A Dose of Reality: American Idol 6: Week 8 Results
by Raul Burriel
Published: April 12, 2007
Last night, our American Idol contestants were coached through "Latin Night" by none other than Jennifer Lopez. It seemed a night fraught with pitfalls. None of the contestants are Latin singers and they would be performing outside their comfort zones. Things started badly with only mediocre performances by stars Melinda Doolittle and LaKisha Jones. Things fared little better for the rest of the pack, but with Blake Lewis and the ever surprising Sanjaya Malakar bringing up the rear, we could at least expect to be entertained. And entertained, we were. In fact, Sanjaya did plenty of surprising, and not only with his freshly cut hair and finally-filling out facial hair (I've said I wouldn't like Sanjaya until he cut his hair, so I guess he showed me.) Sanjaya actually excelled in the Latin style and gave one of the best performances of the night.
Tonight we get an hour-long results episode, meaning a lot of filler. The show starts with the obligatory group performance. In this case, the contestants give us their rendition of Enrique Iglesias's Bailamos. After a commercial break, host Ryan Seacrest hits the streets to find out what the general public thought of last night's show. If nothing else, the "man on the street" segment is eye-opening as to what America really thinks of American Idol. Firstly, it seems that Sanjaya is loved by more than just pre-pubescent teen girls and misanthropes out to throw a wrench in the works of American Idol. Next, too many people who watch the show can't even remember the names of the contestants but can usually remember what the contestants wore. Lastly, Chris is apparently recognized as "the guy who looks like Justin Timberlake."
Back in the studio, R&B artist Akon makes his second appearance on the show, this time to perform his current Billboard #1 hit, Don't Matter.
After a commercial break (and the weekly Ford promo featuring our American Idol contestants - this time singing Happy Together), Ryan reminds us of the "Idol Gives Back" charitable promotion running this season. Afterwards, we get some fancy editing where clips of Tony Bennett (last week's guest) are spliced with same scathing comments from the judges from auditions earlier this season.
Another commercial break, and finally, we get down to some tense-filled eliminatin'. Seated in two rows on the couches - stage left - are our contestants. As in past weeks, Ryan goes down the rows, reminding us what each performer sang last night and what the judges thought of the performance. Phil Stacey is first in line, and first in the bottom three. By now, this should come as no surprise to anybody. It's Phil's fourth time in the bottom three. But after Phil, the good news comes. I was concerned that for the first time, Melinda or LaKisha (or both) may end up in the bottom three. In past seasons, one bad week has been enough to eliminate a strong performer. And this could have been that bad week for either girl. Both LaKisha and Melinda are safe. Jordin Sparks - who has been getting better week after week and last night may have actually surpassed Melinda and LaKisha - is safe as well. Haley Scarnato is the second contestant in the bottom three, marking her third appearance there. Blake is safe. That leaves Chris Richardson and Sanjaya. Sanjaya is safe and Chris is sent to join Phil and Haley in the bottom three. This is the right bottom three, not necessarily based on last night's performances, but based on the season-long performances of the others not standing on center stage right now. Melinda, LaKisha, Jordin and Blake are all far superior singers and performers, and Sanjaya - while surely not in the same league as anyone else in this competition - continues to persevere through sheer pluck, determination, and the votes of countless of Americans. Phil, Haley and Chris all won't go home tonight, but if anyone else goes home before these three (other than maybe Sanjaya), it will be a great injustice. All that remains is to determine the order in which this threesome is sent home.
After a commercial break, Chris is sent back to safety but Phil and Haley are made to sweat as we shower praise on this week's guest, Jennifer Lopez. The promotional package is followed by Lopez performing her Spanish-language single Qué Hiciste.
Finally, one last commercial break and we get around to finding out who goes home. There's no more beating around the bush as we find out that Haley is eliminated. I guess that means that next week will be Phil's fifth time in the bottom three (that's gotta be some kind of record), although given that next week will have a country theme, Phil may actually excel and avoid the bottom three. We'll have to wait and see.
Week 1: Men's Night | Women's Night | Results
Week 2: Men's Night | Women's Night | Results
Week 3: Men's Night | Women's Night | Results
Week 4: Diana Ross Theme | Results
Week 5: British Invasion Theme | Results
Week 6: Pop Theme | Results
Week 7: Oldies Theme - Andrea's Recap | Oldies Theme - Paul's Recap | Results
Week 8: Latin Theme - Andrea's Recap | Latin Theme - Paul's Recap