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'IDOL' WATCH: Down to 4

"Idol" kicked off tonight's results show with the top five singing a Frank Sinatra medley consisting of The Lady is a Tramp, It Was a Very Good Year, and Night and Day. The group sounded tight as usual. I was a big fan of the way the guys began the medley, bringing out Crystal Bowersox to sing the second verse of The Lady is a Tramp. Casey James sounded a million times better tonight than he did last night; perhaps he would have done better with a different song? The group sounded great and the solos seem to get better each week.

One of the hottest pop stars on the charts right now, Lady Gaga performed her most recent hit, Alejandro. The performance was typical of Gaga: weird, but interesting. She sounded surprisingly good live and I was impressed by her piano playing abilities. The song was full of a number of odd aspects, but they all seemed to work together to form a cohesive performance. It is not, however, the song I would have chosen her to perform; I was hoping for something a bit more upbeat like Bad Romance or Just Dance.

Harry Connick, Jr., last night's mentor, performed a song of his new CD tonight entitled And I Love Her. Connick, Jr.'s voice is so distinct and fits perfectly with the crooner songs, and he showed off those skills tonight. His incredibly smooth voice sounds effortless and he is an extremely talented performer. I also enjoyed the jazzy sax solo during the number. We were also privy to more footage of Connick, Jr. with the contestants and his playful nature played well with them. My favorite line: "Instead of mentor, I might do something different. I might do a centaur." Hilarious.

The group then rejoined Connick, Jr. on the stage as he accompanied them on a medley of his own songs. He seemed genuinely excited that the top five were performing his hits and they did a really nice job with it. Again, the solos were great and the whole look of the group really aided the feel of tonight's performances. Ryan also mentioned Connick, Jr.'s upcoming stint on Broadway, Harry Connick, Jr. IN CONCERT ON BROADWAY, beginning July 15th, which you can read more about here.

Tonight, "Idol" announced only its bottom two, which consisted of Michael Lynche and Aaron Kelly. It's safe to say a number of people were shocked James was not among this group, as he had the weakest performance last night. Headed home tonight was "Idol's" youngest contestant, Aaron Kelly. Kelly is a talented performance and it's sad to see him go after a strong performance last night. Kelly improved vastly over his weeks on "Idol," going from just a talented singer to one who really understands what performing is about. His performance at the end of the night was great and he completely owned the stage. This will not be the last America hears of Kelly.

Next week, the top four contestants will take on songs of the movies, coached by singer and film star Jamie Foxx. The night may contain a couple Broadway songs, so it will be interesting how the contestants handle them. The top four will perform on Tuesday, May 11th, followed by a results show airing May 12th, beginning at 9:00pm EST.

"American Idol" is a reality competition to find new solo musical talent, created by Simon Fuller. It debuted June 11, 2002 on the Fox network and has since become one of the most popular shows on American television. It is currently the #1 TV show in the Nielsen Ratings and is one of only three that have been #1 for five consecutive seasons. The cast of "Idol" includes judges Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, Kara DioGuardi, and Ellen Degeneres, and host Ryan Seacrest.

The program aims to discover the best singer in the country through a series of nation-wide auditions, and subsequent viewer voting. Through telephone voting, America has chosen past winners Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks, Jordin Sparks, David Cook, and Kris Allen.

Several "Idol" contestants have been seen on the Broadway stage, including Barrino (The Color Purple), Hicks (Grease), Clay Aiken (Spamalot), Diana DeGarmo (Hairspray, Hair), Josh Strickland (Tarzan), Tamyra Gray (Rent, Bombay Dreams), Constantine Maroulis (The Wedding Singer, Rock of Ages), and Ace Young (Hair).

"American Idol" airs on Tuesday and Wednesday nights on Fox at 8PM EST.


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From This Author Jeff Dennhardt

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