American Idol: Top 6 Finalists

by Liz Finn-Arnold, posted Apr 24th 2007 10:51PM
Ryan Seacrest and Idol Gives Back(S06E32) Ryan starts off the night by declaring that tonight's calls, "will not only save your favorite contestants -- they will also save lives."

THIS. IS. IDOL. GIVES. BACK.

Before the show begins, we're told it's LIVE, even though it isn't. It was taped Monday night. Just so you know.

Then Ryan explains how the fundraising will work. News Corp will donate 10 cents for each call received tonight (up to 50 million calls) for a total of $5 million dollars. Wait, is this the same $5 million dollars they pledged earlier or an additional $5 million?

Also, Ford, Coca-Cola, and AT&T get their first thanks of the night. They will be thanked a couple more times before the hour is over.

BECAUSE. THIS. IS. IDOL. GIVES. BACK.

Before we get to the performances, we're shown another glimpse of Ryan and Simon's trip to Africa. Simon calls it "hell on earth." And yet, as Ryan points out, the people who live there still smile and have HOPE.

After explaining that each contestant has two phone numbers tonight (to make it easier to get through), the performances begin.

1. CHRIS (Eric Clapton's "If I Could Change The World") -- I 'm not a fan of the bobbing head, raised eyebrows, or the nasally vocal runs. This performance is for you diehard Chris fans. It didn't win me over. Randy says "You in it to win it ... that was great, dude." Paula is proud of Chris, and likes the song choice. Simon also thinks Chris did really well, calling it "a good vocal ... a more sexy performance."

Next up, we're shown some of the places in America that will receive help from this fundraising event. These places include, Louisiana, rural Kentucky, Navaho Nation at Chinle, Arizona, and Atlanta. Ryan explains that they've teamed up with charities that will help "change the lives of those in need all over America."

2. MELINDA (Faith Hill's "There Will Come A Day") -- Melinda is starting to look more comfortable in dresses and high heels. As usual, her voice sounds amazing. Randy says, "You just so dope, you got it so together ... you have arrived." Paula says, "Melinda, there's no one like you ... you're magical." Simon likes that "it wasn't a copycat performance." He also thinks "the second half of the song was incredible ... that really was a vocal masterclass."

Once again the corporate sponsors -- Coca-Cola, Ford, and AT&T -- are thanked for their generosity.

Blake answers a viewer question about his biggest sacrifice because of Idol, and he mentions missing his family and friends at home.

3. BLAKE (John Lennon's "Imagine") -- This is some serious stuff tonight -- even Blake is sitting on a stool to sing. He doesn't blow me away, but this is the first time I feel like Blake is showing an emotional connection to a song. Randy says "great choice of song" but thinks the performance was "just okay." Paula says this is the first "real sensitive or emotional song" she's seen from Blake. Simon calls it "sincere" but thinks it didn't go anywhere.

Next, we get a video that shows us "what we can do to make a difference." Ryan helps feeds orphans in Africa and he realizes what "intense hunger means." Then Ryan reminds us again that the calls we make tonight will help make a difference.

4. LaKISHA (Fantasia Barrino's "I Believe") -- I think LaKisha looks and sounds pretty good tonight. She sure can belt a song. Randy thinks it had pitch problems. Still he likes it, although it's not her best. Paula calls LaKisha a "powerhouse vocalist." But she doesn't think the contestants should attempt to do Whitney, Chaka Khan, Mariah, Celine, or Fantasia (Does Fantasia really belong in that group?). Simon has an issue with LaKisha's shouting. The crowd boos, and Simon tells them to "shut-up." In doing so, Simon runs out of time to say anything else. And he also brings a little nastiness to this otherwise "good-hearted" event.

Phil answers a question about what he misses most about home. Of course, he answers that he misses his babies (I should hope so). He says it's hard to be away, but he thinks it will be best for his family in the long run.

