Recap Top 9

Welcome to Dolly Parton week. The contestants had to select a Dolly song, and in return they got the benefit of Dolly's mentorship.

Ryan began the show with a lame April fool's "joke", pretending that the show was preempted by a special Moment of Truth with Simon as the subject.

The legendary Dolly Parton was introduced shortly after. Dolly looks hot!

First contestant was Brooke White singing Jolene. Dolly thought Brooke sounded good and admired the honesty that emanates from her. I think Brooke did well, better than last couple weeks. It was a good song choice. Randy thinks this kind of music could suit Brooke's voice, and that it was alright. Paula said she is consistent and that she connects emotionally with each song. Simon characteristically disagreed, and felt that Brooke lacked the emotional connection. He also said the whole group looked odd, and he wasn't crazy about the performance.

Up next was star of last week, David Cook. Singing Little Sparrow, Dolly thought it was beautiful. I thought it wasn't bad. That is, it was good, but not as impressive as other numbers he has done before. Randy said it was another consistent performance and likes his range. Paula started off complimenting David's haircut. She specifically mentioned liking his falsetto. Simon didn't think it was as good as last week, but congratulated him on making a song about sparrows sound good.

Ramiele -Dolly thinks Ramiele is cute and identifies with her petiteness. I don't think Ramiele selected a song that would stand out. Furthermore, she was only sporadically good, and just average the remainder of the time. Randy wasn't jumping up and down, but wasn't mad at her either. He said she showed signs of strength, and gives her about 6.5 out of 10. Paula was proud of her and felt she connected. Simon pointed out that this would not be remembered in 10 years. LOL! How many American Idol performances will be remembered 10 years after? But his point is valid. Ramiele didn't do anything to make an impression. Simon did at least say it was cute and that she sang it well. However, he went on to compare it to something you'd hear on a cruise ship.

Jason Castro singing Traveling Through -Dolly thought this song suited him and thought he went a little outside himself in comparison to what he's displayed on the show. I would say Jason did better this week than his last couple showings. However, I'm still trying to figure out why the hype surrounding this kid. Randy said it started a little rough, but that it got better as it went on. Paula thought this was one of his strongest performances. Simon didn't like it "at all". He said it sounded like the same song and that he didn't do it particularly well. If this was the first he was hearing him, he would not get it.

Carly -Dolly commented that this song was well suited for her. I would say this song choice worked for Carly, finally. I enjoyed Carly tonight. She wasn't shouting and her talent got to be show cased. Randy remarked that this will be one of the better performances of the night. Paula loved it. Simon thought it was good, but not great. It appears there wasn't anything really, vocally speaking, for him to fault, so he had to resort to criticizing Carly's clothes. He recommended that she have a word with those responsible for her wardrobe, as she is not looking like a star.

David Archuleta - Dolly said he has the voice to become a great great singer. I thought he was excellent, and had a good song choice. I'm not sure I've seen talent like this on the show since the days of Clay Aiken. Randy exclaimed that it was the best performance of the night. Paula acknowledged his "amazing tone". Simon reminded us that he disliked the song choice David made last week, but said this selection was "absolutely on the money". I guess that means he liked the performance, even though he didn't really say so.

Kristy Lee - Dolly remarked that Kristy made the song her own, and would make her (ie. Kristy's) Mom proud. I thought her performance was decent, not bad. Randy believes Country music definitely suits her. Paula thought it was her best performance so far. Simon disagreed with Paula, and said last week was her best. He added that it was pleasant but forgettable.

Vanna White in audience
Syesha - Apparently Syesha decided to do a combination of the Dolly and Whitney versions of I Will Always Love You. Dolly loved the blend. I thought Syesha did well again. She will definitely be growing on people. Randy said she did pretty good. Paula said something about a velvetty tone to her voice. Simon thought the first part was good, but that the second was a pale comparison to Whitney's. He did say it was a good performance, but not fantastic.

Michael Johns - Dolly hopes he becomes a star because she thinks she could write some good songs for him. I personally thought he was dreadful. Poor song choice, sounded like shouting in too many parts with some screeching involved, though, admittedly, with a smattering of good moments thrown in. Randy felt it was blazing hot! Paula loved it. Simon surprisingly remarked that this is the best he's heard from him.

This wraps up another performance show recap. David Archuleta was the best, while Ramiele and Jason were definitely the weakest. I don't know if they will put Jason among the bottom 3 this time, but I expect Ramiele to be heading home. See the Ramiele Top 9 theory for more on this.

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