The theme of the evening was Neil Sedaka Night. Neil was the guest judge for this show so he joined Randy, Paula and Simon at the judges dais.
This is the first night where the remaining contestants sang two songs–one from the 60’s and one composed by Neil Sedaka. So, since it was the “Top Five”, the audience anticipated 10 performances for the night.
The songs and the order for the night were:
- Ruben Studdard – “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg”
- Trenyce – “Proud Mary”
- Josh Gracin – “Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye”
- Kimberley Locke – “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”
- Clay Aiken – “Build Me Up Buttercup”
- Ruben Studdard- “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do”
- Trenyce – “Love Will Keep Us Together”
- Josh Gracin – “Bad Blood”
- Kimberley Locke – “Where The Boys Are”
- Clay Aiken – “Solitaire”
Ruben started the evening with a good rendition of “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” but his outfit was the talk of the night. Wherever you read, people were commenting on the “Reynolds Wrap” outfit. Simon was horrified and not afraid to say so.
The judges were impressed with the way Trenyce sang “Proud Mary.” But, leave it to Simon to remark that she looked like a “Drag Queen.”
Simon must have been a in a bad mood because all the other judges enjoyed the performances of Josh and Kim, but he could not find anything nice to say. According to Simon was “just not good enough” and Kim was something that “can be heard in any church across America.”
Finally, there was Clay. He came out swinging as he sang “Build Me Up Buttercup” and the judges (even Simon) were impressed. After this song, Neil said “You sing like Andre Agassi plays tennis-perfection. And I would kill to write and produce your first CD.”
With so many performances in one night, the second round of performances started immediately. Each song in this round was written by Neil Sedaka.
Again, Ruben impressed the judges. All four of them felt Ruben performed like a professional and there was no comment on his clothing.
According to the judges, Trenyce hit a “home run” with her performance of “Love Will Keep It Together”, but Josh still could not get any support from Simon. Simon felt that he just wasn’t good enough.
“Where The Boys Are” was a great vehicle to show off Kim’s voice and the judges were excited about her performance. Words like hot, versatile, flirty, sultry and brilliant were heard in their review.
After the break and before the final performance, Ryan entered the Red Room with the four Idols who had performed already. The audience found out that Trenyce does a shot of olive oil before each performance to keep her vocal cords moist.
Kim was elected to introduce the last performer of the night, Clay Aiken. This performance was not like any other on the show. The audience saw a star on a dark stage wearing dark clothes. There was just a small light that let us see his serious face while he sang his beautiful arrangement of “Solitaire.” He sang it like a man on a mission. He just stood there and sang his heart out. Eventually the lights came on and the audience took a breath.
All four judges seemed to be stunned and were very emotional about Clay’s performance. Even Simon said it was “a fantastic performance.” What a way to end the night.
Burt Bacharach returned and brought some of the Idols with him so that the audience could hear, one more time, “What the World Needs Now” which has been recorded.
Two other things were highlighted in the show, a visit to Tamyra Gray and a video of the “Top 5” at the premiere of the new X-man movie.
Finally, it was time for the results. This week, Ryan only announced the bottom 2. It was a shock to everyone when it was announced that Ruben was joining Trenyce in the bottom two. But, as we all know, it was Trenyce that was “going home”
We have included four videos. They include the 2 group performances and both of Clay’s performances.
Click here to see videos:
What The World Needs Now