Well, "American Idol" eliminated four more singers to get down to the top 12 finalists. Spoilers, and my thoughts on whether America got it right (hint: no) coming up after the jump...
Where to start? Well, the good news: after two weeks of eliminations that were awkwardly dominated by minority contestants (albeit minority contestants who didn't really deserve to stay), Paige Miles survived on the female side, and Big Mike Lynche and Andrew Garcia advanced for the men. Todrick Hall was, however, eliminated, and he was easily the worst of the four singers sent home.
The bad news? The other three bootees were all significantly better than several of the people who stayed. The other guy sent home was Alex Lambert, who had all the stage presence of a turnip, but who if you closed your eyes had the best singing voice of any of the remaining men. He's someone who, if he got some confidence and good coaching (and cut off the stupid mullet), could have become a really interesting contestant, and certainly had a lot more potential than either Aaron Kelly or Tim Urban. (Tim survived because he's cute, and because he very wisely chose "Hallelujah," which is one of those songs voters will love you for so long as you manage to carry a tune during it, which he did.)
Of the eliminated women, Katelyn Epperlyn was pretty uninspired this week, but she gave one of last week's best performances with her piano performance of Coldplay, and she was better than either Paige or Katie Stevens every single week of the semis. And Lilly Scott had, until this week, been one of the more memorable contestants of either gender, with her spin on The Beatles' "Fixing a Hole" one of my favorite performances of the semis. (Though I'll confess that watching her do her usual baby doll-voice thing on Patsy Cline this week made all of her affectations much more obvious, and I suspect I would have tired of Lilly within a week or two of the finals.) I wondered why the producers were wasting the pimp spot on her this week when she seemed a sure thing to advance, and speculated that maybe they saw in the vote totals that she needed the help. Turns out they were right - and that the pimp spot isn't all-powerful.
So what did in Katelyn and Lilly? As I always say about "Idol," it's better to be bad than to be mediocre. Paige and Katie both got pounded by the judges this week, and rightfully so, and so whatever fans existed for each of them dialed like crazy to try to protect them. Katelyn wasn't great, but the judges' comments were more disappointed than angry, and Lilly got lukewarm praise, which is about the deadliest reaction you can get from the judges, because it inspires nothing but complacency from the voters.
This hasn't been a very impressive crop of contestants already, and with the eliminations of Alex, Lilly and Katelyn - and even of Todrick, who couldn't sing but at least had ambition and tried to do something other than cling to a guitar and sing ballads - the field of finalists looks even less impressive. Can Crystal and Siobhan alone keep things interesting for the next three months?
What did everybody else think? How wrong did America get it?