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April 9, 2008
Idol Chatter: Dig deep tonight


I know it's a two-and-a-half-hour show (much shorter with a DVR), but tonight's "Idol Gives Back" (at 7:30 p.m. on Channel 40) is probably going to have its share of interesting performances - from musicians to comedians, maybe even the prez.

And, it's a one-night break for the remaining eight contestants, who can draw a breath without worrying about someone telling them they were just "OK."

That said, Tuesday night's competition of inspirational songs was, well, just OK for me. I don't know if I wanted all the choices to leave me with a tear in my eye or feeling uplifted and ready to save the world.

It was a mixed bag.

My faves? Actually, I liked Michael Johns' Aerosmith take on "Dream On," even though the three "Idol" judges and host Ryan Seacrest had just appeared on "Larry King Live" and said they wanted him to stay away from rocker songs and focus more on blues and R&B.

Syesha Mercado once again tackled a song that was beyond her comfort zone: Season 3 winner Fantasia's "I Believe." I agree with the judges (on "Larry King") that she's likely headed to the theater, not a recording studio.

I was, however, waiting for a house in Kansas to fall on Jason Castro (pictured) after he sang the Israel Kamakawiwo'ole version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," complete with ukelele. But Randy Jackson emoted: "It was blazing, molten hot!" Who knew?

Kristy Lee Cook might, might finally elude the bottom three with her rendition of "Anyway" by Martina McBride. I went to iTunes after the show and listened to Our Lady Peace's version of "Innocent," which David Cook tackled. Liked the Toronto-based band's take better.

And I agreed totally with Simon Cowell that Carly Smithson was taking out some serious aggressions with "Show Must Go On" by Queen and that she could be in trouble Thursday night. (The hourlong live results show is at 8 p.m. Thursday.)

David Archuleta could do not wrong with "Angels" (on keyboard), from UK artist Robbie Williams. And Brooke White? What can I say? Her confidence has been totally shaken after landing in the bottom three last week. So much so that her "You've Got a Friend" (the Carol King version) sounded much like my scratched-up original of King's "Tapestry" LP.

Predictions? Syesha and Carly definitely in the bottom three. And, just for a shake-up, either David C. or Michael, to rattle their vocal cages.

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