American Idol (season 9)

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American Idol
Season 9
Hosted by Ryan Seacrest
Judges Simon Cowell
Ellen DeGeneres
Kara DioGuardi
Randy Jackson
Winner Lee DeWyze
Runner-up Crystal Bowersox
Finals venue Nokia Theatre L.A. Live
Release
Original network Fox
Original releaseJanuary 12 (2010-01-12) 
May 26, 2010 (2010-05-26)
Season chronology
 Previous
Season 8
Next 
Season 10
List of American Idol episodes

The ninth season of American Idol premiered on Tuesday, January 12, 2010 and concluded on Wednesday, May 26, 2010 on Fox. [1] Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi returned to the judging panel. Ellen DeGeneres joined the panel as a replacement for Paula Abdul after guest judges filled in during the auditions. Idol Gives Back also returned for the season and was held on April 21, 2010, during the top seven results show. [2] The top 24 semi-finals format used in the fourth through seventh seasons also returned this season. [3] Cowell, DioGuardi and DeGeneres all left the show after this season ended, although only Cowell's departure was announced in advance. [4] [5] [6] This was the second season where neither of the final 2 contestants had been in the bottom 2 or 3 prior to the finale, with the first being the seventh season. This was also the third consecutive season a male contestant had won, the longest streak for either gender. It was the first season since the sixth season where a female made it to the finale and was also the first time since the seventh season that both the finalists released a different song as a debut single.

Contents

Lee DeWyze, a folk rocker from Mount Prospect, Illinois won the competition, beating the runner-up Crystal Bowersox.

Multiple contestants from this season were signed to record deals, including winner Lee DeWyze, runner-up Crystal Bowersox, finalists Casey James, Michael Lynche, and Siobhan Magnus.

Judges

After the season began, Paula Abdul did not return to the judging panel, having announced in the beginning of August 2009 that she was leaving the show due to unresolved contract negotiations. [7] Victoria Beckham, Mary J. Blige, Shania Twain, Katy Perry (who would go on to be a regular judge on Idol starting in the sixteenth season), Avril Lavigne, Joe Jonas, Neil Patrick Harris and Kristin Chenoweth were brought in to star as guest judges during the auditions phase. [8] [9] [10] [11] There was no guest judge on day two of the Orlando auditions because day one guest judge Chenoweth was called back to New York City. Therefore, Simon Cowell, Kara DioGuardi and Randy Jackson appeared with only three judges on the audition panel similar to the main panel from the first to the seventh season.

After making the decision to utilize guest judges in Abdul's absence, Fox chairman Peter Rice stated that they would find a permanent fourth judge before the season premiere in January 2010, [12] leading the confirmation on September 9, 2009 by Ellen DeGeneres that she would be joining the show as the new permanent fourth judge for the rounds held at CBS Television City for Hollywood Week and thereafter, onto the live shows. [13]

In addition, Simon Cowell announced shortly before the ninth season began that it would be his last season on American Idol. Cowell left the show to begin preparations for an American version of his singing competition The X-Factor . [14] Also, DeGeneres announced on July 29, 2010 that she would not return to the judging panel because it was not the right fit for her. DioGuardi would also not return as a judge for the tenth season as announced on September 3, 2010. After her departure, DioGuardi helped and nominated Steven Tyler for a role as a judge on season ten to the show's producers.

Regional auditions

Auditions had begun on June 14 of the previous year, less than a month after previous season's finale. Auditions were held in the following cities: [15]

During this stage guest judges filled in the fourth judging seat. [16] Beckham was the first guest judge, appearing for the Denver and Boston auditions. Blige served as a guest judge for the Atlanta auditions. Jonas filled the guest judging role on the first day of the Dallas auditions and Harris took over the role the following day. Chenoweth served as a guest judge on the first day of the Orlando auditions and Twain judged in Chicago. Lavigne judged on the first day of the Los Angeles auditions and was replaced by Perry the following day.

Episode Air DateAudition CityFirst Audition DateAudition VenueCallback DateCallback VenueGuest JudgeGolden Tickets
January 12, 2010 Boston, Massachusetts June 14, 2009 Gillette Stadium [17] August 13 & 14, 2009 60 State Street [18] Victoria Beckham 32
January 13, 2010 Atlanta, Georgia June 18, 2009 Georgia Dome August 16 & 17, 2009W Hotel Atlanta Midtown [19] Mary J. Blige 25
January 19, 2010 Chicago, Illinois June 22, 2009 United Center August 31 & September 1, 2009 Hyatt Regency Chicago [20] Shania Twain 13
January 20, 2010 Orlando, Florida July 9, 2009 Amway Arena August 28 & 29, 2009Rosen Shingle Creek Resort [21] Kristin Chenoweth 31
January 26, 2010 Los Angeles, California [22] June 30, 2009 Rose Bowl Stadium September 4, 2009 Marina del Rey Marriott [23] Avril Lavigne 23
September 3, 2009 Katy Perry
January 27, 2010 Dallas, Texas [24] June 26, 2009 Cowboys Stadium August 25, 2009 [25] W Hotel Dallas Victory [26] Neil Patrick Harris 31
August 24, 2009 [26] Joe Jonas
February 2, 2010 Denver, Colorado July 14, 2009 Invesco Field August 7 & 8, 2009Grand Hyatt [27] Victoria Beckham 26
Total Tickets to Hollywood181

"Pants on the Ground"

During the Atlanta auditions, 62-year-old activist Larry Platt appeared and performed his original song "Pants on the Ground". The song's lyrics criticize people wearing the hip-hop style of clothing including pants that sag. Well over the age limit of 28, Platt was ineligible to continue. His performance has since become a viral hit, and several celebrities performed the song in the days that followed the original airing of his audition in Atlanta.

