American Idol Recap: Top 6 Help "Give Back"

The remaining six AI contestants did what they could to give back to young people in need in both America and Africa.

Every vote counts -- for them to stay in the competition -- and for the needy to have a better lifestyle.

For each vote -- the sponsors of this special program will make a donation to charity projects.

The songs chosen were inspirational tunes of compassion and hope. There were many great performances last night. The contestants do so much better when they are able to pick their own genre.

Working off the success of last week's country theme, Phil Stacey sang "The Change," by Garth Brooks.

Phil, although one of the best male vocals in the competition, has been teetering on the brink of a possible ouster. But he did so well last week -- he managed to stay away from the bottom three -- a spot which was starting to be a familiar place for the guy.

He found his comfort zone in country music. Simon praised him for coming back with spring in his step and confidence. It was a good choice of song. The judge said, if Phil connects what he did last night with the more of a country tone his vocal had last week -- he can do very well because "people like you."

What do you think about Phil's chances? Has he bought himself a little more time?

Now that Sanjaya Malakar was finally given the boot, the vote for the worst posse has rallied behind Phil -- to give him all their support. Now, I don't think that's really fair. He's a good singer and I don't think he's the worst in it right now.

As much as I hate to say it... (and not necessarily based on this performance) I think it should be Chris Richardson to go this week.

But if you think about it... whoever got the pranksters to vote for them because they think he/she is the worst -- should feel proud. With 10 cents each vote going to charity -- I say they did a lot to help change the lives of those who need it the most!

 All the judges really liked Chris' performance. He gave a rendition of Clapton's, "Change the World." Before he sang, Chris spoke about the meaning of this week's competition --and what could happen if one person has the will to change people's lives. He added, imagine what millions could do. I'm interested to find out how much money will be raised just by the millions who joined in on the voting process alone.

 I've said it before and I'll say it again... LaKisha Jones has the Mandisa Hundley effect. She's made it further than the season 5 contestant -- but I'm feeling she's not much longer to this competition. LaKisha decided to go with "I Believe" by Fantasia Barrino (AI Season 3 winner). This is the third song from an Idol contestant that LaKisha has used since semifinals week. She knocked Jennifer Hudson's song out of the park. But the Carrie Underwood song she did last week was a dud.

This night, the judges preferred Fantasia's version -- calling LaKisha a powerhouse of a vocalist, but it was hard to imagine anyone but Fantasia making that song really work.

Jordin Sparks sang a song that was about 60 years old, but Simon said if she recorded it today, she could have a hit record. She sang, Rodgers & Hammerstein's "You'll Never Walk Alone." When she was singing, Randy's upper body was bent sideways -- as if he was melting in his chair. She is obviously his favorite. He say's every week --

best vocals.

For this song he said,

by any contestant ever!

 Randy also gushes over Melinda (as they all do) calling her the show's "resident pro." Paula said she was magical and beautiful, "there's no one like you." Simon called her a "vocal masterclass" and said he loved her version of "There Will Come a Day." He respected that it wasn't a copycat version of Faith Hill's song. Melinda's look is really coming together. With that -- and the confidence building each week -- she's smoking.

Blake Lewis, break out the beatboxing next week! We haven't heard that in a while. And as much as I love your versatility, your fans crave to see you break it down. However, he, the most unique contestant, showed a very sincere side with John Lennon's "Imagine." Very nice. Very Morrissey-ish. HOT!

So your votes on Tuesday equal money for the organizations that provide relief programs for people in extreme poverty. On Wednesday -- you'll be asked to donate money through phone calls or the internet.
Let's take a look at where your money will be going.

Organizations benefiting in the US:
Save the Children, America‘s Second Harvest: The Nation‘s Food Bank Network, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Children‘s Health Fund.

In Africa:
Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Malaria No More, Nothing But Nets, Save the Children and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.

Wednesday's results show is quite the star-studded event.
Look who will be helping to raise awareness and funds for the two hour program:

Ellen DeGeneres will be co-hosting from a separate location. She’ll be introducing the acts at the Walt Disney Theater in Anaheim. (Ryan Seacrest will stay put as usual -- to eliminate a contestant.)

Those who are slated to participate in this benefit show include:
American Idol: Kelly Clarkson, Season 4's Idol: Carrie Underwood, Bono, Celine Dion, Pink, Gwen Stefani, Madonna, Earth, Wind & Fire, Gwyneth Paltrow, Michael Bublé, Annie Lennox, Il Divo, Josh Groban with the African Children‘s Choir, Quincy Jones, Helen Mirren, Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley, Forest Whitaker, Helena Bonham Carter, Daniel Radcliffe, Teri Hatcher, Julia Roberts, Mr. Bean (Rowan Atkinson) and Jack Black.

Ford has produced a music video that will air on Wednesday. After the show, you'll be able to download the video, along with the other musical numbers of the night. All the proceeds from that will be contributed to Idol Gives Back as well.

I know many of you have voted for the very first time because this great program makes it easy for you to give to such great causes. So, who did you dial for?
Which hopeful is hopeless for this inspirational week? Tell us here.

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