Remember last week's requiem for the Sarvernator? Turns out that Anoop - Season 8's Great Dork Hope - is in the same damn leaky boat: a phenom before the judges, a lamestain when serenading America. His put-on Usher turn last night cemented his unworthy status, and officially killed any affection I ever had for the guy. In all likelihood, Anoop will be in tonight's bottom three with Megan Joy and Lil Rounds, and he will deserve it. Last night was revealing on several levels. Danny Gokey and Kris Allen totally redeemed themselves, turning in their best performances in ages and making me think that I've been underestimating them, while Scott MacIntyre almost stole the show with a stripped-down rendition of Billy Joel's "I Love You Just The Way You Are." Was this a cynical ploy on his part? Maybe: it was another piano-based song by a Piano Man and the lyrics can be read as a backhanded plea from Scott to the audience for acceptance. But his passion was the clincher here, overshadowing the quavers and roughness in his vocal. He's never sounded so sincere, so captivating. Color me chastened, and - maybe just temporarily - on his bandwagon.
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* Adam Lambert effortlessly reinvented another wedding-reception standard - Wild Cherry's "Play That Funky Music" - and left us wanting more, as usual. Love that guy. * Meanwhile, Allison Iraheta suffered her first stumble. No Doubt's "Don't Speak" seemed like a no-brainer for her, but it fit about as well as a catcher's mitt on a golden retreiver's paw. That her wardrobe people dressed her up like Bjork and the dude from Flock of Seagulls only magnified the awkwardness of the whole thing. * Don't even get me started in Lil Rounds - or Megan, who apparently just got back from Mardi Gras. * You know, it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest to discover that the hammy-ass, faceless announcer guy is actually "Stuttering John" Melendez. * Is there a contract somewhere, written in blood, stipulating that all American Idol hopefuls must be taped traveling in Fords only - or else? * How much more fun would this show be if, at the end, Ryan Seacrest turned a white-foam spewing hose on everyone - audience, contestants, judges - a la Ozzy on The Osbournes: Reloaded? Yes, I watched some of that last night. It was a trainwreck that made me ashamed to be alive.