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Idol Chatter: Welcome to Hollywood! Or, you know, the Glendale-Pasadena-Greater L.A. area!

First, may I offer you a palate-cleansing appetizer from the "American Idol" merchandise empire: I was one of the lucky ones to receive a preview copy of the book "Chicken Soup for the American Idol Soul" in the mail. Ahem, cough cough, throat clearing, here's an excerpt: "I now believe that if Simon had been uncharacteristically kind and never mentioned my obvious weight problem, I would never have been able to touch so many lives."

That's from Season 5's Mandisa, responding to Simon's crack of "Are we going to get a bigger stage this year?" after they cleared her through to Hollywood and she left the room during the Chicago auditions.

On that note of humanity and sweetness, let's get to Tuesday night's show, which managed to drag out the torment for the better, yet-still-not-qualified contestants by giving them several chances to mangle a a song before putting the standouts through to the final 50.

In a twist from previous seasons, they offered the contestants the ability to use instruments to aid their performance. In a way, I think this is a nice element - it gives some sort of proof that these people have an inclination towards music, and aren't all "Hey, if Paris Hilton shrieked her way to an album, I can too!" types. On the other hand, it's obviously going to be the last chance for these people to hide behind an instrument as a prop on stage. Being able to play and sing is an entirely different presentation style than standing up there behind a mic and having no idea what to do with your hands besides fluttering them around.

The last half-hour of the two hour (!) spectacle, however, is actually a pretty nifty sneak peek at who the biggies look to be this season. In rapid succession, we get Australian Michael Johns singing "Bohemian Rhapsody," Irish gal Carly Smithson rocking out "Alone," Asia'h doing a sweet rendition of "I'm Going Down" and Josiah, totally off his rocker from lack of sleep, warbling through "Stand By Me" but still getting a pass.

Tonight! Who makes it through to the final 24? And how can they drag it out for another hour? Judging by the previews last night, look for a camera dedicated exclusively to sobbing in an elevator.

February 13, 2008 in American Idol | Permalink

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When I was in my late teens a friend of mine, an elite athlete, gave me the most profound yet simple advice that changed the way I would view myself forever. He told me "You yourself have to think you're great because no one else is going to tell you that you are."

Posted by: tiffany silver | Jan 4, 2010 10:19:28 PM

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