mean Crystal "MamaSox" Bowersox gets to go stand in the center with Aaron?

Yes, she does after Ellen DeGeneres explains that she doesn't think MamaSox is in trouble this week.

Ryan walks Siobhan over to "Big Mike" and Casey, and they are the bottom three. Wow that was convoluted.

9:11 p.m. – Oh joy, behind-the-scenes footage of the weekly  commercials.

Everyone is a vampire, and "Big Mike" Lynche is the victim. Seriously, all he would have to do is lift everyone up and toss their undead behinds.

I imagine the "Twilight" fans are loving this.

9:03 p.m. – America cast 33 million votes. Wonder who got the most?

We start the show off with Rascal Flatts who I love, love, love. They are such a great group, and I dig their song "Unstoppable."

Finally a guest artist/group who actually sound great live!

Don't really get them and Shakira, but we shall see.

April 27th, 2010
08:10 PM ET

The 'Idol' Top 6 take on Shania Twain's songbook

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8:56 p.m. – Siobhan Magnus always seems to sound better in rehearsal than live, and I don't get that.

She sings "Any Man of Mine," and she manages to strip all of the fun out of a rollicking country tune. Her walking around and interacting with the audience didn't help.

Neither did the big note at the end.  I'm so going to take heat for this, but I don't get why people adore this chick.

For me, definitely the weakest performance of the night.

8:46 p.m. – One of the things I love about Aaron Kelly is that he is hanging in there despite being so young.

He's like the baby brother of the group, and he's so sweet.

He sings "You've Got a Way," and he works it out. I would have been shocked had he not done well on a country song, but he impressed me. Then he really got me when he almost started crying as he explained that he was singing to his mom.

All together now: Awwwwwwwwwww!

8:36 p.m. – Crystal "MamaSox" Bowersox has a message for her man.

Dude better get it together as she just dropped a huge hint that she wouldn't mind becoming Mrs. MamaSox.

She sings "No One Needs to Know," and it is decidedly rockabilly. Coming off of her powerful performance last week, it wasn't as strong as I expected.

The judges didn't love it either. Kara tells her she always comes from a place of "truth," and it's as close to a Paula Abdul moment that chick has gotten all season.

Of course, Simon comes in an makes it rougher than it needed to be at this point. She didn't stink; she just wasn't as mega-awesome as she usually is.

Loved the shot of her cutie pie boyfriend, who needs to be shopping for rings right about now, I'm thinking.

8:25 p.m. – I swear Casey James has the best hair on the show this season.

He's singing "Don't," and Shania has to give him a dose of confidence. And I love that she sang along with him a little bit during rehearsal.

He performs behind the judges and that still throws me off. Casey promises that he will give the audience something different tonight, and he does.

He sounds much more pop-oriented as opposed to his bluesy style. He sounded great, and I really enjoyed it.

OMG, are these people finally stepping up their game this season? Please say it is so!

Funny moment when Simon told Casey he should go give Shania a kiss on the lips, and you could totally tell he wanted to, but she gave him friendly hug. LOL!

8:14 p.m. – "It Only Hurts When I'm Breathing" is a great song.

Like Shania, this song fills me emotionally. That's why I really needed Mike Lynche to connect with the melody and the lyrics.

He sang it like he wrote it, and Shania had tears in her eyes. "Big Mike" is a straight balladeer, and that song in his hands was lovely and touching.  He needs to stay in this lane.

I totally see the Luther Vandross comparison, but I am confused by Simon's assertion that the performance was "wet." Huh?

8:02 p.m. – It doesn't seem like Shania has been on the scene for 15 years. Wow.

She looks great, and I suspect she will be as a great mentor as she's a killer singer/songwriter.

Lee Dewyze chooses "You're Still the One," and I could easily hear his version as a hit pop song. He does this crazy, singing out of the side of his mouth thing, though that disturbs me.

Shania was loving him in rehearsal, and the judges dig his performance. Ellen cracks the obligatory "All aboard the Shania Twain," and I am glad we got that out of the way.

Lee is so headed to the finals.

April 27th, 2010
04:31 PM ET

'Idol' Top 6 to board the Tuesday Twain

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“American Idol” will be a little bit country on Tuesday night.

This week’s mentor will be pop-country singer Shania Twain, who will guide the Top 6 through performing some of her hits.

I like Shania, and I enjoyed her as a guest judge during this season’s auditions. But I have to admit I am slightly confused as to the purpose of such a theme.

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