Resident "American Idol" expert Jim Cantiello brings you a minute-by-minute recap of every episode right here! Keep checking for updates throughout the show, and don't miss out on his previous live blogs and other "Idol" news.
It's time to live-blog another "American Idol" performance show. But it's a Wednesday! Usually we watch a performer's dreams get crushed on Wednesday. Thanks to our "Idol"-hating President, we're going to watch ten singers (well, nine singers and one blind dude) compete tonight instead. This is the second time that Obama has toyed with our beloved "Idol" schedule this season. Economy my ass! Doesn't he understand that we like watching "Idol" to forget that we have no money? He would have been better off leaving "Idol" alone and issuing a press release. Or better yet - I can't believe I'm about to say this - he should have taken a page from the Bush II presidency and just appeared on "Idol!"
Tonight will feature the music of Motown, which is an absolute minefield. For every amazing "Misery" by Barrett Strong there are three obvious stinkers like "Sugar Pie Honeybunch" waiting to take down a contestant. Provided "Idol" didn't severely limit the song list, there's no excuse for anyone to sing a classic we've heard 400 times before on this show. I swear to Seacrest, if anyone sings "Aint No Mountain High Enough" I think they should automatically be booted. Even if it's my girl Megan Joy (Corkrey).
Before I get to live-blogging, a quick shout-out to MTV.COM user Trixie who had me rolling with her comment on last week's live-blog: "Was it ugly ass jacket night? WTH Danny and Anoop?" Let's face it though, if ever there was a time to wear an ugly jacket on "Idol," wouldn't it be on Grand Ole Opry night?
But enough about the past! Let's look to the present! Motown Night live-blogging begins NOW.
7:55 pm - Did you miss last week's Alexis Grace shocker? You still have time to check out the latest "Idol in 60 Seconds" recap here before we dive in to tonight's episode.
7:58 pm - "Now That's What I Call Power Ballads?" Now that's what I call hell.
7:58 pm - OMG you guys I'm so excited. I'm going to Disney World with Team Detox this weekend for a quick, random impromptu getaway and I'm totally going to try the new "American Idol" ride/show/attraction thingamajig that just opened. CANNOT WAIT!
8:00 pm - And so it begins. The top 10 looks miserable on stage during Ryan's dramatic intro. I know they're trying to look "tough" and "serious," but instead they all look like they're about to vomit. Wait, maybe they all caught Megan's bird flu from last week.
8:02 pm - The judges are all kissing Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson's butts while Seacrest is asking them questions. Hey guys, remember how you're supposed to be on television right now? [Slaps forehead.]
8:04 pm - Spoiler alert: The Funk Brothers dummer died yesterday.
8:05 pm - "Idol" Road Trip!! They went to Detroit to visit Motown's HQ, and the screaming fans are all there to greet them. Woah, Detroit "Idol" fans are not an attractive bunch.
8:07 pm - Trip's over, back to work. Smokey Robinson is coaching this week. I would not do well under his tutelage. I'd be constantly distracted by his tight face and green eyes.
8:08 pm - Matt Giraud's doing "Let's Get It On." This is either going to be really awesome or really icky.
8:09 pm - He's playing the piano and things are going well.
8:10 pm - Uh oh. The band kicked in and now he's walking around the stage. Holy tight pants alert! Dude, we don't need to actually be able to see that you wanna get it on, if you catch my drift. Matt's pants are to dangly bits what Megan's previous dress were to breasts.
8:10 pm - Matt just sang this line to a super-young girl in the audience: "There's nothing wrong with me loving you." It depends on the state, buddy.
8:11 pm - It was okay, but I wish he kept it focused at the piano. Once he stood up, it was a little cheeseball.
8:12 pm - The judges loved it. Paula likened his performance to a pair of "great, worn in jeans." She noticed his tight pants, too, evidently.
8:14 pm - So, is Matt seriously a front-runner? Or are the judges just pimping their favorites regardless? Am I the only one that is turned off by Matt's personality?
