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The final 10: Jessica’s gone. Will Nadia be next? Part one

So now we’re down to the top 10 finalists — Six guys and four girls. Ryan S. starts the show off by telling us the genre for the week: the 90s. That gives the finalists some great songs to choose from, but like I keep saying — the right song choice is crucial, and picking the wrong one can end up getting you sent home fast! I’ve got to say I was surprised by some of the choices.

Starting the show off, rocker Bo Bice sang the Black Crowes’ “Remedy,” wearing a crazy cow-print cowboy hat that he stuck on Paula’s head at the end of the song. Randy liked the song, so did Paula (who also told Bo he’s not getting the hat back), but Simon said it was “a little bit like you’d see at a wedding …”

Jessica Sierra was up next, singing LeAnn Rimes’ “On the Side of Angels.” Randy and Paula were both trying to be nice by telling her she has to pick better songs, but Simon really did her in by saying she’s not likable and has to try harder than the other finalists. I think this comment may come back to haunt Jessica in the results…

Then, Anwar Robinson sang R.Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly.” This is a tough song because everybody knows it so well, and I think Anwar got a slow start, but he nailed the high notes at the end. In fact, Randy said he was “pitchy” in the beginning and has to work harder to sing the whole song on key, but Paula looked at him like he was crazy and said she had “never heard such an incredible, original version” of the song. Simon agreed with Randy, saying: “I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Randy was spot on.”

Performing next was Nadia Turner, who sang “I’m the Only One” by Melissa Etheridge. She owned it, totally getting the crowd into it. Randy and Paula thought she was “miles better” than last week (the curse of Cyndi Lauper) and Simon adds: “one thousand percent better improvement over the horror last week.”

Constantine Maroulis surprised us all by not singing some grungy 90s hit, instead tackling Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” This dude keeps picking songs that you’d never imagine he’d pick, but again he pulled it off. Randy said it was his best vocal performance so far, and Simon actually gave him maximum props by saying he thought he did better than Bo.

Up next was Nikko Smith, singing Tevin Campbell’s “Can We Talk.” Randy said he “blew it out tonight,” and Paula said he makes her feel so proud. Simon even gave him a complement, saying he’s a breath of fresh air and was “quite a good copy of the original.”

Read more now — about this episode of American Idol: Season 4 by clicking here.

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