'American Idol': Down to 20

Four are going to be out on tonight's American Idol. I think we will lose some of the chaff, some of the totally unmemorable performers.

Ryan Seacrest reports more than 32 million votes were cast. He also says that the celeb coaches this season are Diana Ross, Jon Bon Jovi, Jennifer Lopez (hopefully to coach them on marketing and not singing), Gwen Stefani, Tony Bennett, Martina McBride, Peter Noone from Herman's Hermits and Barry Gibb from the Bee Gees.


Oh, I had almost forgotten how totally cheese-tastic these group sings can be. Where else can you see 24 people singing Tears for Fears' "Sowing the Seeds of Love"? With choreographed snapping, too? (Lakisha-Jones-watch note: She gets the final solo, anchoring this performance the night after anchoring the women's first performance show.)

Now begins the process where we find out excruciatingly slowly who is safe and who is in danger of going home and finally -- eventually -- who is going home.


Brandon Rogers is safe. Sundance Head is safe. Chris Richardson is safe. Nick Pedro is safe. Blake Lewis is safe.

Paul Kim is out. I'm actually shocked -- he didn't have a great night Tuesday, but I thought his initial audition was amazing. It always seems to add insult to injury that they make them re-sing the song that got them voted out after they learn the news. Anyway, Paul sings "Careless Whisper" again, and it isn't that great.

Ryan brings down the back row of the women. Jordin Sparks is safe. Stephanie Edwards is safe. Sabrina Sloan is safe. Leslie Hunt is safe. Melinda Doolittle is safe. Antonella Barba is safe.

Ryan asks Amy Krebs to come forward from the second row and promptly tells her she is out. She asks (half-jokingly) if she can sing another song -- see, I wasn't that off-base! Ryan says sorry, but the band wants to play last night's song. So she has to go out singing "I can't make you love me if you don't ... don't patronize me ... here in the dark, in these final hours ..." Sometimes song choice is also important in terms of what can happen when the lyrics get taken out of context. She cries.

Here comes Season 3 winner Fantasia, with Quincy Jones in the audience. She announces that she is going to be starring in The Color Purple on Broadway, produced by Jones. He starts talking about it, and Ryan COMPLETELY interrupts him and brings it back to Fantasia. He is seriously in the middle of sentence. Whoops. She sings and gets a standing ovation from the judges and the audience.

(Side note: Verizon commercial with the weightlifters? The one talking to the camera appears to be Silas Gaither from Survivor: Africa.)

The women are in the hot seat again. Haley Scarnato is safe. Lakisha Jones is safe! Gina Glocksen appears to already be crying, but she is safe. It's down to Nicole Tranquillo and Alaina Alexander.

Nicole Tranquillo is out. She says she had a lot of fun and that she made some great friends. Paula tells her she is a brilliant vocalist. She sings (ow) "Stay" again. The judges talk about song choice incessantly, but I think this song just doesn't work for her at all. But we are listening to it again.


Chris Sligh is safe. Phil Stacey is safe. Jared Coter is safe. AJ Tabaldo is safe. Ryan tells Sanjaya Malakar and Rudy Cardenas that one of them is among the top four guys and one is out.

Rudy Cardenas is out. Paula says she is sad and that people didn't get who Rudy was.

Now it's the montage of the four eliminated contestants' time on the show. Instead of Daniel Powter's "Bad Day," they are playing Chris Daughtry's "Home." Pardon, I mean just Daughtry.

Rudy closes out with "Free Ride."

I'll be back later to talk Survivor, but first I've got to see if Meredith is going to make it on Grey's Anatomy!