Third Time's a Charm
British pop sensation, the lovely Natasha Bedingfield
, quickly won the room over with a jab at Idol's harshest judge. "I wore my pants high in honor of Simon Cowell
," she said. The jokes continued as she warmed-up with a line from her song "Unwritten," singing, "No one else can feel it for you ..." which prompted Ryan Seacrest to quip: "I love The Hills
!" (The song is the reality show's theme.) With the tension now broken, Natasha got right into her performance of her new song, "Pocket Full of Sunshine," but midway through she apologized because -- gasp! -- she forgot the lyrics! "Good thing I'm not one of those guys," she said while pointing to the smiling Idols on the couch. "Brooke White
is not alone," Debbie the stage manger aptly replied, before Natasha tried again. Everything seemed to be going well, Randy Jackson
was bobbing his head, Paula Abdul
did her dance, and Simon just kind of sat there, but just when things seemed to be ready to move on, Debbie announced there had to be a third take. A great sport, Natasha broke right back into the song and made it all the way through with complete success.
Natasha's Pocket Full of Kisses
After Natasha's second take, Ryan, as he usually does, came over to greet her with a kiss hello, but rather than the old hug and peck on the cheek, the host decided to go for the gusto and plant one on her lips. "Do you kiss everybody on the lips that sings on this show?" she asked. "I have a boyfriend!" A visibly embarrassed Ryan did his best to keep his cool and even joked before the third take, "Here comes Debbie. She's going to tell me not to kiss anybody." Well, after the third take, Ryan decided to stick to two pecks on each cheek. But before she left the stage, Natasha got a kiss from the real man on her mind, none other than little David Archuleta
, who told PEOPLE
he "loves" the English beauty. Natasha jumped up on the couch and planted one on the Lucky David's cheek, turning him red with giddy laughter.
The Diamond Does His Thing
After Tuesday's rushed show, things ran a lot smoother as the Idol
producers decided to pre-tape both musical performances of the night, taking off a little bit of the hurried feeling. Neil Diamon (this week's mentor whose new album Home Before Dark
is due May 6) kicked things off singing his new single "Pretty Amazing Grace." The legendary artist received a hearty thumbs up from Simon and Paula and a standing ovation from the studio audience. That must have been nice to see for the singer's mother, who was in the house. Before he left the stage, Neil said goodbye to the audience and then made his way over to shake each and every Idol's hand, bidding them farewell by blowing a kiss.
Welcome Back, Idols
Kristy Lee Cook
sat in the front row where the fans in the pit could see her. All smiles, Kristy greeted each fan warmly, happily signing autograph after autograph before the show and at breaks. "Ace Young
is in the house!" shouted Debbie over the PA, prompting all the young girls to scream and turn to look at the handsome former Idol sitting near the stage. Right behind Ace were two more former Idols, now partners in crime on Idol Extra
, Constantine Maroulis
and Gina Glocksen
David's Sweet Heart
Even though he's never been in the bottom three, David Archuleta showed utter shock when he heard he would be back next week. He was actually surprised that he was not only safe, but not in the bottom two, as he walked over to join Jason Castro
, also safe, on the couch. David mouthed "wow, wow, wow" to himself and held his look of shock into the break. And, according to a family friend, Tuesday night's song choice of Neil Diamond's "America" was chosen by David and sung from the heart in dedication to his lovely mom, Lupe, who originally came to the U.S. from Honduras.
Debbie was the first person to run and hug Brooke White
as her farewell piece ran on the monitor. Then, Syesha
, who had just dodged a bullet of her own, squeezed the very emotional White, who was having trouble gaining her composure for her last song on the Idol
stage. As the lights were about to go up, Ryan also comforted her by holding her arm. She did make it through the last song and then the credits rolled and the remaining Idols joined her on stage to bid her farewell. David Cook
, David Archuleta and Jason Castro all offered love with hugs, then Randy did the same and Simon, after his hug, offered her some words of encouragement. Paula was the last one to show her love for Brooke. But as her husband stayed strong and fielded condolences from friends and other families in the audience, there must have been one other thing on his mind: those long, curly locks of his are coming off soon, and by the one person in his life who is allowed to touch them -- Brooke!
Other Stuff You Didn't See
•During one of the breaks, Syesha almost falls off the safe couch and onto the floor. Luckily she caught herself, assuring the other contestants, "No worries. I didn't fall."
• Paula Abdul telling one young fan way up in the bleachers, who was holding up a pad of paper, "Come on down here," so she could sign it. Not soon after a line of eager fans formed. The judged signed as many as she could before the commercial break was over.
• At one of the breaks, David Cook was spotted doing a little game of charades with his mom, who was in the audience, trying to ask her either if she wanted to go to dinner and/or what she wanted to eat at dinner. How many syllables, David?
• After he'd been reunited with his crush earlier in the show, at the break, Simon Cowell chitchatted with his current crush, Terri Seymour
, whom was sitting a few seats behind the judges. --Jed Dreben