5. PHIL (Garth Brooks' "The Change") -- After finding himself last week during country week, Phil is suddenly sounding a lot better. He's still the oddest looking finalist, but that's why Vote for the Worst loves him. Randy says "you're back again with another strong performance ... two in a row, baby." Paula thinks Phil "found his comfort." She calls it "his best." Simon really likes Phil, and thinks he'll do better if he adds even more of a "country-tone" to his singing.

Next up, is a video brought to us by ConAgra Foods, about a food pantry called "America's Second Harvest." Simon is shocked to learn about hungry people in America. He had "no idea in this country that places like this existed." Really? He had NO idea? Really?

6. JORDIN ("You'll Never Walk Alone" by Rogers and Hammerstein ) -- Jordin closes the show in a big way. Once again, I like the way this 17-year-old always seems to feel the emotion of the song. Randy says, "that's one of the best vocals by any contestant EVER on this show EVER in six seasons." Paula thinks Jordin picked an amazing song to close the night. She also calls Jordin "glorious." Simon jokes, "Well, unlike Randy, I thought you were fantastic." He believes that Jordin could have a hit record with the 60-year-old song.

That's it for performances. Ryan dramatically tells us that "This could be the most important call you ever make here," because tonight's votes will translate into dollars. Of course, they could translate into even MORE dollars if News Corp didn't have that $5 million cap.

Ryan Seacrest and Idol sponsorsBefore they go, News Corp, Coca-Cola, AT&T, and Ford get yet another on-air shout-out.

And it's time to vote. And to add to the Idol Gives Back excitement, there's extended voting time -- 4 hours in total. will Idol receive 50 million calls? Or more?

And who is going home in the midst of all this fundraising drama? Will Phil Stacey hang on with VFTW's support? Could LaKisha's time be up? What about Chris?

I honestly have no idea who is going home tomorrow. And I'm not exactly sure how that drama is going to play out with everything else that is going on tomorrow night.

TOMORROW: 2-hour Idol Gives Back celebrity event. Ryan promises "one of the biggest shocks we've ever had on American Idol." The only thing that would shock me is if Ryan didn't mention the sponsors ONCE during tomorrow's show.

For more Idol coverage, check out People.com.

And vote for your favorite finalist in AOL's poll.

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107 Comments

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krzduckidwell

I wholeheartedly agree - CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME. The USA has millions of homeless, jobless, starving people. If we could stop Africans from having so many babies, they may have more food for the existing mouths. It seems they having nothing to do but make more babies!!! China was able to limit their population.

April 28 2007 at 2:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
William p.

Jordin Sparks has got to win, she blew me away
with "You'll Never Walk Alone", that put goose pimples on me.

April 27 2007 at 6:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lindsay

The wednesday night show was actually really good overall, and I think very tastefully done. If you want to see video of some of the best highlights from this week on AI, log on to http://scenemaker.net - they've got it all!

April 27 2007 at 11:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Allison

I was real disappointed with Wed.'s show. Where are the results? I think they should have said in the beginning that nobody was going home on Idol gives back week. So the question is was the lowest person somebody they wanted to keep on the show?? Will the person with the lowest votes from this week go home next week? Or will they do much better and not be sent home? If thats the case it's not really fair. No one else has second chances. It's kind of like they tricked us into watching 3 hours of Idol. It was funny, I COULDN'T TAKE NOT KNOWING WHO WAS GOING HOME, so I fast forwarded the last 20 minutes to the results. I think if their going to do it this week with 2 weeks votes combined, thats the way they should have been scoring in the beginning. So in the end the person with the most votes from the beginning of Idol to the end win. Then you would be able to have a bad week or all good weeks and be the next idol depending on if you had the most votes combined. Also it would help on weeks that not as many people vote. I loved the idea of helping people, but it seemed they really pushed and tryed to guilt people into donating. Not everyone has money to give away. Many Americans live from check to check. Although, I do understand that any amount helps. It really hurt me to watch some of those little kids/babies and also the adults. What if one of the top three were suppose to go home yesterday????