8:19 pm - Neat! This week's "Idol" iTunes songs feature the contestants backed by the original Motown instrumental tracks. That sounds pretty awesome. You got served, Rickey Minor!
8:20 pm - Kris Allen is doing Marvin Gaye's "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)." Um...Smokey Robinson might be the worst mentor EVER. All he does is say "That was awesome! Marvin would have loved that!" Actually, he just said this, which might be even more asinine. "I take my hat off to anyone who plays the guitar but to play the guitar like that and sing like that at the same time? My goodness!" It's official: Smokey Robinson has never seen a folk singer before.
8:20 pm - Kris Allen is going his thing again. What a likable dude. I'm not digging all the feedback, though. What's up "Idol" sound guy?
8:21 pm - Hmm, I'm kinda bored already.
8:22 pm - That last note (which Paula called "technically, like a high 'A' or something like that") scared me.
8:23 pm - Simon wants to see more swagger from Kris. I'm sure Paula wants to see more skin.
8:25 pm - Yikes, just noticing now that Kris' shirt is a disaster. There are random numbers on his shoulders, there's a patch with a sword on the arm, and there's a crap-load of text on the bottom. Take it from me, buddy. If you want text on a shirt, keep it simple.
8:30 pm - Coke Real Moment with Scott MacIntyre. In honor of this, I'm drinking a Pepsi.
8:31 pm - Scott's doing the Supremes classic "You Can't Hurry Love" as a hokey lite-FM piano ballad. (As opposed to Phil Collins hokey lite-FM uptempo.) Scott: "Being a guy, coming out singing as Diana Ross, those are some huge shoes to step into." If Adam Lambert had said that quote, I would have totally expected him to come out on stage in drag literally AS Diana Ross.
8:31 pm - Hey ladies, Scott's single!
8:31 pm - Groan, Smokey Robinson told him not to change a thing. Strike 3, Smokey!
8:32 pm - NOT FAIR ALERT: Scott is allowed to have three backup singers/dancers to perform right next to him on stage? Hell to the no!
8:33 pm - You can't hurry love. You know what else you can't hurry? Sadly, live television. If only I could fast forward this.
8:33 pm - Things that have more soul than Scott MacIntyre: Martha Stewart, my cats, my coffee table.
8:34 pm - Smokey Robinson is not a fan. Neither is Simon Cowell, who is calling out Scott's terrible song choices.
8:36 pm - Paula is in rare form. She keeps interjecting Simon's critique like she's at a Baptist Church in Harlem. Put a lid on it, Abdul!
8:38 pm - WHAT?! Paula Abdul just interrupted Simon by saying, "I HAVE SOMETHING FOR YOU!" And then she went under the table...for an eternity...only to emerge with crayons and a coloring book. Ohhh Paula. Do not do prop comedy in front of the blind dude. It just doesn't work.
8:39 pm - Uh oh. Four words I never wanted to hear in the same sentence: "Stevie Wonder" and "Megan Joy." What in the what is my girl going to ruin tonight? Oh noes!
8:39 pm - And here are two other words I never wanted to imagine together: "chunky" and "hummus." I must have been drunk when I went food shopping because I am eating some gnarly chunky hummus right now. (Isn't that stuff supposed to be smooth? Eek!)
8:43 pm - We're back from the commercial and Paula is still acting the fool. Straight up, this is amazing television.
8:45 pm - Megan Joy is making "For Once In My Life" her own. And that's not a good thing.
8:46 pm - The background singers got to sing measures by themselves. I'm sad to say that it's a welcome break from Megan's hideous interpretation. For such a pretty girl, she can sound real ugly sometimes. Oy!
8:47 pm - The judges are ripping her a new one. I agree, she needed to drastically re-interpret the song. I've been saying this since day one with Megan. If she rearranged songs to fit her quirky vibe, she'd be unstoppable. It's the way an Antony Hegarty or a Bjork can sing a classic tune but twist it, turn it and mold it to fit their unique deliveries. I love me some Megan Joy but oof, I sure hope she survives for next week's "Music Selected By Pitchfork Media" theme. (Editor's note: I wish that was an actual "Idol" theme!)
