Idol Beat: Bowersox the Girl to Beat?

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The happiest moment of my Tuesday was when I realized that American Idol was only an hour that night, not two. This is already the third week in a row with three eps over three nights, and this thing runs until the end of May, so I'll take breaks where I can get them.

Last night's episode also drove home the fact that Crystal Bowersox is the girl to beat and should probably just be given the crown now. Every one of her performances has been enjoyable, and her rendition this week of "Give Me One Reason" was easily the most entertaining thing I have ever seen on American Idol. Hands down. Her voice is strong but controlled, she can actually play guitar, and she's confident enough in her roots/Americana style to just do her thing. Simon, as usual, was right on when he told her the competition is hers to lose.

Some of the other girls closed in, though, notably Siobhan, whose "House of the Rising Sun" was pretty strong, and Didi, who played her guitar for the first time in months for a nice cover of "Rhiannon." They're not better than Crystal, but they are determined to compete, as evidenced by the fact that they've been thrashed by judges in recent weeks but have taken the notes and returned better.

It was clear as they sang who the losers were, though, as Katie and Paige (the latter kinda from Houston) just tanked. A couple weeks ago they could skate by with decent karaoke performances as the really terrible contestants got the boot, but last night they both choked, delivering flat, soupy renditions of "Breakaway" and "Smile," respectively, that all but sealed their fate. If either one manages to survive the voting process, I'll be shocked. They don't have what it takes to win the whole thing, at least not yet. Watching Paige hear the news was brutal, too. Kara asked her if she'd been able to hear how bad it had been, which meant we had to watch Paige work to smile through tears as she came up with confused, choppy sentences about how she loves the song and it was emotional for her to sing it. I'm amazed she didn't just break down weeping at the realization she was being scolded in front of 20 million people and would probably be sent packing in two days.

Wednesday brings the guys, and Thursday brings another four cuts, and after that, we'll be at the top 12. Almost there, kinda.

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