Hollywood week

Held at the Kodak Theatre for the second straight year, the first day of Hollywood Week featured the 181 contestants from the auditions round (although only 172 contestants were listed on the American Idol website [28] ) singing solo with the option of playing an instrument. [29] Ninety-six contestants advanced. The next round required the contestants to split up into groups and perform. Seventy-one advanced to the final round of Hollywood requiring a solo performance. Forty-six made it to the final round where the judges take contestants one by one and tell them if they made the final twenty-four. [30]

Ellen DeGeneres made her first appearance as a judge (replacing Paula Abdul) at this time.

Semi-finals

Semi-finalists

The first seven were revealed on February 16, 2010 (during the second hour on the episode), and the rest were revealed on the following night's episode. [31]

Females
ContestantDate of BirthAgeHometownAudition LocationVoted Off
Lilly ScottMay 16, 198920 Littleton, Colorado Denver, ColoradoMarch 11
Katelyn EpperlyMarch 21, 199020 West Des Moines, Iowa Chicago, Illinois
Haeley VaughnJune 5, 199316 Fort Collins, Colorado Denver, ColoradoMarch 4
Michelle DelamorDecember 31, 198722 Miami, Florida Orlando, Florida
Ashley RodriguezNovember 4, 198722 Boston, Massachusetts Boston, MassachusettsFebruary 25
Janell WheelerMay 8, 198524Orlando, FloridaOrlando, Florida
Males
ContestantDate of BirthAgeHometownAudition LocationVoted Off
Alex Lambert December 10, 199019 North Richland Hills, Texas Dallas, TexasMarch 11
Todrick Hall April 4, 198525 Arlington, Texas Dallas, Texas
Jermaine SellersFebruary 9, 198327 Joliet, Illinois Atlanta, GeorgiaMarch 4
John Park September 13, 198821 Northbrook, Illinois Chicago, Illinois
Tyler GradyOctober 26, 198920 Nazareth, Pennsylvania Boston, MassachusettsFebruary 25
Joe MuñozAugust 23, 198920 Huntington Park, California Los Angeles, California

The semi-final format used through the fourth through seventh seasons was revived for this season. Starting with 12 women and 12 men, the women and men perform on weekly separate shows and on the result shows, each performing a Billboard Hot 100 Hit song, and the bottom two contestants each night are eliminated from the competition. The semi-finals took place over three weeks, meaning that six from each gender will be eliminated over the course of the competition, leaving the other six to form the top 12. The females performed on the first night, followed by the males thereafter (the exception was the Top 20, as the Males performed first instead due to a hospitialization of one contestant, Crystal Bowersox, due to complications from diabetes. [32] [33]

From this point on in the show, this season's exit song, "Leave Right Now" by Will Young, was played over eliminations. [34]

Color key:

  Contestant was chosen by the public vote and moved on to the live shows
  Contestant was chosen by the public vote and moved on to the next round
  Contestant was eliminated

Top 24

Kris Allen's rendition of "Let It Be" was made available on iTunes for download, with all proceeds going to Haiti charities.

OrderFemales (24 February)Males (25 February)
ContestantSongResultContestantSongResult
1Paige Miles"All Right Now"SafeTodrick Hall"Since U Been Gone"Safe
2Ashley Rodriguez"Happy"EliminatedAaron Kelly"Here Comes Goodbye"Safe
3Janell Wheeler"What About Love"EliminatedJermaine Sellers"Get Here"Safe
4Lilly Scott"Fixing a Hole"SafeTim Urban"Apologize"Safe
5Katelyn Epperly"Oh! Darling"SafeJoe Muñoz"You and I Both"Eliminated
6Haeley Vaughn"I Want to Hold Your Hand"SafeTyler Grady"American Woman"Eliminated
7Lacey Brown"Landslide"SafeLee DeWyze"Chasing Cars"Safe
8Michelle Delamor"Fallin'"SafeJohn Park"God Bless the Child"Safe
9Didi Benami"The Way I Am"SafeMichael Lynche"This Love"Safe
10Siobhan Magnus"Wicked Game"SafeAlex Lambert"Wonderful World"Safe
11Crystal Bowersox"Hand in My Pocket"SafeCasey James"Heaven"Safe
12Katie Stevens"Feeling Good"SafeAndrew Garcia"Sugar, We're Goin Down"Safe
Non-competition performance
OrderPerformersSong
1.1Top 24"American Boy"
1.2 Allison Iraheta "Scars"
1.3 Kris Allen "Let It Be

Top 20

OrderMales (2 March)Females (3 March)
ContestantSong (original artist)ResultContestantSong (original artist)Result
1Michael Lynche"It's a Man's Man's Man's World"SafeCrystal Bowersox"Long As I Can See the Light"Safe
2John Park"Gravity"EliminatedHaeley Vaughn"The Climb"Eliminated
3Casey James"I Don't Want to Be"SafeLacey Brown"Kiss Me"Safe
4Alex Lambert"Everybody Knows"SafeKatie Stevens"Put Your Records On"Safe
5Todrick Hall"What's Love Got to Do with It"SafeDidi Benami"Lean on Me"Safe
6Jermaine Sellers"What's Going On"EliminatedMichelle Delamor"With Arms Wide Open"Eliminated
7Andrew Garcia"You Give Me Something"SafeLilly Scott"A Change Is Gonna Come"Safe
8Aaron Kelly"My Girl"SafeKatelyn Epperly"The Scientist"Safe
9Tim Urban"Come On Get Higher"SafePaige Miles"Walk Away"Safe
10Lee DeWyze"Lips of an Angel"SafeSiobhan Magnus"Think"Safe
Non-competition performance
OrderPerformersSong
2.1Top 20"I Gotta Feeling"
2.2 Danny Gokey "My Best Days Are Ahead of Me"

