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from Fan Fare:

It’s a boys’ club on “Idol” as finale looms

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With Allison Iraheta getting the boot on Wednesday night, three white men will duke it out for the "American Idol" crown for the first time in the show's history.

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Iraheta's offing couldn't have come as a huge surprise to the show's viewers, who saw her land among the show's lowest vote-getters three previous times this season. In that sense, she was no Chris Daughtry, whose shocking fourth place finish three years ago was replayed on Wednesday night's show before his band performed its new single, the appropriately titled "No Surprise." 

The 17 year-old Iraheta's distinctive rock voice has been compared to that of "Idol" winner and pop superstar Kelly Clarkson, which is saying a lot because Clarkson has been on a tear ever since she graduated from the show in 2002, and in March she netted her second No. 1 album.

"Allison Iraheta, who has so much to be proud of, who is a role model to a lot of girls out there," host Ryan Seacrest said immediately following the Los Angeles-born singer's final performance.

from Fan Fare:

“Idol” judges throw stones on Rock Week

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In contrast to last week on "American Idol" when it seemed the contestants could do no wrong, the judges found plenty of stones to throw at the Top 4 on Rock Week. Except for Adam Lambert, who as usual thrilled the panelists.allison-iraheta

Lambert, coming off his shocking first trip to the Bottom Three last week, sang British supergroup Led Zeppelin's hit "Whole Lotta Love" and struck all the high notes, jerking his head to the side in rhythm with the band and glowering with an expression Elvis Presley might have worn if he was fused with John Travolta. The judges loved it. 

from Fan Fare:

“Idol” goes topsy-turvy as Adam hits a speed bump

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USA/"American Idol" golden boy Adam Lambert hit a big speed bump on Wednesday night after he landed among the show's Bottom Three vote-getters for the first time this season.

And, just when it seemed lone woman contestant Allison Iraheta was standing on thin ice, she skated handily into the next round.

from Fan Fare:

On “Idol,” it’s a man’s world this season

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irahetaOn "American Idol," it appears to be a man's world after all.

It's no secret that male contestants like Adam Lambert and Danny Gokey have trounced their female counterparts in the singing competition since early this season. And, with just one woman in the show's Top 5, viewers on Tuesday night were left wondering if the final four contestants would all be men for the first time in "Idol" history.

It's been a long time since two women -- Fantasia Barrino and Diana DeGarmo -- competed for the "Idol" title in the finale of the show's third season in 2004. 

from Fan Fare:

Who is bound for the “Idol” finale?

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rounds1Lil Rounds and Anoop Desai sang their swan songs Wednesday night on "American Idol," meaning the singing competition lost its two most uniquely named contestants in one fell swoop.

Nostalgia for "Little" and "Anoop Dogg" aside, their joint offing was hardly unexpected. Lil, a 23-year-old mother of three from Memphis, struggled to gain the judges' respect through most of her time in the show's Top 13. Desai, a 21-year-old from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, meanwhile, was among the show's Bottom Three vote-getters for four straight weeks.

from Fan Fare:

Adam Lambert keeps “Idol” judges entranced

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lambertBefore he went on stage, the camera swooped down on "American Idol" contestant Adam Lambert as he stood beaming in the crowd. But as usual, Lambert was more than just a face in the crowd on Tuesday night, as he again wowed the judges and solidified his frontrunner status.

It was Disco Week on "Idol," and true to the theme Lambert sang the Bee Gees hit "If I Can't Have You," effortlessly hitting the high notes and inspiring judge Paula Abdul to gush that his performance made her feel his "pain." Abdul was not alone. All the judges said they loved the performance, with alpha judge Simon Cowell commending Lambert for surprising him by picking a Bee Gees song.

from Fan Fare:

Can “Idol’s” Adam Lambert be stopped?

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USA/Seven singers are still vying for this year's "American Idol" crown following Wednesday's offing of Scott MacIntyre, but already there is no longer a pack of frontrunners. Rather, there is one.

Adam Lambert has outshone many of his rivals on this season of "Idol," winning over fans with his unique showmanship and mindblowing vocal range. Since he entered the show's Top 12, only one performance has received so-so reviews from the judges, and that was during the notoriously difficult Country Week. Remember Lambert's "Ring of Fire"?

from Fan Fare:

Simon Cowell becomes a stand-up guy

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It's an unusual night on "American Idol" when the normally sharp-tongued judge Simon Cowell offers a contestant a standing ovation, which is exactly what he did at the end of Tuesday's show in reaction to Adam Lambert's performance. Granted that Cowell had to offer succinct praise because the show was out of time, but he was definitely acting out of character when he stood up and gushed over Lambert's singing.USA/

Lambert chose the 1982 hit "Mad World" by Tears for Fears, a selection much less well known than the songs other contestants performed. This week, the Idols had to pick a song from the year they were born. The judges were tough on a couple of them over their song choice, with Lil Rounds getting the worst of it.

from Fan Fare:

Who would the “Idol” judges save?

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Top 9 contestant Megan Joy danced off the "American Idol" stage on Wednesday night after she said midway through the show that she did not care that judge Simon Cowell disliked her performance on Tuesday night. Cowell responded later on by telling her: "Megan with the greatest respect, when you said you don't care, nor do we." So with no chance that the judges would save her, when Megan sang Bob Marley's "Turn Your Lights Down Low" one more time, it was all about the pathos.USA/

When will the judges step up and use their save? Although there was some lively discussion on the panel last week when oil worker Michael Sarver sang his last song, few were surprised when the judges declined to save him.

from Fan Fare:

“Idol” Top 9: Cowell zingers and a turnaround for Scott

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BOXING"American Idol" is already down to nine singers, and as the contestants have honed their performances, judge Simon Cowell has refined his famous one-liners. This week he was in top form, sparing only a select few from his special brand of humiliation.

Here were his top proclamations of the night for each contestant:

Anoop Desai, who performed Usher's "Caught Up"

Simon: "It was a little bit like a college boy wanting to be a pop star and failing. It actually gave me a headache."

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