American Idol Episodes

2002, TV Show

American Idol Episode: "12 Finalists Compete"

Season 7, Episode 20
Episode Synopsis: The 12 finalists perform Lennon-McCartney songs.
Original Air Date: Mar 11, 2008

The Top 12 Perform Season 7, Episode 20

That was quite a night of ups and downs, including some pretty incredible performances and a few disasters (not to mention some unintentional comic relief courtesy of the judges). The two biggest stories of the night were the seeming self-destruction of hitherto nearly perfect David Archuleta (more on that in a bit) and the heightened crabbiness of Simon, who made disparaging comments not only about the singers but about several of the songs themselves (and these were Beatles songs, I mean, come on). Simon had a couple of especially cringe-inducing moments, including when he said, "What's the Irish girl's name?" and Paula and Randy replied quickly, "Carly! Carly!" Like a guy in the audience behind Simon, I put my head in my hands after that comment. Ryan - who was, unless I'm mistaken, sporting a faux-hawk - talked up the new set, which was... you know, big and impressive, but not really all that. He also had a couple of choice moments with Simon, like when he was whispering sweet nothings in his ear until Simon pushed back his chair and said, "No, I would not!" Wonder what that comment could've been. Ryan also commented on Simon's unbuttoned shirt, to which Simon replied with his famous, "Ryan, this is inappropriate." At times, Simon looked like he was genuinely hurt by Ryan's little digs. The whole thing has been sort of not-really-but-kind-of-funny for the past few years, and I loved when Randy, appearing on the Today show recently, called the Simon-Ryan thing a "bromance." Once again, I was shockingly onboard with Paula's very astute comments tonight. As my husband put it, "Paula's so lucid tonight." On to the performances: Syesha Mercado, "Got to Get You into My Life": The Earth, Wind & Fire version of this song, performed with big smiles but not a whole lot of pizzazz, just didn't cut it tonight. It was basically good but quite boring. Syesha's in trouble for sure. Chikezie, "She's a Woman": Hang on to your hats, kids, Chikezie's back! He's been barely scraping by the last couple of weeks, but he should last another week at least based on the strength of that performance. He seemed to really enjoy himself, and the feeling was mutual. I actually thought the beginning was the best part - I absolutely loved the bluegrass interpretation. Ryan needed to settle down, though - after Chikezie's positive reviews from the judges, he was doing chest bumps, putting his hands all over Chikezie's sweaty head and getting himself out of breath. Ramiele Malubay, "In My Life": This sounded kind of cruise ship-y to me. She sang it so straight, but as Randy said, "It was kind of pretty, but it was also kind of pretty boring." Her dedication - which was basically to Danny Noriega, it seemed to me - was so earnest, I was a little embarrassed for her. Jason Castro, "If I Fell": He's so sweet, and I don't know if it's a girl thing or what, but that was a nearly swoon-worthy performance. I think no one was more surprised than Paula at the fact that she disagreed with Randy, but she stood up for herself and said, "I feel your heart, and the audience feels your heart." Carly Smithson, "Come Together": Tonight, Carly proved something to me. Amanda may be the rock-and-roll nurse, but Carly's got her own rock-goddess chops. Simon compared her to Kelly Clarkson, and I can see it: They both have powerful, pitch-perfect voices, and they're both eminently confident and strutting their stuff. David Cook, "Eleanor Rigby": I've become a big David C. fan, and this happens to be one of my fave Beatles songs, but I thought the whole thing was sort of wishy-washy until he hit the chorus, at which point he really kicked it up. Simon thought it was "brilliant." I wouldn't go that far (not as good as last week's), but it definitely confirms that he's one to watch for. Brooke White, "Let It Be": Somehow the sight of Brooke barefoot, playing the piano and tearing up as she sang a song that clearly means a lot to her sort of perfectly summed her up. It was sincere, and it was lovely. The only weird thing was that she kept looking for the camera. Her interaction with Ryan was odd, as he was grabbing her hand and she was pretty much pulling away. (Snd then there was the whole thing with her shoes, with Simon implying that Ryan wanted them for himself, which was just annoying.) David Hernandez, "I Saw Her Standing