Top 16

OrderFemales (9 March)Males (10 March)
ContestantSong (original artist)ResultContestantSong (original artist)Result
1Katie Stevens"Breakaway"AdvancedLee DeWyze"Fireflies"Advanced
2Siobhan Magnus"The House of the Rising Sun"AdvancedAlex Lambert"Trouble"Eliminated
3Lacey Brown"The Story"AdvancedTim Urban"Hallelujah"Advanced
4Katelyn Epperly"I Feel the Earth Move"EliminatedAndrew Garcia"Genie in a Bottle"Advanced
5Didi Benami"Rhiannon"AdvancedCasey James"You'll Think of Me"Advanced
6Paige Miles"Smile"AdvancedAaron Kelly"I'm Already There"Advanced
7Crystal Bowersox"Give Me One Reason"AdvancedTodrick Hall"Somebody to Love"Eliminated
8Lilly Scott"I Fall to Pieces"EliminatedMichael Lynche"This Woman's Work"Advanced
Non-competition performance
OrderPerformersSong
3.1Top 16"Haven't Met You Yet"
3.1 Matt Giraud and Scott MacIntyre "Tell Her About It"

Finalists

Lee DeWyze Lee-Dewyze-AI Tour cropped.jpg
Lee DeWyze

Lee DeWyze (born April 2, 1986 in Mount Prospect, Illinois, 23 years at the start of the show) is from Mount Prospect, Illinois and auditioned in Chicago, Illinois with Bill Withers' Ain't No Sunshine. He performed The Fray's "You Found Me" during Hollywood week. Prior to his appearance on American Idol, he had worked in various jobs, including as a paint salesman and a trading floor clerk at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. He also appeared as an actor in a short low-budget film 'Deadscapes: Broken Road.' When he was 17, he was signed to Wuli Records and had released two CDs – So I'm Told and Slumberland. He was declared the winner on May 26. He was signed to RCA Records after the competition and released an album Live It Up on November 16, 2010.

Crystal Bowersox Crystal Bowersox.jpg
Crystal Bowersox

Crystal Bowersox (born August 4, 1985 in Elliston, Ohio, 24 years at the time of the show) is from Elliston, Ohio and auditioned in Chicago, Illinois with Erma Franklin's Piece of My Heart. She auditioned for Idol to try to make a better life for her son. Her Hollywood performance of Aretha Franklin's "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" impressed the judges and fellow contestants alike. She had performed as a singer from the age of 10 and moved to Chicago aged 17, frequently working as a busker at train stations there. She was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was six, and while on the show, she suffered diabetic complication and was hospitalized which resulted in the Top 20 performance nights for the male and female contestants being switched. She became the runner-up and was signed to Jive Records. Her debut album Farmer's Daughter was released on December 14, 2010.

Casey James Casey James.jpg
Casey James

Casey James (born May 31, 1982 in Princeton, Texas, 27 years at the time of the show) is from Fort Worth, Texas and auditioned in Denver, Colorado with John Mayer's "Slow Dancing in a Burning Room". He performed professionally after finishing school, but suffered a serious motorcycle accident when he was 21. He took his shirt off during audition after prompting from Kara DioGuardi and Randy Jackson, and Kara's interest in him became a recurring joke in the season. He is an accomplished guitarist and demonstrated his skill with his Hollywood round performance of Ray Charles's "I Don't Need No Doctor" and Top 20 performance of Gavin DeGraw's "I Don't Want to Be." He had never previously watched the show before he auditioned. He was eliminated as a third-place finisher on May 19. He was signed to Sony Music Nashville after the show.

Michael Lynche Michael Lynche.jpg
Michael Lynche

Michael Lynche (born May 31, 1983, 26 years at the time of the show) is from St. Petersburg, Florida auditioned in Orlando, Florida with Todd Duncan' "Unchained Melody". He worked as personal trainer prior to Idol. His is married and his daughter was born during Hollywood round, and the unfolding drama of his wife's labor was heavily featured during the Hollywood round where he performed John Mayer's "Waiting on the World to Change". He was saved by the judges when he became the lowest vote-getter on April 7, 2010, but finally he was eliminated at fourth place on May 12.

Aaron Kelly Aaron Kelly.jpg
Aaron Kelly

Aaron Kelly (born April 2, 1993 in Davenport, Florida, 16 years old at the start of the show) is from Sonestown, Pennsylvania and auditioned in Orlando, Florida as a winner from American Idol Experience at Disney's Hollywood Studios. His audition song was Miley Cyrus's "The Climb", and performed Sarah McLachlan's "Angel" during the Hollywood rounds but forgot his words. He was adopted by his aunt and uncle at 5. He had performed from a young age, and was a finalist on PAX-TV's America's Most Talented Kid at the age of 11. He was in 2010 the youngest American Idol contestant to reach Top 12. He was eliminated at fifth place on May 5.

Siobhan Magnus Siobhan Magnus Mansfield.jpg
Siobhan Magnus

Siobhan Magnus (born March 15, 1990 in Barnstable, Massachusetts, 19 years at the start of the show) is from Cape Cod, Massachusetts [35] and auditioned in Boston, Massachusetts with Queen's "Love of My Life". Before Idol she performed as the lead vocalist of her band, Lunar Valve, and she worked as a glassblower in Hyannis, Massachusetts. She performed Stevie Wonder's "Living for the City" in the Hollywood rounds. She was noted in the show for her ability to sustain a long high-pitched note. She was eliminated as sixth-placed finisher on April 28.

