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The final 9: The dudes continue to hang on - or do they? Part one

This week on AI we got down to the final nine finalists -- no dudes have been sent packing yet, only the ladies, and unless this trend changes there'll soon be no women left. I think that'll be kind of a shame, so here's hoping the ladies are on their game this week and represent, you know what I'm saying.

Ryan introduced the theme for this week's show: Broadway. This could be rough for a few finalists because I think it's hard for people our age to be up on show tunes, which means that a lot of people are hearing the songs they will be performing for the first time on Thursday. People think it's easy to learn just one song in a week, but take it from me -- a week isn't enough to learn certain songs, especially one's that you've never heard before.

Scott Savol starts us off and sings "The Impossible Dream" from Man of La Mancha. Scott did OK with it -- Paula said it was "one of the more heartfelt performances in this competition,: while Randy called it "just alright" and Simon said it was "ordinary." After this number, I think we can understand why we don't hear "The Impossible Dream" on Top 40 radio.

Next up, Constantine Maroulis again made a surprising choice and sang "My Funny Valentine" from Pal Joey. Constantine confided before the show that he knows a lot about Broadway and even toured with the show Rent, so it seems he was up for it this week. Randy said it was the best he's ever sang, and Paula admitted: "I'm falling in love with you." Simon gave Constantine's vocal a "7" and his pout a "9.5." Pretty funny, Simon.

Carrie Underwood comes out next, looking like she's on the show Happy Days. Where's the Fonz? Is Carrie gonna jump the shark? Actually, the reason she's all 50d out is she's singing "Hello Young Lovers" from The King and I. Let me just say that Carrie's got a great voice, even when she's singing a song like this that everyone thinks is boring. Don't believe me? Randy called it "really boring," and Simon said it was "old fashioned." Even Paula avoided talking about the song and said Carrie looked stunning.

After Carrie, Vonzell Solomon came out and sang "People" from Funny Girl. Randy called it "brilliant," Paula said it was a "bold choice," but Simon said "it left him a little bit cold." The judges disagree on this and argue amongst themselves. I think Vonzell did great -- maybe Simon's cold because all he ever wears are T-shirts.(Continued...)

Read more now -- about this episode of American Idol by clicking here.

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