There": Worst song choice of the night goes to David H. The original is so fun and upbeat, but it actually sort of sounded to me like this was his first time through it, like he was unsure of where he wanted to go with it. Simon called him a "rabbit in the headlights," and David H.'s days on the show are definitely numbered. Amanda Overmyer, "You Can't Do That": When she said that this week was the first time she heard this song, my reaction was, "Oh, boy, not good." But I think the fact that she didn't know it meant that she was free to really make it her own, and she did. Unlike Simon, I thought this was her best performance to date. Paula was blown away, and truth be told, I was, too. Michael Johns, "Across the Universe": One of my favorite songs, and Michael showed a really sweet side of himself tonight by being honest, simple and straightforward with it. Paula disagreed with Randy again, and praised Michael's "inner strength and inner confidence." It's such a beautiful song, and for the first time since his "Bohemian Rhapsody" during Hollywood week, I thought Michael's voice was as pretty as he is. Kristy Lee Cook, "Eight Days a Week": I guess I respect that she tried something different with it, but what a mess. And for the record, I do like (good) country music, but this wasn't that. She actually seemed kind of disconnected from what she was singing. Paula didn't get it; Simon thought it was "horrendous... like Dolly Parton on helium." David Archuleta, "We Can Work It Out": And, finally, we get to David A. Could it be that the heir apparent just completely lost it? There's no denying that he's got a bundle of talent, that he's charming and sweet and incredibly likable. And next week - and there will be a next week for him - he'll probably be back in his usual top-notch form. But what really surprised me was that he not only forgot his lyrics tonight (a big no-no, especially on such a well-known song) but he seemed utterly lost up there, like he just didn't know how to handle himself or Stevie Wonder's version of the song. Which is odd, since he's always been such a pro. "That was a mess," declared Simon. Hopefully for his sake - and for all his many fans out there - David A. will learn a lesson from this experience. My prediction: Either Syesha, David H. or Ramiele are going home. Of course, none of them self-destructed quite like David A., but there's no way he's leaving (and he doesn't deserve to). New! Paula watch: Ms. Abdul was full-on sober tonight! Read Matt Roush's take on last night's show. Cheers & Jeers: Should Fox do away with Moment of Truth promos during Idol? Watch David A.'s performance in our Online Video Guide. What do you think? How did you think the kids did on the Beatles songbook? And are you psyched or annoyed that Katharine McPhee is going to be performing tomorrow night? For American Idol clips, visit our Online Video Guide. show less
That was quite a night of ups and downs including some pretty incredible performances and a few disasters not to mention some unintentional comic relief courtesy of the judges The two biggest stories of the night were the seeming self-destruction of hitherto nearly perfect David Archuleta more on that in a bit and the heightened crabbiness of Simon who made disparaging comments not only about the singers but about several of the songs themselves and these were Beatles songs I mean come on Simon had a couple of especially cringe-inducing moments including when he said Whats the Irish girls name and Paula and Randy replied quickly Carly Carly Like a guy in the audience behind Simon I put my head in my hands after that comment Ryan who was unless Im mistaken sporting a faux-hawk talked up the new set which was you know big and impressive but not really all that He also had a couple of choice moments with Simon like when he was whisperi read more

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Premiered: June 11, 2002, on FOX
Rating: TV-PG
User Rating: (3,318 ratings)
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Premise: The smash reality series showcases wannabe pop stars competing for a record deal by crooning for a panel of judges, including, most entertainingly, the acid-tongued Simon Cowell, who departed the show in 2010 after serving for nine seasons. The judges review a performer's talent (or lack thereof), and at-home viewers then vote for their favorite potential star. The show helped launch the careers of such artists as Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson and Adam Lambert.

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