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Andrew Payne Andrew Payne
Starpulse Contributing Writer
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'American Idol' Recap: Ben Goes Home & Power Rankings

March 14th, 2014 11:00am EDT
'American Idol' Recap: Ben Goes Home & Power Rankings
For the last few weeks, Ben Briley showed himself to be 'American Idol's' chameleon. He vacillated between country, pop, rock and blues with complete ease. It seemed every genre came naturally to Ben as he made such a variety of songs his own.

This was his downfall.

On 'Idol', we've seen it's far better to stay in a specific lane. Lock down a niche of voters and help to absorb a rival's as the competition grows shallower. Briley had a great chance to lock down the country/frat boy crowd and take it away from the less talented Dexter early on. He could have become this year's cute guy with...
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'American Idol' Recap: Top 11 Contestants Tackle Movie Night

March 13th, 2014 9:07am EDT
American Idol
Last night's 'American Idol' finally answered the question what do the songs "Come Together," "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Bennie and the Jets" have in common? They're all from movies, of course!

Yes, movie night struck as loosely as possible on 'Idol' last night. Luckily, the contestants were up to the vague challenge...

Sam Woolf sang "Come Together" by The Beatles

Keith Said: You can loosen it up a little bit.

J-Lo Said: It's like baby rock star. We need big rock star.

Harry Said: It was an average performance, but you're on the way.

The Verdict:

Sam ditches the guitar, puts on a gre...
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'American Idol' Recap: Emily Goes Home + Top 11 Power Rankings

March 7th, 2014 8:48am EST
'American Idol' Recap: Emily Goes Home + Top 11 Power Rankings
Just like her doppelganger's show 'The Middleman,' Emily Pirize is gone too soon from 'American Idol.'

Emily's early exit is a testament to the importance of song choice. She in no way deserved to go home before several of the contestants still remaining - she's got better pipes that almost all of them and seemed more comfortable onstage than even more of them. She was undone though, by a miserable song choice at the worst time - when the field is crowded you have to wow the voters, and a J-Lo rhythm track isn't going to make you stand out.

Emily's failure to create a moment with her song...
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'American Idol' Recap: A Few Standouts On A Mediocre Performance Night

March 6th, 2014 10:15am EST
Jena Irene performs on AMERICAN IDOL
For my thirtieth birthday, the only present I wanted was a non-sucky night of 'Idol'. Did my b-day wishes come true? Read on to find out...

Jena Irene sang "Suddenly I See" by KT Tunstall

Keith Said: I'm not mad about that song choice for you, but I like the way you're starting to move around.

J-Lo Said: You're right on the precipice of starting to blossom onstage.

Harry Said: I was waiting for you to bust out.

The Verdict:

There's a lot of weird stuff going on in this performance. The weird paper cutout neighborhood behind, the calypso snapping while singing, tying a shirt around her...
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'American Idol' Recap: Kristen Goes Home Plus The Top 12 Power Rankings

February 28th, 2014 8:50am EST
Kristen O'Connor eliminated on AMERICAN IDOL
Last night's 'Idol' results show was, well...and 'Idol' results show.

Yes, it doesn't seem that in a season of change the producers want to do much to the results show. We still have stools, we still have Seacrest and we still have plenty of time to fill.

Last night we got a few musical acts. First, there was Candice Glover singing a "Medley of Her Hits" - I'm amazed that was said with a straight face. I'd never heard either of these songs before and I don't think I ever will again.

Then it was Jake Bugg. Cheer up, dude, you're on 'American Idol'. Nice of him to put on a smile or any sor...
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'American Idol' Recap: The Top 13 Go Live!

February 27th, 2014 8:42am EST
'American Idol' Recap: The Top 13 Go Live!
It's thirteen Singers. It's three Judges. It's one Seacrest. It's one Dawg. Yes, it's the first 'American Idol' live show and there's no sense waiting around. Let's get to the recap!

Dexter Roberts sang "Aw Naw" by Chris Young

Keith Said: Figure out how to make it a Dexter Roberts performance.

J-Lo Said: Figure out how to take it to the next level.

Harry Said: You're singing out of tune. Use your personality more.

The Verdict:

There's a rumor going around that Dexter was singing during this performance.

That rumor remains aurally unsubstantiated as it was impossible to hear Dexter ov...
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'American Idol' Recap: Ranking The Top 13 Set To Compete

February 21st, 2014 10:41am EST
American Idol Top 13
The Cute Guy with a Guitar was back in a big way on 'American Idol' last night after being forced out by producers last year.

Four of the five dudes who passed America's test strummed their guitars for their performance show. Sam, Ben, Alex, Dexter, they're all minstrels. This archetype is just catnip for voters and it appears to be a fight between dudes with a dreadnought to ultimately win this show. That's just what American prefers.

But what about me? What about your humble 'Idol' recapper? Who do I prefer on this year's competition?

Yes, it's time once more for The Molly DeWolf Swens...
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'American Idol' Recap: The Guys Take The Stage On Rush Week

February 20th, 2014 8:39am EST
'American Idol' Recap: The Guys Take The Stage On Rush Week
It was Rush Week, Part Two last night on 'Idol' as the boys hit the stage to complete in what's been a pretty cool innovation for this season.

The best feature of this Rush Week parade is definitely the cruelty: how devious it was of 'Idol' to make a total of ten kids prepare this week without ever getting a chance to sing or knowing if they would sing. It was a total departure for the show to do something like this and added double drama each performance night as the audience got to play along with the contestants as they were called out like the NFL Draft.

That was great, and as an adde...
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'American Idol' Recap: The Girls Face Rush Week

February 19th, 2014 10:42am EST
'American Idol' Recap: The Girls Face Rush Week
'Idol' kicked off its first "Rush Week" last night with several cool twists on the normal girls' night/boys' night format.

More on that tomorrow, right now, let's just rush to the recap.

Majesty Rose sang "Happy" by Pharrell

Keith Said: There were moments of your vocal range. That was great.

J-Lo Said: That's the way to come out here. Your voice sounds amazing.

Harry Said: You did a fantastic job.

The Verdict:

Fun and spunky little girl with a great personality. Enough to make you wish she could actually sing.

Majesty just doesn't have the voice. She got absolutely lost in the gym a...
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'American Idol' Recap: The Top 30 Is Set...Almost

February 14th, 2014 7:06am EST
American Idol Top 30
Last night's 'Idol' started with an anti-climax and ended with an even bigger one.

On Wednesday's episode, a cliffhanger ended the show as CJ and Caleb awaited the fate of their little singing battle. Both were good enough to go through, so this proved to be a surprise no matter who the judges selected.

Except, the judges didn't make a choice: they selected both of them to go through, a conclusion that made the first season of 'The Killing' seem satisfying.

After that non-resolution, the show went on as normal with hopefuls being kicked out and kicked through in turn, until the final mom...
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