Lil Rounds, a 24-year-old from Memphis, TN, and Anoop Desai, a 22-year-old from Chapel Hill, NC, were the seventh and eighth finalists eliminated from American Idol’s eighth season during this week’s live results show broadcast on Fox. They were sent home based on the home viewer votes cast immediately following Tuesday night’s live performance episode that saw the Top 7 finalists perform disco songs. Approximately 45 million home viewer votes were cast following the live performance broadcast.
Host Ryan Seacrest wasted no time in revealing Lil Rounds as the first eliminated competitor. “Unfortunately the journey ends for Lil Rounds tonight”, Ryan Seacrest announced only seconds after revealing Rounds as the first of the week’s bottom three vote-getters. For her swan song, Lil reprised Chaka Khan’s “I’m Every Woman” and the judges gave her a rave review.
“You sang brilliant tonight!” Paula Abdul enthused. “Lil, baby, you’re just on your way,” Randy Jackson said, getting Kara DioGuardi’s agreement. And Simon Cowell, arguably Lil’s biggest critic on the panel, said, “I’m actually a fan of you. I think you made some bad decisions, but people do that.” Jackson had said that the performance was “big” and “grand” but also sounded “wild” and didn’t show off the kind of artist she was trying to be. “You got the crowd up. But it didn’t really show what kind of vocal control you can have,” Jackson told Rounds.
DioGuardi had agreed with Jackson and remarked that she felt America had been waiting for Rounds to try her hand at a Chaka Khan-like song but the result hadn’t been worth the wait. “The thing is, you’ve been every woman on that stage during this competition — every other woman but yourself,” DioGuardi said. “And tonight, you still didn’t tell me who you are as an artist.”
Abdul had defended Rounds somewhat, saying that she was aware that Rounds had lost her voice and was on vocal rest the day before her performance and crediting her with a “remarkable recovery.” However she still chided Rounds for not hitting “quite the boiling point” for a “hot performance” similar to what Khan would have delivered.
Meanwhile Cowell didn’t mince words and told Rounds that he was glad to hear she’d had fun with the performance because it was likely to be her final one. “I’m glad you had fun because I think this is going to be the last week we’re ever going to see you. I do. I do,” he said. “I’ll tell you why, because there’s no originality. It was very copycat. The arrangement — your vocals — were a mess. I absolutely believe this is your final shot. Sorry.”
“My babies and my husband, I’m comin’ home!” Rounds shouted to her family in the show’s closing minutes. “I love y’all!”
Then, Seacrest revealed that either Anoop Desai or Allison Iraheta, a 16-year-old from Los Angeles, CA, would be getting the boot as well. “You both have awesome voices,” said returning finalist David Archuleta, who performed his single “Touch My Hand.” “Know that it’s not over even after this.”
Desai had sung Donna Summer’s “Dim All the Lights” during Tuesday’s performance show. Jackson had knocked Desai’s song choice and arrangement but given him credit for the performance he’d delivered. “It’s very dicey with the arrangements. But dude, you can sing also,” Jackson said. “This Top 7 dude is so talented vocally that I’m happy to see your vocals. We’re sitting here going, ‘He hit that note and that note!’ Anoop, nice baby. Nice.”
DioGuardi had been even more complimentary: “For me, the last two weeks were your best performances! You’re really hitting your stride. Nice work, nice changes, good vocals. Great.”
Abdul had also given the performance a positive feedback: “No one can deny how beautiful your vocals are when the start of the song… You hit that magical zone in your voice. When it went up-tempo, I actually saw you enjoying yourself. Good job.”
However Cowell had completely disagreed with the other judges. “That was mediocre at best,” he said. “I prayed that the tempo wasn’t going to come in, it did. It was a horrible version of that song. In my opinion, genuinely that was your worst performance by a mile.”
Ultimately, voters sent Anoop packing. Anoop admitted he felt disappointed, “but I have to look at the bright side,” he said, “I’m going back to Chapel Hill.” “Thank you,” Desai added as he gestured to the show’s cameras and studio audience. Meanwhile, Lil warned her fellow competitors to expect plenty of phone calls from her!
Also on the results show, disco made a one-night comeback with some of genre’s grooviest stars taking the stage: Freda Payne crooned “Band of Gold,” Thelma Houston belted out “Don’t Leave Me This Way,” and KC (sans the Sunshine Band) was in the mood to “Do a Little Dance.”
American Idol’s Top 5 eighth-season finalists, Danny Gokey, Kris Allen, Allison Iraheta, Adam Lambert and Matt Giraud, will all take the stage and perform during next week’s performance episode on Tuesday, April 28 and on Wednesday beginning at 9PM ET/PT, another finalist will be eliminated from the competition.
This entry was posted on Saturday, April 25th, 2009 at 4:56 am and is filed under Americal Idol.