Tim Urban Tim Urban.jpg
Tim Urban

Tim Urban (born May 1, 1989 in Tacoma, Washington, 20 years at the time of the show) is from Duncanville, Texas and auditioned in Dallas, Texas with Matt Nathanson's Bulletproof Week. He performed David Cook's Come Back To Me during the Hollywood round. He did not qualify initially for the semi-finals but was chosen as a replacement for Chris Golightly who was disqualified for having a prior record deal. He finished at seventh place on April 21.

Katie Stevens Katie Stevens.jpg
Katie Stevens

Katie Stevens (born December 8, 1992 in Southbury, Connecticut, 17 years at the time of the show) is from Middlebury, Connecticut auditioned in Boston, Massachusetts with Glenn Miller's At Last. She looked after her Portuguese grandmother who suffered from Alzheimer's disease, and she is fluent in Portuguese. She performed Jean DuShon's "For Once in My Life" in the Hollywood rounds where Kara DioGuardi considered her a possible season's winner. She finished eighth place on April 14 in a double elimination, due to judges' save being used the previous week.

Andrew Garcia Andrew Garcia.jpg
Andrew Garcia

Andrew Garcia (born October 8, 1985 in Moreno Valley, California, 24 years at the time of the show) auditioned in Los Angeles with Maroon 5's "Sunday Morning". He had a good sized following on YouTube prior to auditioning on Idol. He impressed the judges with his performance of Paula Abdul's "Straight Up" during the Hollywood rounds, but failed to interest the judges in the later rounds. He was eliminated as joint eighth-place finishers together with Katie Stevens on April 14.

Didi Benami DidiBenami.jpg
Didi Benami

Didi Benami (born October 25, 1986 in New York, 23 years at the time of the show) is from Knoxville, Tennessee and currently resides in Hollywood. She auditioned in Los Angeles, California with The Beatles' "Hey Jude". She was inspired to audition by her best friend who died in a traffic accident. She was notable during the Hollywood rounds for her performance of Kara DioGuardi-penned Katharine McPhee's song "Terrified." She finished tenth after being eliminated on March 31.

Paige Miles (born September 26, 1985, 24 years at the time of the show) is from Naples, Florida and auditioned in Dallas, Texas. She was eliminated in eleventh place on March 24, 2010. She performed Stevie Wonder's "Living for the City" in the Hollywood rounds which she considered her favorite moment prior the semi-final. Simon Cowell considered her to have the best voice among the girls.

Lacey Brown (born August 13, 1985, 24 years at the time of the show) is from Amarillo, Texas and auditioned in Orlando, Florida with Judy Garland's "Over the Rainbow". She had previously made it to the Hollywood round in the eighth season of American Idol but lost out to Megan Joy at Top 50. Ryan Seacrest noted that her chilling performance of "What a Wonderful World" by Louie Armstrong had a major part in her advancing into the Top 24. She was the first finalist to be voted off on March 17.

Finals

There are 11 weeks of finals and 12 contestants compete and one finalist eliminated per week based on the American public's votes, except for one week on the Top 9 where it became a double elimination cumulating to the use of the Judges' Save which first introduced in the previous season.

Color key:

  Contestant was saved by America's vote
  Contestant was in the bottom three or two, but was saved by America's vote
  Contestant was initially eliminated, but was saved by Judges' save
  Contestant was eliminated
  Contestant won the season
  Contestant finished as the runner-up
  Contestant finished in 3rd place

Top 12 – The Rolling Stones

OrderContestantSongResult
1Michael Lynche"Miss You"Safe
2Didi Benami"Play with Fire"Safe
3Casey James"It's All Over Now"Safe
4Lacey Brown"Ruby Tuesday"Eliminated
5Andrew Garcia"Gimme Shelter"Safe
6Katie Stevens"Wild Horses"Safe
7Tim Urban"Under My Thumb"Bottom three
8Siobhan Magnus"Paint It, Black"Safe
9Lee DeWyze"Beast of Burden"Safe
10Paige Miles"Honky Tonk Women"Bottom three
11Aaron Kelly"Angie"Safe
12Crystal Bowersox"You Can't Always Get What You Want"Safe
Non-competition performance
OrderPerformersSong
1.1 David Cook "Jumpin' Jack Flash"
1.2 Orianthi "According to You"
1.3 Kesha feat. 3OH!3 "Blah Blah Blah"

Top 11 – Billboard Number 1 Hits

Teams performed a song which hit a number #1 song in the Billboard. Miley Cyrus served as the guest mentor this week.

OrderContestantSongResult
1Lee DeWyze"The Letter"Safe
2Paige Miles"Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)"Eliminated
3Tim Urban"Crazy Little Thing Called Love"Bottom three
4Aaron Kelly"I Don't Want to Miss a Thing"Safe
5Crystal Bowersox"Me and Bobby McGee"Safe
6Michael Lynche"When a Man Loves a Woman"Safe
7Andrew Garcia"I Heard It Through the Grapevine"Safe
8Katie Stevens"Big Girls Don't Cry"Bottom three
9Casey James"The Power of Love"Safe
10Didi Benami"You're No Good"Safe
11Siobhan Magnus"Superstition"Safe
Non-competition performance
OrderPerformersSong
2.1Top 11"Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go"
2.2 Miley Cyrus "When I Look at You"
2.3 Joe Jonas and Demi Lovato "Make a Wave"

Top 10 – R&B/Soul

Usher served as the guest mentor this week.

