American Idol Season 9: Live-Blogging the First Elimination of Semi-Finals

Frank Micelotta/ FOX.
Frank Micelotta/ FOX.
Goodbye Ashley Rodriguez

After a lackluster start to the live performance portion of this season, tonight we'll find out which contestants get that first, oh-so-humiliating boot from American Idol--in real-time. Will it be a halfway decent singer who we never heard of until this week, like Lee Dewyze and Michelle Delamor, or will it be one of the exhausting sob stories wrapped in a tone-deaf but pixie-cute bundle, like Katie Stevens. Creepy-but-intriguing Siobhan Magnus or how-did-I-get-here? Tim Urban (no really, how did he get there?) or screen-devouring country girl Haeley Vaughan? Only time will tell...

8:00pm. Discourse with the judges. Ryan asks Ellen if her first week was what she expected. "I said 'bananas.' That came out of my mouth." Kara DioGuardi's hubby in the audience, ready to take out Casey James should his wife ever act as stupidly gaga over him as she did last night.

8:05pm. First group sing! "American Boy" which Janell Wheeler did so much better with in Hollywood than on whatever she sang Tuesday. Girls sing first, then the boys. They don't change the lyrics for the boys. "I'm liking this American boy...Would you be my love?" An Idol first?

8:11pm. Back row of girls stands. Siobhan Magnus is safe. Don't look her in the eyes and everything will be ok. Haeley "wind-up doll" Vaughan, murderer of "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" safe. Michelle Delamor is safe! She may be a corporate singer, but at least she can carry a tune. Katelyn Epperly, one of this week's few standout girls, is also safe.

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8.12pm. It's down to Katie Stevens and Janell Wheeler. And it's Janell going home. Apparently voters have as much Alzheimers as Katie's grandma, because by the time they picked up the phone they mysteriously forgot how horrendous Katie was on "Feelin' Good."

8.15pm. Janell sings "What About Love?". Oh right, maybe I'm a also little forgetful. This wasn't good, either.

8.21pm. Allison Iraheta is back! New single, "Scars." This time last year we knew there was at least Allison, one girl who belonged in this stage of the game. This year, not so much. Allison's red-haired and husky-voiced as ever. I'd say she sings it like a young Melissa Etheridge, except she seems old enough to be Melissa's great-aunt.

8.24pm. Ryan interviews her a bit. Allison now speaks with a Southern accent.

8.25pm. Front row rises. Paige Miles (who?) is safe. Lacey is already practically crying before Ryan tells her what she does not deserve to hear--she, who dared ruin "Landslide" is sticking around. White-haired Lilly Scott and her kindred spirit, subway-busker Crystal Bowersox both safe. We get a glimpse of Crystal's short-haired female "friend" in the audience. And it wasn't Ellen.

8.28pm. Ingrid Michaelson soundalike Didi Benami and drop-dead gorgeous Ashley Rodriguez are the last to get the news. And Ashley's going home!

8.35pm. Footage of Tyler in rehearsal, who showed up in a bathrobe and boots. Definitely an improvement over his hack hippie-wear.

8.36pm. Back row stands. Big Michael Lynche is safe and another week away from being a present father. John Park ("God Bless the Child") is inexplicably safe as well. Mini-David Archuleta Aaron Kelly is sticking around. Todrick Hall, who destroyed Kelly Clarkson's brilliance, gets another chance.

8.40pm. Tim Urban--what??? Safe. Joe Munoz is going home. That's two Latinos out of two three? Way to go, America.

8.47pm. "Idol Gives Back" will happen this year. If you are a corporation and want to pay for this, give Ryan a call. Kris Allen--that guy who won last year, now an ambassador to Haiti--sings "Let It Be." Not sure of the appropriateness of the lyrics, but it has the emotional impact Simon must have hoped for when he produced "Everybody Hurts."

8.55pm. Back row of boys: Casey James (duh) is safe. Jermaine Sellers and Lee Dewyze, too. Andrew Garcia, who was wrongfully slammed by judges last night, gets another week. So it's between Alex Lambert and Tyler Grady. One has zero confidence, the other arrogant as heck. Simon predicts Tyler's expulsion, and he's right.

8.58pm. Say goodbye to Janell, Ashley, Joe, and Tyler. What's the new going-home song? "I think I better leave right now."


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