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Idol: Tears and Triumph as Top 9 Take On the Beatles

American Idol

American Idol's Top 9 Take On Beatles Songs

Originally posted 03/20/2013 10:45PM

Nine singers are still in the hunt on American Idol – and this week they were faced with the daunting challenge of putting their own spin on a song from the Beatles catalogue.

"If you sing these songs well they will deliver for you," music producer and Idol mentor Jimmy Iovine told the contestants. "If you don't sing them well, the whole world is going to know."

Country crooner Kree Harrison kicked things off with a booming version of "With a Little Help From My Friends," which had the judges trying to outdo each other with praise. "You're all the cool things about country," Keith Urban said. Mariah Carey dubbed Kree's performance "fan-freaking-tastic." And the always fashion-conscious Nicki Minaj had nothing but praise for Kree's suddenly pumped-up style and her unflappable confidence.

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Oops! Nicki Minaj Is Late for American Idol | Nicki Minaj

American Idol

Nicki Minaj Arrives Late for Live American Idol Show

Originally posted 03/13/2013 08:40PM

Better late than never!

When American Idol's live performance episode started at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday, Nicki Minaj was nowhere to be seen.

"We are coming to you live and on time," host Ryan Seacrest said, before asking the crowd which top 10 finalist could win this season. After the cheering subsided, Seacrest added, "Keep that energy going for three of your four judges who are here tonight."

Keith Urban, Randy Jackson and Mariah Carey were all in their seats. But Minaj, it seems, was stuck in traffic.

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Idol's Top 10 Revealed! | Keith Urban, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Randy Jackson, Ryan Seacrest

American Idol

American Idol: Top 10 Revealed

Originally posted 03/07/2013 10:00PM

Meet the top 10!

American Idol cut its 20 semifinalists – 10 guys and 10 girls – in half on Thursday – with few, if any, surprises. In the 90-minute show, Seacrest announced the lucky ones in an offstage room and then led them to the stage.

The finalists, named below (guys first), walked through sliding doors to a surprised and adoring crowd to sing an emotional victory song and take in the judges' praise.

Keep reading to find out season 12's top 10:

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Which Tearful Idol Contestant Did Ryan Seacrest Comfort on Stage?

American Idol

American Idol's Top 10 Guys Perform for Votes

Originally posted 03/06/2013 10:50PM

The time finally arrived Wednesday for viewers to weigh in on American Idol's top 10 guys – and they were faced with some big decisions. (Caution: spoilers ahead!)

Kicking off the night was the Bruno Mars-esque 18-year-old Elijah Liu, who immediately sought to seduce the show's key voting bloc.

"I love the ladies," he said, making it clear that he's also "single and available."

And his plan worked like a charm: His performance of Rihanna's "Stay" elicited a chorus of high-pitched shrieks from the audience. It also caused the judges to rave about his marketability.

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Credit: Michael Becker/FOX
Idol's Top 10 Women Take on Whitney, Tina, Faith and More

American Idol

American Idol: Top 10 Women Perform

Originally posted 03/05/2013 11:30PM

It was ladies' night on American Idol Tuesday as the top 10 women took the stage, hoping to earn one of just five spots in the next round of competition.

And now it was all up to the viewers.

Caution: spoilers ahead!

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Did Your Favorite Idol Contestant Make the Top 20? | Keith Urban, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Randy Jackson, Ryan Seacrest

American Idol

American Idol Reveals Its Top 20

Originally posted 02/28/2013 11:20PM

American Idol has been on the air for 12 seasons. From the early days of Kelly Clarkson, the judges continually hounded the contestants on song choice. Simon Cowell (remember him?) would criticize contestants for being "cabaret," "old-fashioned" and, worst of all, "boring." Some of this season's contestants have been watching Idol since they were in elementary school, which makes it all the more inexplicable that they still choose to sing songs like Peggy Lee's "Fever," which is 57 years old.

The show began with the 10 contestants rising from the floor, Hunger Games-style. Five of them will continue, while five of them met their end. Find out who made it through to the next round … Spoiler Alert! The final picks for the Top 20 follow:

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Is Your Favorite Female Singer an American Idol Finalist?

American Idol

American Idol Reveals Its Top 10 Women

Originally posted 02/27/2013 10:45PM

American Idol's's list of the top 10 women is complete!

After the first week of sudden-death rounds, the judges gave their stamp of approval to five more female singers Wednesday night. And they sent five others home.

Keep reading to find out who's in and who's out on Idol ...

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Who's In and Who's Out on American Idol?

American Idol: Sudden-Death Round Begins for Men

Originally posted 02/21/2013 11:00PM

On Wednesday, 10 women sang for five spots on American Idol's live shows. On Thursday, it was the remaining guys' turn.

The judges have their own euphemisms when they don't like a performance – it's usually easy to read between the lines: If they compliment a singer on his shoes, he won't advance. On Thursday, Nicki Minaj actually told a contestant, "Kudos to you for being really freshly, nicely groomed." They might as well have had a stagehand pull him offstage with an oversized vaudeville hook.

After several weeks of good behavior by the judges, Thursday's episode showed a spark of life when Nicki – who was wearing her very best Jan Brady wig – began rolling her eyes whenever Randy Jackson spoke. At one point, Ryan Seacrest even tried to get them to kiss and make up. There was talk about lipstick, and Mariah Carey did her best to look at anything other than the awkward air kiss that followed.

But the theatrics did not eclipse some solid singers – and a few performances that just weren't good enough for the competition.

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Nicki Minaj on Idol Eliminations: We're Required to Hurt People's Feelings | Keith Urban, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Randy Jackson, Ryan Seacrest

American Idol

Nicki Minaj on American Idol Eliminations: We're Required to Hurt People's Feelings

Originally posted 02/21/2013 11:15AM

Goodbyes are often a necessarily evil on American Idol. But on Wednesday – which kicked off the show's first-ever sudden-death round – they were downright nasty.

"I hated it. I really did," Mariah Carey told PEOPLE of cutting five of 10 female contestants in Las Vegas. "Everybody was talented and different. There were some special people we had to get rid of."

Nicki Minaj happened to agree: "I don't want to hurt people's feelings," she said, "but I guess that's what we're required to do."

Keith Urban even had to tell a contestant who had his support that her time on the show was over.

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Who Survived American Idol's First Sudden-Death Round?

American Idol

American Idol: Women Face Sudden-Death Round

Originally posted 02/20/2013 11:00PM

American Idol threw yet another new twist at its 40 remaining contestants: a sudden-death round.

"One song, one chance, no mercy," Ryan Seacrest said as the first group of 10 female contestants gathered in Las Vegas to try to finally sing their way – in front of a boisterous studio audience – through to the "America votes" phase of the competition.

Five women moved on, five went home.

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