OrderContestantSongResult
1Siobhan Magnus"Through the Fire"Safe
2Casey James"Hold On, I'm A Comin'"Safe
3Michael Lynche"Ready for Love"Safe
4Didi Benami"What Becomes of the Brokenhearted"Eliminated
5Tim Urban"Sweet Love"Bottom three
6Andrew Garcia"Forever"Safe
7Katie Stevens"Chain of Fools"Bottom three
8Lee DeWyze"Treat Her Like a Lady"Safe
9Crystal Bowersox"Midnight Train to Georgia"Safe
10Aaron Kelly"Ain't No Sunshine"Safe
Non-competition performance
OrderPerformersSong
3.1 Ruben Studdard "Don't Make 'Em Like U No More"
3.2 Usher and will.i.am "OMG"
3.3 Diddy-Dirty Money "Hello Good Morning"

Top 9 (first week) – Lennon–McCartney Songbook

OrderContestantSongResult
1Aaron Kelly"The Long and Winding Road"Bottom three
2Katie Stevens"Let It Be"Safe
3Andrew Garcia"Can't Buy Me Love"Bottom three
4Michael Lynche"Eleanor Rigby"Judge's Save
5Crystal Bowersox"Come Together"Safe
6Tim Urban"All My Loving"Safe
7Casey James"Jealous Guy"Safe
8Siobhan Magnus"Across the Universe"Safe
9Lee DeWyze"Hey Jude"Safe
Non-competition performance
OrderPerformersSong
4.1Top 9 Lennon–McCartney medley
("Here, There and Everywhere" / "Got to Get You into My Life" / "The Fool on the Hill" / "All You Need Is Love" / "She Loves You" / "The End")
4.2 Jason Derülo "In My Head"
4.3 David Archuleta "Imagine"
4.4 Rihanna with Nuno Bettencourt "Rockstar 101"

Top 9 (second week) – Elvis Presley

American Idol last year's runner-up Adam Lambert served as the guest mentor this week.

OrderContestantSongResult
1Crystal Bowersox"Saved"Safe
2Andrew Garcia"Hound Dog"Eliminated
3Tim Urban"Can't Help Falling in Love"Safe
4Lee DeWyze"A Little Less Conversation"Safe
5Aaron Kelly"Blue Suede Shoes"Safe
6Siobhan Magnus"Suspicious Minds"Safe
7Michael Lynche"In the Ghetto"Safe
8Katie Stevens"Baby What You Want Me to Do"Eliminated
9Casey James"Lawdy Miss Clawdy"Safe
Non-competition performance
OrderPerformersSong
5.1Top 9 Elvis Presley medley
("Teddy Bear" / "Burning Love" / "Return to Sender" / "Viva Las Vegas")
5.2 Brooke White and Justin Gaston"If I Can Dream"
5.3 Adam Lambert "Whataya Want from Me"

Top 7 – Inspirational Songs

Alicia Keys served as the mentor for this week.

OrderContestantSongResult
1Casey James"Don't Stop"Bottom three
2Lee DeWyze"The Boxer"Safe
3Tim Urban"Better Days"Eliminated
4Aaron Kelly"I Believe I Can Fly"Bottom three
5Siobhan Magnus"When You Believe"Safe
6Michael Lynche"Hero"Safe
7Crystal Bowersox"People Get Ready"Safe
Non-competition performance
OrderPerformersSong
6.1Top 7"Keeping the Dream Alive"
6.2 Alicia Keys "Un-Thinkable (I'm Ready)" / "Empire State of Mind (Part II) Broken Down"
6.3 The Black Eyed Peas "Rock That Body"
6.24 Carrie Underwood "Change"
6.5 Elton John "Your Song"
6.6 Mary J. Blige
(featuring Randy Jackson, Orianthi, Travis Barker, Steve Vai and others)
"Stairway to Heaven"

Top 6 – Shania Twain

Contestants performed songs paying tribute to Shania Twain, who also served as the guest mentor this week.

OrderContestantSongResult
1Lee DeWyze"You're Still the One"Safe
2Michael Lynche"It Only Hurts When I'm Breathing"Bottom three
3Casey James"Don't!"Bottom three
4Crystal Bowersox"No One Needs to Know"Safe
5Aaron Kelly"You've Got a Way"Safe
6Siobhan Magnus"Any Man of Mine"Eliminated
Non-competition performance
OrderPerformersSong
7.1Crystal Bowersox, Siobhan Magnus and Christina Aguilera "Beautiful" / "Fighter"
7.2Lee DeWyze, Casey James, Michael Lynche, Aaron Kelly, Daryl Hall and John Oates "I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)", "Maneater", "You Make My Dreams" by Hall & Oates
7.3 Rascal Flatts "Unstoppable"
7.4 Sons of Sylvia "Love Left to Lose"
7.5 Lady Antebellum "Need You Now"
7.6 Shakira and Rascal Flatts"Gypsy"

Top 5 – Frank Sinatra

Harry Connick, Jr. served as the guest mentor this week.

OrderContestantSongResult
1Aaron Kelly'"Fly Me to the Moon"Eliminated
2Casey James"Blue Skies"Safe
3Crystal Bowersox"Summer Wind"Safe
4Michael Lynche"The Way You Look Tonight"Bottom two
5Lee DeWyze"That's Life"Safe
Non-competition performance
OrderPerformersSong
8.1Top 5 Frank Sinatra medley
("The Lady Is a Tramp" / "It Was a Very Good Year" / "I've Got the World on a String" / "Night and Day")
8.2 Harry Connick, Jr. medley
("We Are in Love" / "Come by Me" / "Hear Me in the Harmony")
8.3 Lady Gaga "Alejandro"
8.4 Harry Connick, Jr. "And I Love Her"

Top 4 – Songs of the Cinema

Each contestant sang one solo and one duet with a fellow contestant. Jamie Foxx served as the guest mentor this week.

