'American Idol': Top 10 perform

Here we go -- the Top 10 perform on American Idol, and we'll see whether Sanjaya will last yet another week.

Tonight's theme is No Doubt songs and songs by artists who inspired the band. This means that Gwen Stefani is the mentor of the week. Not too shabby! She says many of the artists who inspired her aren't known for their big voices, but for their personalities, performances and styles. Could mean trouble for some of the bigger voices this season, but perhaps not. She tells the contestants she can't imagine how nerve-wracking it must be to have gotten this far because she's nervous just being involved.


First to meet one-on-one with Gwen is LaKisha Jones. She's going to sing Donna Summer's "Last Dance." Gwen says she was amazing: "I should be asking her for advice." She's working the stage way more than usual and showing some personality. Huzzah! Randy says it was good to see her rock it and calls her a "true fly diva." Paula says she did Donna Summer proud. Simon loves the boot: "Great, LaKisha, because now you're 30 years younger this week. And I agree with Randy, it's nice to see you doing an up-tempo song, loved the big note at the end, and it's the LaKisha I loved three or four weeks ago coming back here and putting your mark back on the competition. ... And a great vocal." Her friends "from the bank" -- I can only assume that means the Fort Meade bank. Oh yeah, Marylanders are representing tonight!

Chris Sligh is second, and he has to take a viewer question. (Hello, filler!) She asks how he spends his down time. He says he crochets, knits and plays bongo drums in his boxer shorts. Heh. (That's a Matthew McConaughey reference, in case you missed it.) He says in actuality he sleeps as much as possible to avoid getting sick. He's going to sing the Police's "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic." Gwen says he has a great voice but needs to work on his tempo. This is a good choice for his voice, I think, and he sounds good, though I'm not sure he solved all his tempo issues. He does look more nervous than usual. Randy says it was a good song choice, but the biggest issue was the tempo. He says he'd never sung it before, and it was like "a master class in theory for me" and that he did the best that he could. Randy says the rhythm was a trainwreck. Paula jumps on the tempo train. Simon says it was a mess -- he says it was all over the place, and "it didn't feel right." The music interrupts him before he is done, and he says, "It's not the Oscars!"

Gina Glocksen is a wreck because she loves Gwen Stefani. She's singing "I'll Stand by You." Gwen says it was nice to see her just stand and sing, and I agree. She gets a little shouty in the middle, but otherwise, it's one of her strongest performances. She looks pretty proud of herself. Randy likes her boots, and he says it was one of her best performances ever. He tells her to believe in her voice and choose wise songs. Paula says she's improving each week and picked the right song and that it was the best performance so far. Simon says it wasn't one of her best performances, "It was YOUR BEST performance." He says the transformation from a few weeks ago to this week is "literally chalk vs. cheese." She cries.

Sanjaya Malakar is going to sing "Bathwater" by No Doubt. Gwen says he got nervous and forgot some of the words. She says it's going to be really hard for him because it's a tough song, but he chose it, so "good luck." Ow. Also, I really like this song and don't really want to see it slaughtered here. What is up with the hair? "I know I'm diving into my destruction." Yes, yes, this is true. Randy says he's speechless. He says the hair is interesting, but that he can actually sing, as he showed at the very end of the song, but he needs to show that all the time. Paula agrees, that the silliness of the look isn't matched by the performance, and it's a little weird. She says he can do it. Simon: "I presume there was no mirror in your dressing room." He says he doesn't think it matters what they say anymore, he's in his own universe, and people like him, so good luck.

Haley Scarnato is going to sing "True Colors," even though Brandon Rogers had issues with Cyndi Lauper songs earlier. Gwen says she messed with the song at the end, and she should just sing it straight. Randy says it was "a'ight." Paula says it's a beautiful song that requires nothing more than singing the melody, and she made it "adult contemporary." Simon asks how she thinks she did. He says it was "sweet but forgettable." Agreed.

Phil Stacey has to take a viewer question. It's boring. He's going to sing the Police's "Every Breath You Take." She says she's pleasantly surprised, and tells him she didn't expect it to be that good. Ow. Actually, I'm going to have to agree. He did much better with the song than I anticipated, too. Randy says it was a solid performance, and he "actually kind of liked it." Paula says there he "lives in the chorus" and that is where his magic is, and that he should be built more character in the verses. Simon: "This may surprise you, Phil, but I actually thought that was very good. Great choice of song."

Melinda Doolittle does Donna Summer's "Heaven Knows." Gwen tells her: "I would say good luck, but I don't think you need it." As usual, she nails it. The run at the end gives everyone at my house goose bumps. Randy says a pro singer does what she just did: interpreting and singing, living the words. "That was the bomb again." Paula says she tells a story from the very first word. Simon says he doesn't think it was the performance they'll remember, but it was good as usual, and he hates her outfit.

Blake Lewis is going to sing "Love Song" by the Cure. Gwen says she hopes he picks the right times to do the beatboxing breaks. He goes with no beatboxing, but his vocals are nice. Randy says he made the most of it and kept it tender. Paula says she loved it, and he's taking risks, and he's the dark horse, and she'd love to see him in the finale. Simon says he is definitely the strongest guy in the competition. He says he needs to be careful of the "Chris Daughtry zone" where he is doing his own thing and possibly being too indulgent, but for sure he is the front-runner guy.


Jordin Sparks is going to sing "Hey Baby." Gwen says she made the song more musical than she realized it even was. She has fun with it, but it's kind of a repetitive song. Randy says it's hard to sing such stylized songs, but that she can sing anything she wants, "you'd be a great recording artist, and that was brilliant." Paula calls her adorable, hip and young. Simon says she is the most improved contestant over the past few weeks, and his only problem is that it was a little copycat.

Chris Richardson is going to close the show with "Don't Speak." Gwen says she hopes he sticks to the melody instead of his usual "vocal Olympics." He seems to mostly follow that advice. Randy says he liked the interpretation and that he shouldn't be afraid of his R&B side. Paula says he's good and it was good. Simon says this was a better choice of song, but he wasn't crazy about the vocal and that he struggled in the middle. Ryan asks him what he thinks about Blake being the front-runner, and really, what is he supposed to say? "Now I plan to kill him in his sleep"? Come on!

I think Haley and Sanjaya are in trouble, but you know, I've thought that for a long time.