So let's talk about the most telling sentence in the history of "American Idol" -- according to Simon Cowell, "it's fine being artistic, just not on this show." Yes, he really said that following a rather uninspired performance from Scott MacIntyre and if that doesn't get all the critics talking this morning, I will gladly pay for Paula Abdul's medication bill this year.
Elsewhere on the dais, Randy Jackson seemed to be taking a hit from Simon's pipe as well, because he claimed at the start of the episode that any one of the 13 contestants has the potential to win. Really? Because I think you guys have about five legit contenders for the crown. So, since the four horsemen of the Coke cup Apocalypse aren't making much sense, I am taking matters into my own hands.
Each week, I will be ranking the remaining "Idol's" from best to worst -- and attempting to only take that night's performance into account. I will aim to be as unbiased as possible. Yeah, let's see how that works out...
Simon claimed Adam Lambert's rendition of "Black & White" was in a totally different league than everyone else -- and I couldn't agree more. Sure, it was shouty in parts and I suspect we'll be hearing that one high note for the next 12 weeks, but the boy's got chops.
And he is such a well-defined singer, that I know legions of semi-goths are taking Sharpie's to their arms this morning and etching "Adam 4 Ever" into their skin.
Anyone thinking Allison Iraheta's killer version of "Alone" during the semi-finals was a fluke spent last night eating their words.
This rock-ette totally caught me off guard with her growly performance of "Give It To Me." I loved it! Although how weird is it that she used to perform in a Discount Warehouse?
I was stoked to see some energy and life from Danny Gokey. Up until now, he's been a little somber on stage, but he really picked things up last night with "PYT."
Simon may have hated the dancing, but I agree with Kara -- it came from his soul. He was just feeling the music. And I am totally feeling him.
Alexis Grace has soul for days and last night she proved that she's got legs for them as well.
Taking the last spot -- and the weird phone number -- the tiny powerhouse got all raw on us with a sexy version of "Dirty Diana" that made me feel like dancing in the shower.
I wonder if Lil Rounds is going to be a victim of her own success. While I love every note that comes from her mouth, there was something annoyingly safe about her version of "The Way You Make Me Feel." Perhaps it's because we all know she's got more to give or since she is so good, we've come to expect more.
I hope that Lil's able to step it up in weeks to come, but I worry that she will never be good enough.
Give Kris Allen a guitar and a short sleeved t-shirt and the girls (not me, swear) will start swooning from the safety of their tan microfiber couches. I positively loved his performance of "Remember The Time" -- his vocals, less so. But when you're a showman who looks like that, middling vocals are forgivable.
Having a wife, is not. Where did that come from?!?
Another one who surprised me last night was Michael Sarver. I have never been his biggest fan, and was shocked he made it through -- but last night he said to me, "Jarett, I deserve to be here" with a surprisingly smooth "You Are Not Alone."
It's like his voice doesn't match his appearance. But as he proves, sometimes that's a good thing!
Do I like Matt Giraud? Yes. I dig the way his name is spelled, that he's styled within an inch of his life and that he can play the piano. His vocals on "Human Nature" were a little iffy for me, so I was quite surprised when the judges kvelled all over him.
What can I say about Scott without feeling like a d-bag? Let's see -- it's impressive as hell that he was able to learn a new song on the piano in a week's time. He's a super nice guy. I loved the video of him dancing with his sister. Um ... that's about it.
He's getting the sympathy card and shouldn't be in this competition because he can't sing! I'm sorry, people need to stop being PC and be straight up!
I was the most disappointed in Jorge last night because of how much potential he has. Not only is he cuter than a wheelbarrow of newborn puppies, but he's got some of the most soaring vocals in this competition.
Like the judges, I did not like his performance of "Never Can Say Goodbye." Hopefully he gets another shot
As the one-time conductor of the Anoop-train, I can not begin to talk about how much I hate the fact he seems incapable of choosing the right song. "Beat It" -- seriously, bro? Even if you sounded better than Michael Jackson it still would have felt karaoke.
Paula's right -- shock! -- it's just an untouchable song. Hopefully your fanbase isn't becoming as disillusioned with you as I am.
Oh little Megan Joy Corkrey -- how long till she drops that last name? The good news, you won the competition to pick the weirdest song. Bad news, there is a reason no one has ever sang "Rockin Robin" before.
Or will ever again. Your son-focused video package might go a long way toward saving you tonight because your dancing certainly won't.
Oh Jasmine Murray. So much potential. So much polish. So much fakeness. I didn't believe one note or inflection throughout your entire performance.
And "I'll Be There" is such an amazing song. You should have slayed it with those vocal chops you flaunted last week. Boo! Get back on your carpet and fly home. Sorry, I simply can not say her name without thinking "Aladdin."
Since the judges' decision to have 13 contestants was apparently a last-minute decision, they've announced that two people will be cut tonight. So who do you think will/should be sent packing?
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Photos: Michael Becker & Ray Mickshaw/Fox