April 26 2007 at 2:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
idolry

I think I saw Jordin's name in the running for this weekend's NFL draft. I THOUGHT that was her at the combines.

Anyway, as cute and sentimental as this Idol Gives Back is, it is also naive. The problem is not resources but distribution.

April 26 2007 at 11:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dee

i am so sick of melinda's song choices they are boring boring boring... same sound week after week.. she has a great voice but i dont think she is ai.... i think jordin should win, she is young, cute and has a great voice....

April 26 2007 at 11:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Missy

It is a shame that folks would find something negative to say about anything. What are you doing, to make a difference whether here in the US or abroad? Instead of spewing so much negativity, find it in your heart to help a brother or sister, regardless of where they come from. AI is a show, it's a business so of course they are in it to make money. No one creates a business to lose money... Duh!!!!! But, no matter what, they took the time to give some of it away... and that's what should count. One other point I should make.... Yes we have hunger right in our back yard but, we also have resources that we can seek out. Far and few in between are the resources available to all those people abroad. So, next time you want to spew negativity... Think about it... take one step and get on your knees and ask the powers that be.. to give you the enlightenment and the desire to want to make a difference instead of critiquing.

April 26 2007 at 10:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
OMN

Phil is starting to grow on me, but I really like that little girl-ok not so little- with the big smile, Jordin. Melinda was great as usual but I still think she's had more professional experience/exposure than she's let on and really shouldn't even be in this competition with the others. Lakisha-never liked her. Other two, not woth mentioning.

April 26 2007 at 10:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
gloria

I agree this money needs to be used here,I live in a small town and the homeless people are growing ..it is so sad we can build beautiful state of the art schools in other country's but our schools are a disaster.we need to address our needs first we are making other country's so strong and we continue to decline.they are saving their money and using ours to grow while we are continuing to go in reverse.wake up america

April 26 2007 at 9:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sandy K

AMERICANS SHOULD ONLY DONATE TO AMERICANS! What a silly thought. There are a billion charities world-wide to donate to--including in the US. Many Americans give consistently to large charities that benefit our own like March of Dimes, etc. So why does it anger everyone that Idol wants to raise awareness about the plight of Africans?

OK, HERE'S A CONCEPT TO WRAP YOUR MINDS AROUND: There are enough charitable giving opportunities for everyone--no matter what your interest.

Many Americans consistently give to 2 or more charities, why is it a probem if one of those charities is abroad? If I give to my church, does that now mean I can't give anywhere else? Of course not, that sounds silly, but that's what some Idol complainers think. If Americans give to Africa, that means that now they can't give to American based charities (or vice versa).

I will bet hands-down that the people who complain that we shouldn't help foriegn countries, don't donate at home either--they're just gripers. People with truly giving hearts don't care or protest where other people give their money, especially if there's a need. Donating to starving, diseased children in a foriegn country might not appeal to you, but why would you protest others being concerned? It just doesn't make sense.

Also, isn't it overwhelmingly clear that the level of "poor" in Africa is totally different from ours in America and that outside intervention isn't a gimmick--but that it's truly needed. Their plight is broad and overwhelmingly alarming and AIDS in their country has reached pandemic proportion. "Why doesn't Africa help Africa?" Wow, I can't believe someone actually said that.

Here's the true point. CHARITY IS NOT TO BE DEBATED. There are many things in our society to debate, like gun control (by the way, I'll bet more kids in our society die from guns, than from controllable disesases and starvation). But charity is not to be debated. A truly charitable heart helps where help is needed--whethere it's in Africa or America.

I've heard similiar complaints when it comes to giving donations to PETA or the Humane Socieity--"that money shouldn't be given to help animals, it should be given to help America's poor." Maybe it should be given to help wherever the donor sees a need.

FINAL COMMENT - Give where you see a need. Give where you feel you can make a difference. Be swayed by your heart-strings and your own discernment, not by others who want to protest where you make your donations. Giving is such a powerful, loving and life changing force, don't attach something so negative to it.

April 26 2007 at 9:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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