The show opens tonight in a stare down between Ryan and Sanjaya and the question is posed, "Is your favorite safe?" Isn't this last week's gag? Difference is I catch a glimmer of sympathy in Ryan's eyes and I think this will be Sanjaya's week to go. The studio is full and alive as the judges are introduced. Simon is given the opportunity to set the record straight backed up by a video of what went down. I never doubted the secret softie! He isn't really Mr. Nasty. Ryan informs us that we will be entertained by Fergie and Martina McBride and given a recap of last night. He then takes us outside to get a Hollywood Vibe.
Our first entertaining act of the night is the group of seven singing "I'm Alright," and it was more than alright. They are coming together and interacting as friends...too bad one has to leave.
Kristina Keaton won last week's AI Challenge, and this week viewers need to decide which of this year's contestants was the rocker: a. Brandon, B. Stephanie C. Gina I'm not giving any clues--you were supposed to be paying attention.
Next we get to find out what our contestants listen to. Blake, Melinda and LaKisha name singers I've never heard of but Phil is listening to my boy, Willie Nelson. Now there is a man who came through the music school of hard knocks and learned how to phrase a song. When he sings, the story breaks your heart! Chris listens to Peter Noone, his hero, of Herman's Hermits, and Jordan just happens to listen to Fergie. I smell an intro to our next entertainer...and I am right.
Looking hot in a blue shirt, black pants and red high heels, Fergie sings a very appropriate song about centering yourself and finding peace and serenity. She does a good job, if you like that kind of music.
Next week is the week we have all been waiting for: Idol Gives Back. On Tuesday we will watch the six perform and get to vote. Wednesday should be a thrilling night of performances. Some of the stars in the house will be: Gwen Stefani, Rascal Flatts, Hugh Grant, Pink, Earth,Wind and Fire, Helen Mirrin, Carrie Underwood and the original Idol, Kellie Clarkson. Throw in some hot men and I'll be there.
Now it is time to get down to the business of the night. Long time watchers know the routine for "The Seven Results." Ryan divides the seven into two groups: one with the least votes, one with the top votes. Melinda (looking fabulous) is safe and must join the group she thinks is safe. Melinda balks like any good filly and sits on the stage floor in protest. I'm remembering the Taylor/ Chris handshake of last year. These are dramatic moments.
Our two groups this year are: Sanjaya, LaKisha and Blake; Phil, Jordan and Chris. Which group did you pick? It wasn't easy. On one hand you had Sanjaya (big fan base), LaKisha (dynamite voice) and Blake (the board favorite). On the other side, you had Phil (who gave the County night an awesome start), Jordin (our 17 year old diva) and Chris (who has been touted as next to go). I am torn. Ryan sends Melinda to Phil's side. I am relieved, as he is my favorite male. But then I look at the other side. Who are we going to lose?
Randy thinks it's crazy that Blake is there, and Paula hopes Blake's grandmother is not too upset. Simon looks at the three and grins. He can see the writing on the wall. He may not have to quit. Of course, we will have to wait until after the break to find out.
The Lucky Seven have been treated to some down time this week and are taken to DreamWorks to get a preview of the movie "Shrek the Third." They meet Jeffrey Katzenberg and Antonio Banderas (Puss in Boots), and have some fun with the sound equipment...we see some hidden talents. The Lucky Seven get a private screening of "Shrek the Third," which will be released in May. By the look and sound of their clips, they loved the movie. It's so nice when the sequels are even better than the first.
Next up is our guest mentor, Martina McBride, and she lives up to everything we would expect. Dressed very simply but classy, she does a heartfelt, flawless rendition of "Anyway." My eyes get watery as I think of the moms and dads of the Virginia Tech casualties. Martina's daughter joins the singer and Ryan on stage and, with the self-assuredness of a child who has been raised properly, she takes Ryan's mike and control of the show. Her remark to the contestants "Everyone is good" brings me back to the realization that we are now going to lose someone. I hate Wednesdays! Martina announces that we will find out after the break.
When the commercials finish, Ryan puts Blake's fans out of their misery. He is safe! AI has had the biggest vote for a top 7 show ever, 38 million votes. Let's break the bank next week, people! Turning to LaKisha and Sanjaya, Ryan delivers the news quickly. Sanjaya.......you are going home. LaKisha stays with Sanjaya while we watch Sanjaya's going home video. We are reminded of all the fun and interest Sanjaya has added to the show. I have loved watching that boy grow and I don't think it will be the last we see of him. Sanjaya cries during all of the mentors' lovely comments and LaKisha holds him. Sanjaya says, "It's been an amazing experience, one I'll never forget." Ryan adds "and we will never forget you." So true! Sanjaya sings "Something to Talk About... other than hair" and sounds better than last night. Blake dries LaKisha's tears. Those two have a lot to think about this week. Why were two people, who have been previously touted to be part of the top four, in the bottom three?
And that's it until next week. Exercise those dialing fingers.