8:48 pm - The Paula Abdul kiss of death: "I'm gonna tell you this. Your stunning beauty takes my breath away." Let me translate for you, Megan. Pack your knives and go. You are the weakest link, goodbye. You're fired. You are not shear genius. We feel we can not make you a supermodel. Etc.
8:50 pm - Oooh, Seacrest dis. After giving Megan's phone numbers he says to America, "On the upside, Anoop's up next!" What a jerk!
8:54 pm - Anoop is getting sensual, and Smokey Robinson - for the 90th time this episode - says, "Don't change a thing!"
8:55 pm - The beginning of Anoop's "Ooh Baby Baby" is almost too gentle and frail. When he belts, he sounds great, but his falsetto is thinner than Karen Carpenter.
8:58 pm - Kara basically said the same thing.
8:58 pm - Paula Abdul just pointed out how scary it must be to perform that song in front of two legends. Except the camera jerked over to Smokey Robinson and an adorable chubby little kid sitting next to him. (They meant to land on Smokey and Berry Gordy, but they failed.)
9:00 pm - Oh crud, Michael Sarver is after the break. Is it too late to switch over to "America's Next Top Model?" Yep, just missed it. Crap!
9:05 pm - Coke Real Moment with Michael Sarver. If this were a legitimate "real" moment, Seacrest would hiss at him, "Can you believe America voted off Alexis Grace before your weak ass?"
9:05 pm - Woah, Michael Sarver didn't go to Detroit because he's racist. JUST KIDDING. He was sick. Totally kidding.
9:06 pm - Sarver's singing "Ain't Too Proud To Beg," and Smokey told him to "pound the song" more. How about that? Smokey has some advice after all!
9:07 pm - Anoop's falsetto > Michael's falsetto.
9:08 pm - Michael said he wanted to take us to church with this performance. Evidently he meant a boring old Roman Catholic mass because this is putting me to sleep, and I'm not sure when I should kneel, pray or get up to drink some wine.
9:09 pm - Ick, now he's pulling a Corkrey and coughing post-performance. Hey, it worked for Megan last week.
9:09 pm - Paula referred to a magic "A" note again! I wish I had my keyboard handy because I would so call her out right now.
9:10 pm - It's unanimous, the judges hate Michael Sarver. REALLY hate. Randy said he shouldn't sing R&B ever (ouch!), Kara said he's not "an artist" (ouch!) and Simon said he has no chance in winning (double-ouch!).
9:17 pm - Lil Rounds is doing "Heat Wave" which reminds me of "Sister Act."
9:18 pm - Smokey Robinson: "Lil Rounds could sing the phonebook!" Is he auditioning to be the fifth judge on this show? God help us!
9:19 pm - It's nice to see "Idol" is getting their money's worth with this ghastly "flame" monitor loop.
9:19 pm - Lil Rounds sounds fantastic, but her hair is tragic. It looks like she's wearing a wig that's falling off her head.
9:20 pm - Regardless of her hair, she's reminding me of Jennifer Hudson right now. It's a roof-raising performance, full of growls, glory notes and gusto. Yay Lil!
9:22 pm - Randy didn't like the first half of the song, and Lil's family is giving great face right now. "Hell to the no, Randy Jackson."
9:22 pm - Uh oh, Kara didn't like it either.
9:24 pm - Neither did Simon. They all hated the song (except for Paula, who, like me, liked it a lot). I guess they're giving her a ton of tough love.
9:25 pm - Lil's post-critique interview is uncomfortably desperate. I hate when good singers are forced to beg for votes on this show. Sheesh, if Lil goes before Michael Sarver or Scott MacIntyre, I might have to quit.
9:31 pm - Seacrest is in the audience sitting next to a woman who looks a lot like one of the creatures from "Where The Wild Things Are." Also in the audience, Olivia Newton-John and her daughter Chloe Lattanzi. Talk about wild things!
