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Idol: Cowell, Abdul Clown Around, While Teen Steals Show

Mar. 25 2009, Published 2:25 p.m. ET

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A wacky exchange between Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul was a highlight as the American Idol express found it's way to Motown.

Cowell drew a crayon mustache on his colleague's face, making for some classic Idol hilarity as she wiped it away before the cameras.

As far as the competition, well, we knew the rich material would give one of the hopefuls the boost it takes to separate oneself from the pack -- Allison Iraheta, come on down.

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The 16-year-old -- dare we say prodigy? -- impressed the panel of judges with a vivid, soulful performance of Temptations classic Papa Was A Rolling Stone.  The rousing set accomplished Idol's hit-and-miss quest of bringing fresh new voices to oldies-but-goodies.

Judge Randy Jackson called her "one of the dopest singers in the whole thing this season," while Kara DioGuardi said of the teen's talent and poise, "You can't teach that." Abdul and Cowell, still preoccupied with the faux mustache, also had kind words for Iraheta.

American Idol

While Iraheta's opponents have out-shined her at times (she finished in the bottom three last week), the teen's breakout performance makes her one to watch in the coming weeks.



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