After brief scare, Iraheta advances to Top 5 on 'Idol'

HOLLYWOOD - On Tuesday night, Downey's Allison Iraheta hit the "American Idol" stage again, performing Donna Summer's 1978 hit song "Hot Stuff."This week on "Idol" we were taken back to the 70's into the disco era. Each contestant got to choose and perform their favorite 70's song. Iraheta was fourth to perform and hit the stage a bit differently than the others before her. Iraheta sat on the staircase as the "Idol" screen opened, making her visible to the public. And as the screen fully opened, the staircase slowly slid forward as she sang her first notes gracefully. Iraheta made some notable changes to Summer's song, adding an electric guitar to complement her style. I thought it was very clever of her to have changed it up and give it the "Allison spice" I love. Even though I loved the song arrangement, judge Randy Jackson thought it was a little too much. But he went on to say that she was one of the best singers in the competition. Another judge, Kara Dioguardi said, "From a singing perspective that was a 9 out of 10." Simon Cowell called Iraheta's performance "brilliant" and said that she was the show's underdog. Matt Giraud stood on the border of elimination last week but the judges used their only save of the season to keep him around. Because of that, two contestants had to leave Wednesday. The top seven contestants opened the show with a dance number to hit song "Let's Dance Let's Shout" by Michael Jackson, which was choreographed by one of their judges, Paula Abdul. After their dance number Iraheta ran to the side of the stage and picked up a bouquet of flowers the group had gotten Abdul for helping them with their dance. Things were not happy for long, as host Ryan Seacrest announced that someone had to leave do to the lack of votes in their favor. I was sure that Lil Rounds was going to go home and, as predicted, she was the first eliminated. Rounds has an amazing voice but I did not feel she was someone that stood out, like Iraheta or Adam Lambert, who have something so unique about their voices. Before Seacrest announced who else was going home, "Idol" had guest performers hit the stage. The first performer was Freda Payne who performed her hit song "Band of Gold." As she ended her performance she introduced the second guest, Thelma Housten, who performed her song "Don't Leave Me This Way." Housten and KC & The Sunshine Band also performed "Get Down Tonight." After all those amazing performances, Seacrest once again came over where the remaining six contestants were and reminded them that two were up for elimination. He went through Kris Allen and Lambert and cleared their safety, but once he got to Anoop Desal things changed. Desal was in the bottom, Seacrest announced. Danny Gokey was saved, and that left Giraud and Iraheta. I was hoping Iraheta would not be part of the bottom with Desal, but she was. After waiting and biting my nails through David Archuleta's performance of "Touch My Hand," I was hit with relief when Desal was the one whose journey was over and not Iraheta. Iraheta needs votes so watch next week and vote if you like her performance.

********** Published: April 24, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 1