9:31 pm - Adam Lambert is covering Smokey's "The Tracks of my Tears." Smokey's impressed. Will we be? I gotta hand it to this mess, I'm on the edge of my seat right now.
9:32 pm - Adam Lambert is delivering one of the best "Idol" performances ever, even though he looks like a cross between Young Elvis, Edward James Olmos and Max Headroom. Seriously, that was Top 5 EVER on this show.
9:35 pm - Standing O's all around. Amazing.
9:36 pm - Side note: when will "Idol" feel comfortable to properly identify Adam's cheering section as "Adam's Boyfriend and Family?" We always know when a "wife" or "husband" or "girlfriend" is in the audience. We've all seen bunches of pictures of those two making out. It's really adorable that he's there every week cheering him on. Why won't "Idol" let him be "out?" Or do you think it's a choice Adam and his partner have made to keep it under wraps?
9:41 pm - Danny Gokey's going back to church this week with The Temptations "Get Ready." Smokey's making him sing all the background vocals, too. Hopefully Smokey's trying to sabotage his performance.
9:43 pm - Annnnd Danny's ignoring Smokey's advice. Twerp! He's taking a page out of the Haley Scarnato playbook by blatantly defying the mentors. Let's hope he doesn't follow page 4 next week, by wearing halter tops and hot pants. (Although, what glasses do you think he'd wear to go with that outfit?)
9:44 pm - I hate this. He's palling around with the background singers, his phrasing is weak. "So get ready! [GIANT BREATH] Get ready! [GIANT BREATH]" My co-worker, and vocal master, Garth is going to have a LOT to say about this tomorrow.
9:44 pm - Paula Abdul: "You are a, [stutter] undeniable, identifiable, and you're always reliable in giving us [waves arm around, hits microphone with her giant ring] a first class performance every week!" Take a seat, Lindsay Lohan's Fornerina commercial, because Paula's behavior is officially the nuttiest thing I've witnessed this week.
9:45 pm - Simon was the only correct judge in his "clumsy" and "amateurish" assessment.
9:50 pm - Back from the commercial break and Randy's sitting on the judge's table, while Paula is perched on Ryan's lap. The table or Seacrest's knee...I don't know which one will give way first. Nice tutu, though, Abdul!
9:51 pm - Allison is doing "Papa Was A Rolling Stone," but is struggling with the lyrics during rehearsal.
9:51 pm - Allison Iraheta is having a moment. This rules!
9:52 pm - Hmmm, I'm not sure the lyrics to the second verse are "Talkin' bout savin' souls and alldatimeeewaaa, dealin' love and Deepak Chopra inna name of the law." But I guess it's hard to enunciate with those braces. Slurring aside, this is great!
9:53 pm - HER FINAL NOTE WAS AMAZING! I don't know whether I should stand up for a standing O or bow down in the presence of greatness. Just brilliant!
9:54 pm - Simon drew a mustache on Paula's upper lip. I have no idea what to say right now.
9:55 pm - PHONE NUMBER MONTAGE! They're showing a really terrible clip of Matt Giraud - which I'm pretty sure was from rehearsal? - a great clip of Kris, an honest clip of Scott, a decent clip of Megan, a split screen of Anoop, a frightening clip of Sarver, an awesome clip of Lil and Adam, an embarassing clip of Danny, and an unfortunate clip from rehearsal for Allison. (She didn't hit the high note then.)
Enough of my prattling! I wanna know what YOU thought of tonight's performances! Did Allison or Adam reign supreme? Do you wish Lil picked a ballad? Were you as uncomfortable as I was when Paula starting stealing Carrot Top's schtick? And don't you wish you could be a fly on the wall when Scott meets Stevie Wonder tomorrow?! (How do visually impaired people shake hands with each other? That seems dangerous, not to mention the obvious accidental sexual harassment scenario that could ensue!)
Leave a comment (or several) below, and my favorite one will get a shout-out in next week's performance show "Idol" live-blog. I'll see you all Friday morning with a brand new "Idol in 60 Seconds." Thanks for reading and watching with me!