American Idol Episodes

2002, TV Show

American Idol Episode: "1 of 4 Voted Off"

Season 8, Episode 36
Episode Synopsis: One of the final four contestants is eliminated in a results edition. Daughtry and No Doubt perform.
Original Air Date: May 6, 2009
Guest Cast Daughtry No Doubt

American Idol Episode Recap: Top Three Perform Season 8, Episode 36

Danny Gokey, Kris Allen and Adam Lambert perform two songs tonight as they fight for the title of the next American Idol. One song will be chosen by the judges, the other by the contestants themselves. Will they pick the perfect songs, or will the pressure finally get to them?

Hello my friends! I'm back from my babymoon in Hawaii, and as Adam said, I scored an exclusive interview with the smoke monster from Lost. Turns out, he's totally misunderstood. He just wants to be loved! Who knew?

Thanks again to Mickey and Adam for their awesome recaps last week. I have to tell you I was completely depressed when Allison got kicked off and moped about it for days. But I know she has an amazing future ahead of her, so I can't be too sad, right?

This week, Idol cameras followed Adam, Danny and Kris as they returned home to throngs of screaming fans and heroes' welcomes. (Here come the waterworks!) If you recall from years past, each contestant must now perform a judges' choice song, followed by a song of their own choosing. Danny's up first tonight, and Paula has picked "Dance Little Sister" by Terence Trent D'Arby for our bespeckled friend.

Danny Gokey
"Dance Little Sister"
Paula has picked a song that perfectly fits Danny's voice and personality. The problem is, I don't feel any connection to him or his performance whatsoever. He sounds great (though I still loathe his dancing), but he could be better. Randy, however, thinks Danny did a great job kicking off the show and loved his hoarse tone. Kara (and her new bangs) says he's a great singer, but the dancing was too gyrating for her. Ha! Paula disagrees and says he did "really good." Wow, what a ringing endorsement. Simon says the dancing was desperate but was vocally he was great. Plus, he would have rather heard a different TTD song. As Danny tries to explain why he was gyrating, Simon grabs Paula and puts his hand over her mouth. Ryan tries not to let their shenanigans affect the show, but it's impossible — and this is just the beginning.

"You Are So Beautiful"
Oh, the ladies will love this Joe Cocker song! Danny sits on a stool and does the chill version of the song. I think the judges will dig the stripped-down version, and I actually like it as well — it's much better than the first number. He lets loose in the middle of the song and then brings it back down. Randy says he showed mad vocals and that he "really can sing." Astounding critique, Randy. Kara says that this song was everything she wanted from the first song, but didn't get. She thinks it was stunning. Paula says he left everyone breathless and that he nailed it. Simon says he didn't love the arrangement but that he would call it a vocal master class. Wow!

Kris Allen
Randy and Kara have chosen a very popular song by OneRepublic and I'm so excited to hear him sing it. Great choice! (Yes, I actually complimented Kara and Randy!) I'm a little nervous that this song is too big, but once Kris opens his mouth, my fears are put to rest. He sounds so awesome that I get instant goosebumps. He really told a story and though he didn't change it up much, I don't think he needed to. Why? It's too recognizable to mess with. But that's just my opinion, and apparently the judges don't agree. Randy says he loves that the song showed who Kris could be in the music business, but Kara wishes he had taken more liberties with it and made it his own. I'm now growling at my TV. They can never make up their minds! Paula gives him some praise but says he had a really big bum note (this is the woman who lip-synched her performance last week). Simon calls Kara out on picking the song for him, then blaming him for the song choice. Ha! He says it was a competent version of the original, but that Kara and Randy should have worked out the arrangement for him. I love when Simon stirs the pot. Kara then stands up and puts her hands over Simon's mouth and tells Kris not to listen to him. Grow up, judges!

Kris busts out the guitar and his adorable side-mouth singing to sing Kanye West's "Heartless." He does the impossible: he turns Kanye's tune into a totally wicked guitar-pop song. It's original and awesome! He's so likable, talented and marketable! Randy loves that Kris is in it to win it and says he likes his version better than Kanye's! Ha! Kara says, "why didn't you do that with 'Apologize,'" and I want to yell at her, "It's not about you!" She says it was perfect all around. Paula takes another dig at Simon before she says Kris is relevant and fabulous. Simon says he'd written Kris out of the finals with his first song, but his second performance changed his mind. Hell yeah!

Adam Lambert
Wow, Simon. "One" by U2 is quite an ambitious choice. Simon brags that Bono himself gave him permission to use it on show (picture me rolling my eyes). You all know I'm not the biggest Adam fan, but I do love how he begins this song. But then his screechy voice kicks in, and the moment is gone for me. Randy says he's in the zone, but didn't love him going off the melody (which Simon boos right away). Kara loves that he changed it up and thinks it was unbelievable. Paula says that it was brilliant and that she's staring at an American Idol. Simon says the song choice was brilliant and that if he doesn't make it into the finals, it will be one of the biggest upsets in Idol history.

Shocker! Adam has chosen Aerosmith for his last song of the evening. I think he sounds terrible in the beginning! He's flat in one spot and off-synch with the backup singer in many other spots. He kind of pulls it together in the end, but overall, his first song was much better. Randy says he's one of the best they've ever had on the show and loved it more than "One." Kara can't believe he hits all those notes. Paula says if Steven Tyler was a mentor, he'd have nothing to say because Adam's set the bar so high. Simon (who's already told Oprah that Adam is his pick to win) brings everyone back down to Earth and tells America that no one (Kara and Paula!) should assume Adam will be in the finals and that people should vote for him so he earns his spot in the last show. I agree, Simon!

What did you think of Danny, Adam and Kris' performances? Did you prefer the judges' or the contestants' song choices better?

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For the latest on American Idol, tune into TV Guide Network's Idol Tonight every Wednesday at 8 pm/ET and Idol Wrap every Friday at 8 pm/ET with co-hosts Kimberly Caldwell and Justin Guarini. Plus get more on your favorite Idols every Friday with American Idol Rewind at 7 pm/ET.

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Danny Gokey, Kris Allen and Adam Lambert perform two songs tonight as they fight for the title of the next American Idol. One song will be chosen by the judges, the other by the contestants themselves. Will they pick the perfect songs, or will the pressure finally get to them? read more

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Premiered: June 11, 2002, on FOX
Rating: TV-PG
User Rating: (3,327 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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