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  • Nearly 51 million people voted, but Jason Castro received the fewest nods of the four remaining performers.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • "American Idol" - Top Four Elimination Show - May 7, 2008

    Ryan tells us that 51 million votes came in and that the top 3 all came within one million votes of one another. He teases performances from Maroon 5 and Bo Bice. He introduces the judges.

    Ryan asks about Randy's harsh comments for Syesha. Randy reiterates that he was just judging the vocals but that he saw her after the show and she said that he didn't make her cry. It was Paula's insightful commentary that made her tear up. Ryan thinks she lied to him. (Oddly it seems like he addressed him as Simon. But he might have said "Simon and I.") Randy says no, he loves her. Ryan asks Paula why it was so emotional and Paula says it was all about giving Syesha her recognition. Ryan asks if Simon was as genuinely angry as he seemed. He says he was just surprised at some of the disastrous song choices.

    In the audience: Howie Mandel; Carly Smithson; Camille Guaty (from the late, lamented "The Nine.")

    Group Sing: "Reelin' in the Years" by Steely Dan. Ooh side to side step choreography. Marching back and forth in twos. Why don't they get Paula to choreograph these things? (I can't wait to read what Donald Fagen and Walter Becker have to say about this on their website.) All the vocals are fine and everyone remembers their lyrics. The guitarist, who has gotten a lot of screen time this year, comes out for the big solo.

    Recap of last night: Syesha rolls on the river; Cook hungers in a way similar to a wolf; Jason swears he shot the sherriff in self defense; Archuleta wants someone to stand by him; Cook despairs over the wasted teenagers; Syesha hopes change is on the way; Jason forgets all about the jingle jangle morning; and Archuleta wants someone to love him tender. (Perhaps the person standing by him?)

    Elimination Part 1: Ryan gives a glance to the silken sofas of safety and the steely stools of doom. Archuleta is nervous but glad about the song choices he made last night. The judges loved him and he's safe.

    Ryan tries to throw to pictures of last year's "Idol' homecomings but they don't appear on the screens behind him. Instead we see the three final contestants backstage and Ryan throws to break.

    Video Package: The "Idols" go to Vegas on a private jet. The show lamely compares them to the Beatles because they were going to see the Beatles-based Cirque du Soleil show "Love." They walk a red carpet where they sign autographs, take pictures and Jason is grabbed by a woman and kissed, hard. Then they pose with dolphins, which Syesha loves. They get a professional make-over. We then get a glimpse/extended commercial for "Love" which looks colorful and exciting. Then they meet the cast. Cook is impressed.

    Elimination Part 2: Ryan calls out Cook. The judges reviews were mixed. Randy advises that if Cook makes it to the next round to "stay original dude and rock it out baby." David admits that he felt like he was a little off last night. He's safe, which means your...

    Bottom Two: ..is Syesha and Jason. Ryan pretends like he's going to tell them now. Jason is confused and asks if he really is. Syesha, who is not only clearly a little sharper than Jason but as an actress knows where the director is, wisely observes that of course they're going to break. Jason is all I thought it was too early.

    Ford Commercial: "Ring of Fire," Johnny Cash. The "Idols" are matadors sweeping their capes in front of a careening Mustang in a dusty town.

    Audience phone calls: A caller asks David Cook to go on a date with her because he'll be in her hometown on her birthday on the "Idols" tour. He asks what she likes to do. She offers to show him around Pittsburgh. A teenage girl asks what the biggest challenge the contestants have had to overcome. Syesha: "stage fright." Archuleta: Can't think of one. Jason: "just the brain being dead." A caller wants to know why Simon hasn't been knighted by the queen. He calls it a good question and says "your majesty if you're watching, I'm available." A caller wants to know if Syesha is proud to be the only girl left standing. She mentions an uncomfortable moment on the commercial shoot. (Perhaps a by-product of those tight, tight pants). A caller wants to know if the contenders have gotten any feedback from the artists they've covered. Cook got nice comments from Raine Maida the lead singer of Our Lady Peace. A caller believes that Simon could be the next James Bond. Simon likes the questions this week. He lets the Broccoli family-the people who produce the Bond movies- know he's available.

    Maroon 5 Performance: "If I Never See Your Face Again." A nice little slice of funk rock. Paula agrees and gets up to dance. Adam Levine is rocking a sweet, pin-striped suit. Ryan chats about this being their new single and mentions that Rihanna is on the new mix. He asks about the tour. Adam says they are going to both Europe and San Antonio. Ryan asks him to give advice to the kids. He tells them to get ready to work.

    Bo Bice Performance: "Witness." He comes rocking out with his guitar, his long hair flowing. (And the lights picking up all the frizz). It's an uptempo Robert Randolph/Black Crowes/Lenny Kravitz retro rocker complete with a surprisingly sizzling talkbox solo. He sounds okay, a little more clenched than from his days on the show. (As he shouts "I need a witness" someone in my living room says "he needs a makeover.") Ryan asks Bo about having instruments this year. He gives a Paula-esque rambling answer that essentially adds up to "cool idea that sometimes worked and sometimes didn't." His advice is to "practice, practice, practice." He talks about his new album "See the Light." He says it's great to be back, life is good, and his wife is pregnant.

    Final Elimination: As Ryan talks to Jason, Jason relates someone said of his performances last night "I shot the tambourine man, it was pretty funny. Huh-huh." He thinks his inexperience is to blame for his stage issues. Syesha says she was emotional because of Paula's comments and then gets tangled up in the change thing again and how far we've come since the civil rights movement -we might have a female president or a black president she notices- and how far she's come on the show. Turns out she's coming even farther, Syesha is in the top three.

    Going Home: Ruben celebrates Jason home.

    Sing Out: Before a reprise of "Sheriff," a clearly happy to be going home Jason says "three songs next week - I don't know what I would've done."

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