ContestantOrderSolo songFeatured filmOrderDuet partnerDuet songFeatured filmResult
Lee DeWyze1"Kiss from a Rose" Batman Forever 3Crystal Bowersox"Falling Slowly" Once Safe
Michael Lynche2"Will You Be There" Free Willy 6Casey James"Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?" Don Juan DeMarco Eliminated
Casey James4"Mrs. Robinson" The Graduate 6Michael Lynche"Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?" Don Juan DeMarco Safe
Crystal Bowersox5"I'm Alright" Caddyshack 3Lee DeWyze"Falling Slowly" Once Safe
Non-competition performance
OrderPerformersSong
9.1 Fantasia "Bittersweet"
9.2 Daughtry "September"
9.3 Bon Jovi "Superman Tonight"

Top 3 – Contestant's choice & Judges' choice

Each contestant sang two songs, one chosen by the contestant and another by the judges.

ContestantOrderContestant's choiceOrderJudges's choiceChosen byResult
Casey James1"OK, It's Alright with Me"4"Daughters" Randy Jackson & Kara DioGuardi Third place
Crystal Bowersox2"Come to My Window"5"Maybe I'm Amazed" Ellen DeGeneres Safe
Lee DeWyze3"Simple Man"6"Hallelujah" Simon Cowell Safe
Non-competition performance
OrderPerformersSong
10.1 Travis Garland "Believe"
10.2 Justin Bieber "U Smile" / "Baby"

Finale – Contestant's choice, Simon Fuller's choice & winner's single

Each contestant sang three songs, a song of their choice, a song chosen by the mentor Fuller, and one winner's single.

ContestantOrderContestant's choiceOrderMentor's choiceOrderWinner's songResult
Lee DeWyze1"The Boxer"3"Everybody Hurts"5"Beautiful Day"Winner
Crystal Bowersox2"Me and Bobby McGee"4"Black Velvet"6"Up to the Mountain (MLK Song)"Runner-Up
Non-competition performance
OrderPerformersSong
11a.1 Will Young "Leave Right Now"
11b.1Siobhan Magnus and Aaron Kelly
(Barry Gibb and Robin Gibb)
"How Deep Is Your Love"
11b.?Michael Lynche
(Michael McDonald)
"Takin' It to the Streets"
11b.?Top 6 Females
(Christina Aguilera)
"Beautiful" / "Fighter"
11b.?Top 6 Males
(Daryl Hall and John Oates)
"I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)" / "Maneater" / "You Make My Dreams"
11b.?Crystal Bowersox
(with Alanis Morissette)
"Ironic" / "You Oughta Know"
11b.?Casey James
(with Bret Michaels)
"Every Rose Has Its Thorn"
11b.?Lee DeWyze
(with Chicago)
"Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" / "If You Leave Me Now" / "25 or 6 to 4"
11b.?Lee DeWyze and Crystal Bowersox
(with Joe Cocker)
"With a Little Help from My Friends"
11b.? Alice Cooper "School's Out"
11b.? Kris Allen "The Truth"
11b.? Dane Cook "Simon Said"
11b.? Christina Aguilera "You Lost Me"
11b.? Carrie Underwood "Undo It"
11b.? Larry Platt
William Hung
"Pants on the Ground"
11b.?American Idol alumnus
(including winners Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, Carrie Underwood, Jordin Sparks, Taylor Hicks and Kris Allen)
"Together We Are One"
11b.? Janet Jackson
(with Top 12)
"Again" / "Nothing" / "Nasty"

Elimination chart

Color key:

  Female contestant
  Male contestant
  Winner
  Runner-up
  Not chosen by the public
  Saved by the public
  Saved by Judges' Save
  Bottom three/two
  Eliminated
Results per stage
PlaceContestantSemi-finals (Top 24)Top 12Top 11Top 10Top 9 [lower-alpha 1] Top 7Top 6Top 5Top 4Top 3Finale
2/253/43/113/183/254/14/84/154/224/295/55/125/195/26
1 Lee DeWyze SafeSafeSafeSafeSafeSafeSafeSafeSafeSafeSafeSafeSafeWinner
2 Crystal Bowersox SafeSafeSafeSafeSafeSafeSafeSafeSafeSafeSafeSafeSafeRunner-up
3 Casey James SafeSafeSafeSafeSafeSafeSafeSafeBottom threeBottom threeSafeSafeEliminated
4 Michael Lynche SafeSafeSafeSafeSafeSafeJudges' save [lower-alpha 1] SafeSafeBottom threeBottom twoEliminated
5 Aaron Kelly SafeSafeSafeSafeSafeSafeBottom threeSafeBottom threeSafeEliminated
6 Siobhan Magnus SafeSafeSafeSafeSafeSafeSafeSafeSafeEliminated
7 Tim Urban SafeSafeSafeBottom threeBottom threeBottom threeSafeSafeEliminated
8–9 Andrew Garcia SafeSafeSafeSafeSafeSafeBottom threeEliminated
Katie Stevens SafeSafeSafeSafeBottom threeBottom threeSafe
10 Didi Benami SafeSafeSafeSafeSafeEliminated
11 Paige Miles SafeSafeSafeBottom threeEliminated
12 Lacey Brown SafeSafeSafeEliminated
13–16Katelyn EpperlySafeSafeEliminated
Todrick Hall SafeSafe
Alex Lambert SafeSafe
Lilly ScottSafeSafe
17–20Michelle DelamorSafeEliminated
John Park Safe
Jermaine SellersSafe
Haeley VaughnSafe
21–24Tyler GradyEliminated
Ashley Rodriguez
Joe Muñoz
Janell Wheeler
  1. 1 2 Due to the judges using their one 'Judges' Save' per season, in order to save Lynche, the 'Top 9' remained intact for another week.

