Billboard #1 Hits was the theme for American Idol, Season 2’s top 8 show. The show was aired on April 8, 2003 and each singer had the opportunity to sing a song that had been a #1 hit on the Billboard List.
Ryan Seacrest started the night by introducing the judges and added little tidbits about their history relating to number 1 songs — Randy Jackson produced eight number one songs while Paula Abdul had six number one singles. And Simon Cowell — well, according to Ryan, Simon thinks he’s number 1. The guest judge for the night was Lionel Richie.
Lionel said he was a fan of the show, and was looking forward to the opportunity to help out a little. He also stated that he thought that Simon was a bit out of control. Ryan introduced a short film clip that showed highlights of Lionel’s musical career.
The eight contestants sang the following songs:
1. Clay Aiken- “AT This Moment” (Billy Vera & the Beaters)
2. Kimberley Locke-“My Heart Will Go On” (Celine Dion)
3. Ricky Smith- “Endless Love” (Lionel Richie and Diana Ross)
4. Kimberly Caldwell -“Everything I Do, I Do It For You” (Bryan Adams)
5. Josh Gracin- “Amazed” (Lonestar)
6. Carmen Rasmusen- “Call Me” (Blondie)
7. Trenyce-“Power of Love” (Celine Dion)
8. Ruben Studdard- “Kiss and Say Goodbye” (The Manhattans)
Clay’s performance of “At This Moment” was excellent, but brought interesting remarks from the judges. Randy didn’t like the song choice, but in a turn of events Simon said: “Well, this show proves that Randy Jackson hasn’t got a clue what he’s talking about…because that song was perfect for you…absolutely on-the-money! Well done.”
Kimberley Locke and Ricky Smith both received OK comments from the judges for their performances. According to the judges, they were fine but didn’t blow them away.
The eight Idols all participated in a commercial for Nokia phones during this program. They showed Clay sending Ruben a text message that says 919 beats 205. They also showed Carmen sending a kiss to Clay and him sending one back.
Following the commercial, Kimberly Caldwell was not supported by the judges. They all thought she picked the wrong song for her singing style. However, the judges were excited about Josh Gracin’s performance and Simon said, “…one of the few artists tonight that picked the right song….well done.”
Carmen and Trenyce were not favorites of the judges for their performances this night. Simon thought they should both be in the bottom three and all of the judges were disappointed in their song choice.
The last performance of the evening was Ruben Studdard who sang “Kiss and Say Goodbye.” All of the judges thought it was the performance of the season and suggested that Ruben could teach a master class on performing.
Kelly Clarkson was a guest on the show and sang her hit, “Miss Independent.” She was backed by her own dancers and tried to do a bit of dancing during the performance.
The Idol’s participated in a Ford commercial, singing “Get Out Of My Dreams, Get Into My Car.”
After the commercial break, the bottom three singers are announced and they were Kimberley Locke, Kimberly Caldwell and Ricky Smith. The eliminated Idol was Ricky Smith.
It was an interesting week and the Idols seemed to be very busy with lots to do.
The following is a video of Clay’s performance.
This is the group medley.