More from EW
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The rise and fall of Josiah Leming
Viewers knew him from auditions as the emotional Tennessee teen who'd been living in his car. But after rocking Mika's ''Grace Kelly,'' Josiah's self-destruct button went off. Working on less than two hours of sleep, Josiah breezily dismissed the band and offered a croaky, creaky ''Stand By Me,'' then irritated Simon by insisting it had taken ''a hell of a lot of guts'' to go a capella. Perhaps it was his inconsistency, or maybe his emotional instability, but when the field narrowed to 24, the kid missed the cut. Cue sad background music. Cue encouraging platitudes from Ryan. And cue Josiah's uncontrollable sobbing. Welcome to ''Hell Week''!
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Frenchie and Kimberley's ''Gold''-medal duet
Anyone who wondered why Frenchie Davis and eventual third-place finisher Kimberley Locke performed as a duo — instead of the usual Hollywood Week quartet or trio — got a pre-performance run-down from Locke: ''Frenchie has a big voice. I have a big voice. It's not that [the other female contestants] didn't want to sing the song, or that the song was in the wrong key, they just didn't want to sing the song with us.'' But really, no explanation was needed after seeing the sexy soul sisters in action: Their red-hot take on ''Band of Gold'' came with shimmying choreography and pitch-perfect backing support. Hello, make that a double!
Watch the legendary ''Band of Gold'' duet here.
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Baylie Brown's memory lapse
Simon called her ''Commercial with a capital C'' during her audition, but after Baylie Brown completely whiffed on the lyrics to ''This Old Heart of Mine'' — her pretty smile failing to disguise the fact that not a single word was emerging from her mouth — she went from the top of the season 6 charts straight into the bargain bin. Add a nasty feud with her mean-girl singing partners, atrocious Amanda Coluccio and eventual semifinalist Antonella ''photo scandal'' Barba, in which the former attributed Baylie's downfall to the fact that ''God likes good people,'' and you had a plotline every bit as riveting as a scripted soap.
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The Littlest Cowboy's big-city sojourn
He came from a four-person town in Wyoming, and because of his slight size, his wide-eyed demeanor, and his flair for Western wear, Garet Layne Johnson scored a trip to California from softie judges Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson. Unfortunately, once he got there, ''The Littlest Cowboy'' and his singing comrades (hunky Matthew Buckstein and affable Michael Evans) received a ''ghastly'' review from Simon for their group rendition of ''Do Wah Diddy Diddy,'' and their story got packaged in a mock movie trailer called ''Brokenote Idol.'' Yet all was not lost: Thanks to a sweet display of post-elimination kindness toward one another, Johnson, Buckstein, and Evans won over the Idol audience — and apparently the show's producers — resulting in a return engagement at the season 5 finale.
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The bursting of Aa'shia Jackson's balloon
Sometimes, you've just got to admire the pure, unfiltered craziness of Idol hopefuls. After wildly overconfident Aa'shia Jackson got the axe — in one of those brutal ''room three...you're all going home!'' scenarios — the pint-sized teen refused to be broken, shouting: ''I'm the hottest thing in this country! I wasn't fed with no silver spoon — but I'm rich.'' As I asked in my TV Watch column that week: Rich in what? Delusions? Misplaced vanity? The ability to sound like an animated rodent?
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Four-part harmony + Bee Gees = Awesomeness
Let's be honest: Considering the way Chris Sligh, Thomas Lowe, Rudy Cardenas, and eventual runner-up Blake Lewis floored Idol viewers with their rendition of ''How Deep Is Your Love,'' and considering the fact that none of 'em have exactly achieved huge post-Idol sales success — despite Blake's first two discs being all kinds of awesome, and Mr. Sligh achieving some notoriety as a writer and Christian-rock vocalist — maybe these guys ought to boost their fortunes with some type of group collaboration.
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The Brittenum Twins' double dose of drama
You kind of knew the producers were setting up Derrell and Terrell Brittenum to take a fall, the way they showed Terrell berating his group-audition partners for failing to rehearse till 5:30 a.m., then carping about it to the judges. But it was pure poetry when Derrell, under the misguided impression Terrell had been eliminated, quit the competition with a long-winded monologue about the breaking of his spirit, prompting Simon's genius response: ''Okay, see you later, bye-bye.'' Sure, an hour later, the producers let Derrell rejoin the race, but who can blame them? Why string along only one deluded hopeful when you can toy with his twin as well?
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Double Doors from Amanda and Michael
You don't tune into Idol expecting to hear the Doors, but when Amanda Overmyer and Michael Johns each offered up gritty, passionate covers of ''Light My Fire,'' they positioned themselves as some of the coolest cats in the competition. Is it any wonder the hard-rocking nurse and the dashing Aussie both went on to crack the top 12?
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Corey Clark: Party Boy
In early seasons of Idol, it was a Hollywood Week tradition to focus on at least one contestant who blew off evening rehearsals and instead chose to hit the clubs and party like a rock star. In season 2, that misguided soul was Corey Clark, who managed to survive Simon's wrath and eventually crack the top 12. Of course, Corey would eventually get disqualified by producers for failing to disclose a prior arrest, and years later, create an uproar by claiming to 20/20 that he'd had a sexual relationship with judge Paula Abdul during his tenure on the show. Hey, you can't say the Idol folks didn't have some warning signs that the guy would turn out to be trouble.
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Shunta Warthen's cab ride
To make it in Hollywood, you've got to be able to take direction. Unfortunately for Shunta Warthen, she hopped on the wrong bus and ended up on a Hollywood shopping tour instead of at her audition. A frantic taxi ride and many frayed nerves later, Shunta made it to the stage and delivered a lovely cover of ''Young Hearts'' that earned unanimous praise from the judges.