Notes from Wednesday after the jump. I have also added the announcement about Dolly Parton next week.
(Chikezie is out. Was with Jason Castro and Syesha Mercado in bottom three -- with Castro first declared safe. Kristy Lee Cook, Ramiele Malubay, Michael Johns, Brooke White, David Archuleta, David Cook and Carly Smithson are safe.)
Here's the release on Parton, followed by my in-progress notes from Wednesday:
Finalist Chikezie was eliminated tonight from the AMERICAN IDOL competition after he received the fewest of America’s over 30 million votes. On Tuesday's performance show, contestants sang songs from the year they were born, and Chikezie, 22, from Inglewood, CA, sang "If Only For One Night."
On Tuesday, April 1 (8:00-9:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed), the Top 9 finalists (Brooke White, Carly Smithson, David Archuleta, David Cook, Jason Castro, Kristy Lee Cook, Michael Johns, Ramiele Malubay and Syesha Mercado) will return to the Idol stage and perform songs by Dolly Parton. Special guest artist Parton will also coach the contestants as they prepare for the performance show.
Tune in the following night Wednesday, April 2 (9:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) to the results show to see Parton perform “Jesus & Gravity,” the second single from her new album “Backwoods Barbie,” and to find out who receives enough votes to stay in the competition and who must go home. The Clark Brothers, the Bluegrass/Country band that won THE NEXT GREAT AMERICAN BAND competition, will also perform live on the results show.
Dolly Parton’s new album, “Backwoods Barbie” (Dolly Records), entered the Billboard pop albums chart at No. 17, marking her highest debut ever on that chart, and at No. 2 on both the country and indie album charts. The iconic singer, songwriter, film star and entrepreneur has penned such classic songs as "Jolene," "Coat of Many Colors," and her mega-hit "I Will Always Love You." With 1977's crossover hit "Here You Come Again," Parton successfully erased the line between country and pop music without noticeably altering either her music or her image.
In 2006, Parton earned her second Oscar nomination for "Travelin' Thru," which she wrote for the film “Transamerica.” She has garnered seven Grammys, 10 CMAs, five ACMs and three AMAs; she is one of only five female artists to win the CMA Entertainer of the Year Award. Beyond a world tour in support of “Backwoods Barbie,” Parton is currently putting finishing touches on the music and lyrics for the upcoming Broadway musical version of “9 to 5.” Parton starred in the 1980 film and earned an Oscar nomination for writing the title tune, along with two Grammy Awards.
And here's what I wrote during the results show last night:
Blah blah Ryan says 30 million votes blah blah intro of judges blah blah blah hype for the songwriting competition that gave us (eek) "This Is My Now." Group sing. "Right Back to Where We Started From." Ramiele gets the first solo, and doesn't do much with it. Doesn't get much better as other singers join. Crowd shots. I think I saw Constantine Maroulis. Don't care. Could we move on to the pointless crowd eliminations? First, commercials.
After ads, hype for the iTunes downloads of the songs, showing them being recorded in the studio. (I've seen more than a little griping on iTunes about these prerecorded versions since they don't match the intensity or impressiveness of the live-on-stage renditions.) We see them adding echo on Brooke White, Michael Johns botching a take, other stuff. Apparently everyone got a free iPod. Recap of Tuesday. David Archuleta insists that "You're the Voice" is one of his favorite songs.
First results. Chikezie is summoned. He's very nervous, says "it's a Wednesday." Bottom three.
Brooke White. She is extremely diplomatic on the band/no band question. And is safe.
Carly Smithson. She denies a news report that she's pregnant. And is safe. Break.
Ford video. "I Want You to Want Me."
David Archuleta. Admits he might have gotten carried away on Tuesday. Still is safe.
David Cook. Ryan says Chris Cornell "loved" DC's cover of Cornell's cover. Safe.
Syesha Mercado. Bottom three.
Michael Johns. Safe. Ryan notes that Dolly Parton works with the contestants next week. Break.
The call-in question segment. One of the worst ideas "Idol" ever had. And my mind is not changed when Chikezie is asked if he is single. (He is, he says, very, very single.) Archuleta is asked -- by a caller from Orrville, Ohio -- why he chose his song and he reiterates that it is one of his favorites. And on it goes.
Kimberly Locke on tape and singing. I liked her back in her "Idol" days. Still think that -- based solely on that night's performances -- she should have gone from the top three to the final two. Good voice still. A very "Idol"-y song, and I don't mean that in a good way. Randy and Paula offer kudos. Simon remains silent into the break.
"Idol" gives back is touted.
Ramiele Malubay is summoned. Ryan brings up the sickness defense again. She's safe.
Down to Kristy Lee Cook and Jason Castro. Ryan says Lee Greenwood is very proud of KLC. She's safe. Pandering pays off. JC goes bottom three.
Ryan asks Paula if she's bothered by the bottom three. She gives a rambling, sympathetic answer. Castro says he knew he was bottom three. But he's safe. Break.
Syesha is safe. Chikezie is out. Video journey. He does his farewell sing and sounds better than he did Tuesday night. And so, good night.