Tuesday, February 20

Grease - Top 10

The show opens with the group doing "Hand Jive." That's one high-energy number stuffed with fast & furious choreography! I got tired just watching.

We're told it's "Duet Week", so we'll finally get a chance to see some chemistry (or not) between the guys & girls. Also Jon Secada (a former Broadway Danny) is our guest panelist.

The contestants are shown talking about each other, both in general and in regards to who has chemistry with whom. Max & Allie say they definitely have... something. Guys think Derek is the one to beat and girls think Kate is... not overly concerned about being nice to people, let's say! Which she admits; she's here to win!

Since pairings for the performances need to be figured out, the elimination will happen at the beginning of tonight's episode. So we jump right in as Jason, Kevin, Juliana (nooo!), and Kathleen are told to step forward, then told they're "all in" the bottom 4. Billy pauses and there's an awkward silence before he says that means the others are safe and tells the 4 to "take their positions." The sing-off will be "Those Magic Changes," and everyone's good but we pretty much know the judges have already decided so I'm not sure it even matters. This time the judges agree with the viewers & send the two lowest vote-getters home: Jason and Juliana. :-( They say Kevin has the stronger voice (yes) and that Kathleen is a stronger actress (I don't think so, but I pretty much knew Juliana didn't have a shot at winning, so she might as well go now).

First up are Chad & Allie doing "Ain't No Mountain." I've seen way too many Idol performances of this to consider it a romantic song at all, but they do a decent job & end up a bit steamy. He was more convincing IMO than she was, but all the guys think she's hot (& she definitely shook what her Mama gave her) so her acting may not matter so much (David called the performance "theatrical viagra"; I rest my case).

Austin & Laura are next with "I Don't Know Much." Austin does a *fantastic* acting job (lots of little things, like his facial expressions when she touched his cheek) and they both sang incredibly well & their voices blend very well together. Definitely his best performance yet, and the panel seems to agree.

Max & Ashley get "It Takes Two" and they're the best match so far. The song's not one to showcase vocals, but they do a great job at acting much of the Danny-Sandy relationship; attraction, having fun together, and some of him 'chasing' her & her playing hard to get. (In one part they're close & he moves his arm up her thigh; she smacks it away & he turns toward the camera & gives a little shrug, like 'It was worth a try!' Cute!)

Derek & Kate do "From This Moment On." Kate is by far the strongest female tonight, at least in conveying the attraction through facial expressions. I'd say this is Derek's weakest performance; hit a really bad high note, and had a cheesy grin through most of the song... not Danny-like to me. David said he was "bored."

Kevin & Kathleen are last with "Something to Talk About." IMO they should be the next to go. They're good, but underwhelming after the others. Kathleen (the judge) comments that Kevin has a more "legitimate Broadway voice" and I agree; he's more suited to 'regular' musicals than something with 50's tunes.

The panelists give their favorites: David - Austin & Ashley; Kathleen - Chad & Ashley; Jim - Chad & Allie; Jon - Chad & Allie. I'm hard pressed to choose between Austin & Max tonight, but I'll pick Austin, and Kate.

Lastly Jason & Juliana do their sing-out, and it's obvious how much more professional they are than last week's pair! They act the parts they're singing, as they should, yet portray self-confidence (taking advantage of the little screentime they have left to show what they've got!).

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