Results night performances

Group songs

Results show performances

WeekPerformer(s)TitleHot 100 ReactionHot Digital Songs ReactionPerformance Type
Top 24 Allison Iraheta "Scars"failed to chartlive
Kris Allen "Let It Be" [n 1] 63 (debut)live
Top 20 Danny Gokey "My Best Days Are Ahead of Me"82 (debut)63 (debut)live
Top 16 Matt Giraud and Scott MacIntyre "Tell Her About It"no releaseN/Alive
Top 12 David Cook "Jumpin' Jack Flash"failed to chartlive
Orianthi "According to You"19(−1)23(+9)live
Kesha feat. 3OH!3 "Blah Blah Blah"15(+1)10(−1)pre-recorded
Top 11 Miley Cyrus "When I Look at You"25(+33)12(+19)live
Joe Jonas and Demi Lovato "Make a Wave"fell off chartlive
Top 10 Ruben Studdard "Don't Make 'Em Like U No More"failed to chartlive
Usher and will.i.am "OMG"14 (debut)7 (debut)pre-recorded
Diddy-Dirty Money "Hello Good Morning"34 (debut)17 (debut)live
Top 9
(Week 1)
Jason Derülo "In My Head" ("Whatcha Say" intro)5(+4)6(+5)live
David Archuleta "Imagine"no releaseN/Alive
Rihanna with Nuno Bettencourt "Rockstar 101"failed to chartfailed to chartpre-recorded
Top 9
(Week 2)
Brooke White and Justin Gaston
(from If I Can Dream)
"If I Can Dream"failed to chartfailed to chartlive
Adam Lambert "Whataya Want from Me"10(+13)8(+21)live
Top 7 Alicia Keys "Un-Thinkable (I'm Ready)"
"Empire State of Mind (Part II) Broken Down"
58(+25)live
The Black Eyed Peas "Rock That Body"unreleasedlive
Carrie Underwood "Change"68(debut)51,000 (+ 2001%)live
Elton John "Your Song"no releaselive
Mary J. Blige (feat. Randy Jackson, Orianthi, Travis Barker, Steve Vai and others) "Stairway to Heaven"no releaselive
Top 6 Rascal Flatts "Unstoppable"60(+6)live
Sons of Sylvia "Love Left to Lose"101 (debut)pre-recorded
Lady Antebellum "Need You Now"5(−1)9(−1)pre-recorded
Shakira & Rascal Flatts"Gypsy"65 (debut)48 (debut)live
Top 5 Lady Gaga "Alejandro" ("Bad Romance" intro)11(+5)9(+4)pre-recorded
Harry Connick, Jr. "And I Love Her"no releaselive
Top 4 Fantasia "Bittersweet"failed to chartlive
Daughtry "September"failed to chartlive
Bon Jovi "Superman Tonight"failed to chartlive
Top 3 Travis Garland "Believe"failed to chartlive
Justin Bieber "U Smile" / "Baby"38(no change)24(+3)pre-recorded
Finale Will Young "Leave Right Now" [n 2] 81 (debut)50 (debut)live
Alice Cooper "School's Out"ineligible to re-enterineligible to re-enterlive performance
Kris Allen "The Truth"failed to chartfailed to chartlive
Dane Cook "Simon Said"no releaseno releaselive
Christina Aguilera "You Lost Me"no releaseno releaselive
Carrie Underwood "Undo It"25(+34)18(+43)live
Larry Platt feat. William Hung "Pants on the Ground"failed to re-enterfailed to re-enterlive
American Idols [n 3] "Together We Are One"no releaseno releaselive
Janet Jackson "Again"/"Nothing" / "Nasty"ineligible to re-enter/ no releaseineligible to re-enter/failed to chartlive
"—" denotes no figure was available.

Controversies

Ethnic voting bias

Since the seventh season, the voting results are seemingly skewed towards white contestants, and critics believe that it was white female viewers who vote only for white male contestants. During top 20 week, all four eliminated contestants were non-white. This season had the fewest non-white finalists. This led to criticism of bias in favor of white contestants. [37]

Chris Golightly

Chris Golightly was originally selected as semi-finalist. According to reports, Golightly was disqualified on February 17, 2010, after already being told he was in the top 24, over an old contract. The contract had expired by the time the top 24 began to tape, but they disqualified him because he was under contract at the time of the tryouts, in violation of Idol rules. He was later replaced by Tim Urban at the last minute of the last part of Hollywood Week. [38] Golightly later appears on a Korean television show called Superstar K , a singing competition similar to the American Idol. In there, he tells that he also used to write songs for Korean singers, such as Jewelry, DBSK and ZE:A. [39]

Semi-final eliminations

The semi-final eliminations of early favorites Alex Lambert, Katelyn Epperly and Lilly Scott before the Top 12 stunned bloggers and viewers. Michael Slezak of Entertainment Weekly stated, "So you'd think by season 9 — during the inconsequential semifinals, no less — it would be easy to brush off the bad judgment of speed-texting tweens, to process the way-too-early exits of Lilly Scott, Katelyn Epperly, and Alex Lambert...and move on...(S)o why do the ritual killings of the dreams of (three) indisputably flawed semifinalists feel like they’re part of something bigger, a shifting of the tectonic plates at the core of the Idol universe?" [40]

Ryan Seacrest's Twitter post

Lacey Brown's elimination stirred up controversy after Ryan Seacrest tweeted the results before the elimination aired on the west coast. [41] This caused anger among the fans of the show and as a result, the elimination show may have had lower ratings than usual. [42] [43]

