American Idol
Season 7: Top 9 Performances

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Season 7: Top 9 Performances

Okay, so anybody who was successfully taken in by Ryan Seacrest's clever April Fool's ruse that tonight's episode would be postponed in favor of a celebrity edition of Moment of Truth, I regret to inform you that your voting privileges have been revoked for the remainder of the season. Sorry, Kristy Lee Cook.

We've got nine performances and "only" one hour tonight, so we speed through the judges' introductions (including a sweater-clad Randy Jackson -- so nice of you to join us, Dr. Cosby!) and get right to tonight's mentor...Miss Dolly Parton. Now, I promised Potes that I'd go easy on Dolly, which is a weird thing for me to say considering I totally love her. But I'd seen her lately, and between the unnaturally skinny waist and her giant, clown-painted head, Dolly was starting to look a little bit like a caricature drawing. However, I am happy to report that she looks just fine tonight. The hair's still big and beautiful, as are other things, and she's thankfully lost not a bit of that sparkling personality. In truth, I'm secretly hoping she kidnaps David Archuleta and takes him to Dollywood to raise as her own.

Brooke's up first, and she'll be performing "Jolene." Oh good! (And good job elbowing David Cook out of the way -- I love the guy, but him trying to do the superb Jack White version of this song would not have turned out well.) Dolly compliments her honesty, and Brooke gushes about Dolly. On stage, she's accompanied by a fiddle player, a backup singer, and some dude thumping on a box. She totally stole Chikezie's arrangement, didn't she? The performance is...okay. It's funny, because my initial reaction to Brooke's song choice was that I hoped she didn't turn it into yet another Brooke Piano Ballad, when the fact is, this song would have sounded dynamite as a Brooke Piano Ballad. As it stands, she's singing up-tempo, but seated with her guitar, which leaves the energy of the performance kind of floating around in a no-man's land. Her voice sounds tentative, too. Not my favorite performance. Randy didn't love it either, but he thinks this is her kind of music. Paula praises her consistence then rambles on about nothing for a while, which has gotta be driving Ryan crazy, what with the pressure to get this overstuffed show in under and hour. Brooke sucks up to Paula by complimenting her hairdo, which: a) way to waste your energy sucking up to Paula, and b) Paula's hair is kind of looking Carly-ish tonight, with the giant Mom volume. Simon didn't detect any emotion (yeah, me neither) and says it sounded like she was "busking" her way through the song. I do love it when Simon learns a new word. He also makes a crack at the Triplets of Belleville-esque backing ensemble. No mention is made of Brooke's high-waisted pants.

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American Idol

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