American Idol Episodes

2002, TV Show

American Idol Episode: "1 of 3 Voted Off"

Season 8, Episode 38
Episode Synopsis: One of the Top 3 finalists is eliminated in a results edition. Songstress Katy Perry performs "Waking Up in Vegas," and Season 6 winner Jordin Sparks renders "Battlefield." Appearing: comic actors Ben Stiller, Hank Azaria, Jonah Hill and Bill Hader.
Original Air Date: May 13, 2009
Guest Cast Ben Stiller Hank Azaria Jonah Hill Bill Hader Katy Perry

American Idol Recap: Top 2 Revealed Season 8, Episode 38

It's down to the final hours of American Idol! After this tense results show, only two singers are left in the battle to become America's next Idol. Following four month of whittling down the wannabes, Kris Allen, Danny Gokey and Adam Lambert sang their hearts out this week with one song selected by the judges, and one song of their own choosing. Which guy is going home? Let's dive in.

OPENING SCHTICK
Ben Stiller appears with the American Idol desk, and a queasy sense of impending cross-promotion sinks in. As his dead-pan routine unfolds (he's promoting Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian), the synergy is impressive (the Smithsonian will be featuring the Idol judges' iconic desk).

Thankfully, Ryan appears and the show begins in earnest. After we learn that an unbelievable 88 million votes were tallied, it's more cross-promo with a faux Ford ad. The three finalists know how to ham it up, but the ad team's cartoon renderings seemed to channel 2009 Oscar nominee Waltz with Bashir, an animated Israeli film about the Lebanon war -- which also featured a terrifying scene with dogs. 

FEEL-GOOD SEGMENT
Alicia Keys arrives to tell us about Keep a Child Alive, which provides medicine and treatment for children and families with HIV/AIDS in Africa. She then introduces adorable and spastic Noah, a 15-year-old rapper from Rwanda, who performs a song and has blended West African dance with hip-hop swagger and some crazy arm-waving (aka "rolling down the windows," in snowboard instructor-speak). It looks like he's lip-synching, but are we going to judge a kid who's in that uncomfortable role of poster boy for post-colonial charity? I squirm a little, and Seacrest does, too, as he tries to imitate Noah's spas-tastic dance moves.

DANNY
It's tears, parades, crowds, girls, screaming and more tears as we see a montage of Danny's return home to Milwaukee. Visits to local media outlets, a parade and a mayoral proclamation of Danny Gokey day! But back on the Idol stage, Danny tries to look natural as Ryan recounts the judges' comments about his performances this week... and then he's sent to the couch.

KRIS
Kris scored free cheese dip for life from one of his hometown restaurants in Conway, Ark. Is there anything better? As we see his local media appearances, many screaming girls and his parade through town, Idol has the audacity to play that Oscar-winning song from Once, by my boyfriend Frames front man Glen Hansard... and the tears well up. Now his family is tearing up, too, and there's no hope of avoiding waterworks at the office. Sigh. Back at Idol, Ryan recounts what went down for Kris on Tuesday night. And it's off to the couch. 

JORDIN SPARKS PERFORMS
Someone is all grown up! The Season 6 Idol champ emerges on the smoky stage to perform her new song, "Battlefield," and owns it. As Jordin works the song with powerful vocals (and a sassy, strapless dress) the message is clear: "Idol hopefuls, take note: This is how you do it."

ADAM
It's Adam's turn for the emotion-manipulating homecoming segment. We see him and his eyeliner greeting the requisite laydeez in San Diego, helping the local weather woman apply her eyeliner and at his childhood theater school, where he answers questions from tiny children (one asks him who does his hair)... and the tear-jerking is just shameless. Back with Ryan, we hear how Simon called him "brilliant," (both his performance and Simon's pick of song), and he hits the couch. 

KATY PERRY PERFORMS
But first: Ryan kicks it on the couch with the three guys. Danny's ready for it to be over. "You realize it's not my fault you have to wait," Ryan says — and it seems like he really feels bad. Still, Katy arrives in all her sartorial splendor: bathing-cape get-up, white booties and doll-eyes that pop out of her head. Are some of these notes too low for her to hit? Can't Simon weigh in? 

THE RESULTS
The lights are dim! And the first person competing in the finale is: Kris! Paula's mouth drops, and Randy does a Wayne's World-style bowing motion. Ick, dawg.

On to the Danny-Adam showdown: Danny's out! During the reaction shots, Kara mouths, "Oh my god." Paula's eyes are huge. And now Danny has to sing the exit song — perhaps one of the cruelest institutions in reality television (I'm talking to you, too, So You Think You Can Dance). 

In the parting shot, Simon tells Adam and Kris that next week will be the "big ding-dong." He clarifies: "It means good."

What do you think? Will next week's face-off be epic? Or are you too heartbroken to care? Comment away, and vote for your pick in our poll. 

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It's down to the final hours of American Idol! After this tense results show, only two singers are left in the battle to become America's next Idol. Following four month of whittling down the wannabes, Kris Allen, Danny Gokey and Adam Lambert sang their hearts out this week with one song selected by the judges, and one song of their own choosing. Which guy is going home? Let's dive in.

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Premiered: June 11, 2002, on FOX
Rating: TV-PG
User Rating: (3,257 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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