Entertainment behind the scenes
Well, they’re the experts and on Wednesday night it was male contestant Adam Lambert who brought the heat, eliciting a standing ovation from celebrity mentor Smokey Robinson for his version of “The Tracks of My Tears” (which, incidentally, Robinson also wrote).
Then, judge Kara DioGuardi stood up herself and called it “one of the best performances of the night.” Cowell himself went so far as to say it was the night’s best performance.
Unlike last week, when Lambert soured the judges during “Country Week” with an eccentric Middle Eastern-inspired version of the Johnny Cash classic “Ring of Fire,” he sang his Motown song with a restraint that cunningly played down the soaring crescendos of Robinson’s composition. Lambert’s acoustic version of the song pleased all the judges.
And then there were……13??
The judges expanded the “American Idol” top 12 to include Anoop Desai and make it a top 13 for the first time in a suspense-generating stunt.
“American Idol” contestant Nick Mitchell was eliminated from the show on Thursday night, as his brand of campy comedy left voters unamused. His stage name of Norman Gentle and his intentionally overwrought performance, unlike anything the show has ever seen (perhaps not in a good way), lost out to the kinds of straight-ahead performances contestants give every week.
Allison Iraheta, Kris Allen and Adam Lambert advanced to the next round of the competition, cutting out the other nine contestants. Eventually, some of those contestants could be back when the judges pick three wildcard contestants on Thursday, giving them another shot on the show.
It was a pretty humdrum night on “American Idol” until Norman Gentle took the stage.
Until this season, every contestant to make it this far on the ultimate talent show has been unfailingly serious about their quest for fame (though, admittedly, the seriousness of Sanjaya Malakar’s 2007 turn is open to debate). They may tug at viewers’ heartstrings by saying they only want fame for the sake of family members who depend on them, and they may smile and joke, but none of them make a joke of the often humiliating process of laying it all out there on the “Idol” stage.