Criticisms of Ryan Seacrest

Seacrest has been criticized by The Wrap and MSNBC Entertainment contributors for "critiquing the judges’ comments" and becoming more aggressive. [44] [45] Ratings for this season have dropped significantly compared to the prior two seasons [46] leading to speculation that its run as the number one show on television may be coming to a close. [47] Reasons for the decline have ranged from the smaller role and pending departure of Simon Cowell to the more unpredictable behavior of Ryan Seacrest. [48]

It was also claimed that Crystal Bowersox had considered Ryan Seacrest to have betrayed her. [49] After it was reported that she had doubts about staying on in the show but Ryan Seacrest had talked her out of it, [50] her fellow contestant Katelyn Epperly revealed that Crystal texted: "I'm fine...betrayed by Seacrest!" in a text message to her. Crystal denied that she was planning to leave, and there was no evidence that Ryan Seacrest had leaked the information himself.

U.S. Nielsen ratings

This season of American Idol was the top show for the 2009–10 season of broadcast primetime shows. Its Tuesday and Wednesday episodes occupied the top two spots of the season. Viewership for the Tuesday episodes averaged 22.974 million, while the Wednesday episodes averaged 21.951 million. [51]

Episode list
ShowEpisode [3] Air dateRatingSharerating/Share
18–49
Viewers
(in millions)
1"Boston Auditions"January 12, 201016.42411.8/2929.936 [52]
2"Atlanta Auditions"January 13, 201014.92310.1/2726.393 [52]
3"Chicago Auditions"January 19, 201014.32210.1/2726.384 [53]
4"Orlando Auditions"January 20, 201014.6239.9/2726.854 [53]
5"Los Angeles Auditions"January 26, 201013.5219.0/2424.452 [54]
6"Dallas Auditions"January 27, 201013.4229.5/2425.710 [54]
7"Denver Auditions"February 2, 201013.4209.0/2324.705 [55]
8"Best of the Rest" [56] February 3, 201011.9197.8/2120.999 [55]
9"Hollywood Round, Part 1"February 9, 201015.12210.1/2627.892 [57]
10"Hollywood Round, Part 2"February 10, 201013.6219.5/2325.172 [57]
11"Hollywood Round, Part 3"February 16, 201013.1209.2/2223.922 [58]
12"Hollywood Round, Part 4"February 17, 201010.6167.0/1718.629 [58]
13"Top 12 Female Semifinalists Perform"February 23, 201013.4209.0/2224.213 [59]
14"Top 12 Male Semifinalists Perform"February 24, 201012.9208.7/2222.959 [59]
15"First Results Show"February 25, 201010.3166.5/1718.033 [59]
16"Top 10 Male Semifinalists Perform"March 2, 201013.1208.6/2223.526 [60]
17"Top 10 Female Semifinalists Perform"March 3, 201013.4218.523.560 [60]
18"Second Results Show"March 4, 201011.2186.519.424 [60]
19"Top 8 Female Semifinalists Perform"March 9, 201012.8188.222.752 [61]
20"Top 8 Male Semifinalists Perform"March 10, 201011.9187.5/2020.701 [61]
21"Third Results Show/Top 12 Revealed"March 11, 201011.2186.319.339 [61]
22"Top 12 Finalists Perform"March 16, 201013.0218.1/2322.913 [62]
23"Top 12 Results Show"March 17, 201011.8206.8/2020.510 [63]
24"Top 11 Finalists Perform"March 23, 201013.5218.4/2324.211 [64]
25"Top 11 Results Show"March 24, 201012.2207.2/2021.437 [65]
26"Top 10 Finalists Perform"March 30, 201012.4207.7/2121.845 [66]
27"Top 10 Results Show"March 31, 201011.7196.7/1920.492 [67]
28"Top 9 Finalists Perform"April 6, 201011.9197.3/2020.836 [68]
29"Top 9 Results Show"April 7, 201011.6186.7/1820.168 [69]
30"Top 9 Finalists Perform Again"April 13, 201011.8197.3/2120.639 [70]
31"Double Elimination Top 9 Results Show"April 14, 201012.1206.8/1921.018 [71]
32"Top 7 Finalists Perform"April 20, 201011.0186.9/2019.669 [72]
33"Top 7 Results Show/Idol Gives Back"April 21, 201010.6185.9/1718.824 [73]
34"Top 6 Finalists Perform"April 27, 201011.0176.9/2019.417 [74]
35"Top 6 Results Show"April 28, 201011.5186.7/1820.057 [75]
36"Top 5 Finalists Perform"May 4, 201010.1166.2/1817.498 [76]
37"Top 5 Results Show"May 5, 201011.3186.5/1819.580 [77]
38"Top 4 Finalists Perform"May 11, 201010.7176.8/1819.167 [78]
39"Top 4 Results Show"May 12, 201011.2186.6/1719.569 [79]
40"Top 3 Finalists Perform"May 18, 201010.5176.7/1818.684 [80]
41"Top 3 Results Show"May 19, 201011.1186.1/1619.003 [80]
42"Top 2 Finalists Perform"May 25, 201011.2186.7/1920.072 [81]
43"Winner Revealed"May 26, 201013.5238.2/2424.215 [81]

See also

Notes

  1. Kris Allen's rendition of "Let It Be" was made available on iTunes for download, with all proceeds going to Haiti charities.
  2. Will Young performed at the end of the performance show on May 25, 2010.
  3. The group that sang Delta Goodrem's "Together We Are One" consisted of many previous American Idol contestants, including winners Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, Carrie Underwood, Jordin Sparks, Taylor Hicks, and Kris Allen.

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