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Paula Rates the Final Four!

May 12th, 2004

May 12, 2004

It was "thunderin' and lightnin'" on the "American Idol" set last night when the remaining hopefuls, FANTASIA BARRINO, DIANA DeGARMO, LA TOYA LONDON and JASMINE TRIAS, got things dancing for Disco Week.

On tonight's ET, we'll get the latest "Idol" update from judge and ET special correspondent PAULA ABDUL, who told us that Jasmine, who broke down in tears onstage, was still upset backstage.

"There isn't much you can do to console someone who had not a very good performance," Paula said on the ET set. "It is just so difficult. At least each contestant each week has gone out with one of his or her best performances. There has been no rhyme or reason as to why they went home. It stinks when you go home with one of your worst performances. And that is devastating. It was hard to console Jasmine backstage. I think she has felt the pressure that she might be the next one to go home. She knew that she was vulnerable. I think she knew it was make it or break it for her."

"Idol" and "On Air" host RYAN SEACREST mixed things up by switching the order in which the judges were to critique the performances: SIMON COWELL was up first, followed by Donna, then Paula, and RANDY JACKSON was the final word.

Jasmine kicked off the night with her take of "Everlasting Love" in a tight, black dress with newly crimped hair. "You are the one most likely to go out tonight," Simon predicted. "After that performance you are definitely the one to go. It was like bad karaoke." Donna told the Hawaiian beauty that despite pitch problems, she "gave a pretty good performance." Paula added, "It was not a good choice of songs." And Randy agreed with Simon that Jasmine has had better nights.

Earlier Jasmine told ET, "When George left, I said, 'Okay I'm going to go next,' but at the same time I'm trying to think positive."

Paula thinks Jasmine's fear could be well-founded. "I think the general consensus is that Jasmine is probably the one who really needs to hit it out of the ballpark."

Next up was La Toya with "Love You Inside Out" in a raspberry-colored, one-shouldered dress. "There is nothing much more we can add about you in this competition because we know you are a great singer," Simon said. "My only criticism is that we have known you for 11 weeks and I don't know anything new about you. Disco is one week you could have had fun." Donna said she understood La Toya's choice of songs. Paula said she was "consistent as a star. I think I am looking at an American Idol." And while Randy didn't agree with Simon that it was safe, he did feel "it wasn't anything special. It was good, but I keep looking for 'Dude, blow me away.'"

Third up was Fantasia who brought her unique style to "Knock On Wood," wearing a pink/purple-striped crop top and blue jeans. "This is a winner's competition," Simon espoused. "The person who should win is not just the one with a great voice, but somebody who is different. You are different and that was a great performance." Donna agreed, saying, "You are self possessed and you know who you are. The voice goes without saying. You are fabulous." Paula told her, "What is great is you have always picked songs that showcase the best qualities of your voice." Randy added, "As soon as you open your mouth, you feel the spirit of the song. Dude, you've got it goin' on."

Diana, in a pink floral dress, performed "This Is It." "I have said all along that you are too young for this competition," Simon said. "I am going to take that back. Of all the people that have shown progress for the past five weeks, you are the most improved." Donna told her she should be happy with her performance, adding, "I was really impressed." Paula commented, "Something has happened and you have this immense confidence, plus you look fabulous tonight." Randy confirmed, "I am the one who said she is not too young. She is the most improved performer. Good job."

Jasmine began round two with "It's Raining Men." "You better hope every household in Hawaii has five telephones," Mr. Nasty told her. "It didn't work." Donna didn't like the choice of song, saying, "It didn't work with your voice." Paula told her, "This is hard for me, because I heard you in rehearsals and I know the power of your voice, but you forgot the lyrics. When that happens your confidence gets thrown off." And Randy agreed it wasn't her best performance.

Next up was La Toya with THELMA HOUSTON's "Don't Leave Me This Way." "That was more like it." Simon said. "The best compliment I can give you is that was as good as the original." Donna thought it was fabulous, Paula said it was stunning, and Randy gave her props for coming back on the second song.

Fantasia belted out "Holding Out for a Hero." "This isn't going to make me very popular, but I didn't like that," Simon said. "You are so much better than that kind of song." Donna commented, "You could sing the newspaper to me and I would love it because you are great." Paula agreed with Simon, "I don't know why you picked that song." Randy felt, "What it proves is no matter what song you choose, it proves you can really sing."

Diana wrapped up the night with the Donna Summer/BARBRA STREISAND tune "No More Tears." "Undoubtedly, the best song of the night," Simon said. "I have to compliment you on how you controlled that song in the middle. I have to give you total respect tonight." Donna said she had dedicated herself to the song and it showed, Paula said it was Diana's week, and Randy finished the critiques with, "You get the honors for the best song of the night."

On tonight's results show, disco queen Donna will perform a medley with the four finalists, and last year's runner-up CLAY AIKEN will sing EARTH, WIND & FIRE's "Fantasy."

As for the final three, Paula says, "It is crucial to pick the right songs. If you do not pick the right songs, it is like, so what? We all know they are great singers now. Diana DeGarmo picked the right songs and that is why she shined last night. That is the key."

Courtesy of ETOnline.

Filed under: American Idol


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