Simon apologized to Carly Smithson for giving her a compliment calling it like, "the kiss of death." More than 38 million votes came in. The power singer received the least amount. Carly was cut from American Idol at sixth place.
It's been humorous watching Irish-Carly and British-Simon clash during critique time. This week, he praised her "Jesus Christ Superstar" as did the other two judges. The fun and light hearted Carly reacted by showing off a T-shirt with the words: SIMON LOVES ME (THIS WEEK).
Simon wasn't stingy with spreading his love last night. He gave props where props were (way passed) due to Syesha Mercado. Good criticism has been hard to find for Syesha when it comes to both Randy and Simon. All three judges loved her sultry "One Rock and Roll Too Many". However, voters had her positioned in the bottom two.
Both Carly and Syesha tore up the stage re-performing the songs they practiced with Andrew Lloyd Webber and competed with this week. Aside from Carly leaving, this could be the most stellar night (regarding live performances) in a single vote-off show ever. Great songs, singers and styles.
Bit by the love bug... Simon was overly kind to Brooke White too. And this was after she started and stopped and started again because she forgot the lyric. He usually has no patience for this -- especially this late in the competition. From the start of each season, Simon makes it clear that anyone who forgets the words deserves to go home.
Just like the judges tried to make light of Brooke's major mishap, Webber played the sympathy card for her too. He worded what I call -- messing up and starting over -- "losing your way." See how forgivable it sounds when spoken like that? ALW said that stuff "happens." (But I say, this is also a competition. And she's a two time offender!) Webber really felt for her, stating in dress rehearsal she was "flawless." (Like that matters!)
Bad stage presence for the legendary music composer.
Webber was very fidgety while talking with Ryan live on stage tonight. He kept referring to the contestants as "kids." That was one thing that gave me the sense he enjoyed mentoring them. Webber explained the difference between performing for a live show like American Idol and the theatre.
There are numerous idol finalists on Broadway right now. They ran through a short list... Season 3 winner Fantasia Barrino, Runner-up to Fantasia - Diana DeGarmo, Season 6's LaKisha Jones (in the audience)...
We heard from season one's Tamyra Gray who placed fourth, and Clay Aiken who was runner up in the second season. They are both enjoying success on stage. Tamyra in Rent ... and Clay in Spamalot.
The other two live performances were electric and entertaining. The great British composer, ALW played piano while the six contestants sang. Another live performance was from a Simon "discovery," Leona Lewis. She sang "Bleeding Love". She's won the British version of American Idol called, The X Factor (season 3). Lewis is presently topping charts worldwide. Simon says he collaborated with Clyde Davis to make this opportunity happen for her.
Getting back to tonight's results... 24-year-old Carly Smithson was one of AI judge/record producer Randy Jackson's "budding flowers" if you will. That was back when she was 18 and went by her maiden name, Hennessy. She made a record with MCA that didn't do too well.
Maybe Simon can get Clyde on the horn this time. Looks like sometimes, it's just not enough to be Randy Jackson unless there's a big name to attach himself to. Who's lookin' out dawg?
Next week, Neil Diamond shares his career expertise with the remaining five idol hopefuls.