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'American Idol': the first cuts are the deepest

Four folks are leaving American Idol's Top 24 tonight. Host Ryan Seacrest says more than 28 million votes were cast. (Well, he says "over," but he means "more than.")

Ryan asks Paula Abdul whether having previous experience matters, and she says it doesn't because they all went through the same lines, the same headaches, etc., to get here. She goes on to say that a lot of previous contestants have had deals, including Kelly Clarkson. Which is interesting because when I was working on my story from earlier this week, my research indicated that the producers were then saying that Kelly worked with songwriters on a demo and didn't have an official deal. So there was either backpedaling going on then or it's going on now. Who knows. It'll probably all come out in the wash since it wasn't necessarily the folks with deals who came out strongest last night and Tuesday.

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Then the Top 24 appear in a music video accompanied by a Daughtry song, after which they sing a medley of 1960s song. I never think that these group sings bring the "relevance" that Simon is always preaching, but what do I know?

The guys are in the hot seat first. After a montage, Ryan calls Garrett Haley up first and tells him straight-up that he is out.

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Then, it's the ladies' turn. Ryan calls Kristy Lee Cook forward and tells her she is safe. Then he says that Amy Davis is out.

So that's two!

Randy Jackson talks about his new album, which includes a track by Paula Abdul. Now, the world premiere of her video. Ryan brings over a fan to re-create the wind machine scenes in the video. Heh.

Back to the results. Amanda Overmyer and Joanne Borgella are called forward. Everyone else is safe, but these two are not. But first, a break. And the person out is Joanne. Randy says he thinks her nerves got the best of her. Simon says it was her worst performance, "and that's what happens." She says next, she will keep on singing because she loves it.

Ryan calls Chikezie and Colton Berry to the stage. And Colton is the one who is out. Paula says he should keep going for it. Simon tells him to get a good job and keep singing on the side, but not as a career.

Montage of goodbyes. Is it a coincidence that three of these four got neglible screen time before this week? Oh well.

We're down to 20.

What do you think about the cuts? I thought Colton outsang a couple of the other guys, but I don't think he would have lasted super-long. The other three didn't surprise me too much.

Have your say in the comments ...

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