Here's this week's review and predictions. I have them ranked top-to-bottom by assessment of their performance along with a prediction of what will happen on tonight's results show. —John Nova Lomax
Melinda Doolittle: Routinely awesome. We have fun at our house amusing each other by pulling those "You're too kind, no really, you really think I can sing?" faces of hers. (You scrunch your shoulders up, squint, and form your lips in an "O.") Safe, of course.
Jordin Sparks: One of the best of the night — for the first time, she outshone my girl KiKi. She's got the inside track on the Melinda and KiKi for the finals, with Blake on the outside. Safe.
Blake Lewis is one of the most downright musical cats they've ever had on here. Right now, he's better at beat-boxing, dancing and arranging than pure singing, but he's the total package and a strong contender for the finals. The kids, including my own, love him. Safe as milk.
LaKisha Jones: As has been pointed out in a couple of blogs I frequent, an uninspired performance by her lofty standards, not to mention strongly reminiscent of a big ol' drag queen. Still, she's safe as houses.
Stephanie Edwards was only okay this week. Jordin Sparks has lapped her and is more memorable, and neither of them is as good week in and week out as Melinda and LaKisha. Edwards has to get much better every week to survive, and instead she took a step back this week. Bottom three, and gone. And that's not fair or right, but that's just the way it is.
Sanjaya Malakar: Whoa, man. That was fucking punk, dude. I knew that any minute, they were going to I.D. that uncontrollably weeping little girl as Ray Davies' granddaughter or something. But man, that version of "You Really Got Me" was so downright horrific it was freakin' sublime. Please stay. Safe, for all the wrong reasons.
Chris Sligh: Lounging up the Zombies — venial sin. I would sentence him to 20 Hail Marys as penance but Bob Jones University alums don't do that there idolatrous popery. Safish.
Gina Glocksen: The realms of Evanescence and the Stones had never collided in my psyche until her not-bad rendition of "Paint It Black," one of my favorite 1960s Stones numbers. I think America disagrees with me, though, and I think she will be bottom 3.
Haley Scarnato: Looks sexier than she probably is. She wasn't that bad last night, but she's still bottom 3.
Phil Stacey: A castrated version of a Dexedrine blues-rock classic should spell a stake through the heart for ol' Nosferatu, but we're betting here that Van Helsing got lost on the way to L.A. Safe this week.
Chris Richardson: Bloody awful. Simon's cynicism was on naked view when he praised that blatantly unspeakable rendition of whatever it was he butchered. Yo Chris -- you ain't know, fool? The boy band era is over, dawg. It's a shame he sucks, 'cause he seems like a nice enough dude. Safish, but only because of his looks and personality.