Common sense -- a tad of it -- reaches "Idol"

There is some common sense in the "American Idol" world, after all. Unfortunately, none of it seems to belong to the voters.

Tonight, their bottom three -- Jessica Sanchez, Joshua Ledet and Elise Testone -- were virtually the top three in ability. Sanchez, a marvel, was at the bottom ... rescued only by the "save" that the judges can use only once during a season.

What went wrong? A few explanations:

-- The easy one: The others -- Colton Dixon, Hollie Cavanagh, Skylar Laine and Phillip Phillips -- are cute and show more personality. Sanchez follows a tradition of great singers (Tamyra Gray, LaToya London) who seem too poised for their own good.

-- A temporary one: While some of the others chose solid, melodic songs, Sanchez chose a trickier, bluesy one.

-- A more complicated one: If singers have already had great nights, then the viewers sometimes forget to vote for them after they merely have very good nights. Sanchez and Ledet gave the season its triumphs, with "I Will Always Love You" and "When a Man Loves a Woman"; once you've heard those, nothing else they do can send you rushing to the phone.

Anyway, things are back to normal now and the extra attention should help Sanchez in the weeks ahead. Here's a history of what's happened since the save was added:

2009: Matt Giraud would have finished 7th, but the judges saved him. He finished 5th.

2010: Michael Lynch would have finished 8th. The judges saved him and he thrived, finishing 4th.

2011:Casey Abrams would have finished 11th and missed the tour. The judges saved him and he finished 6th.

2012: Jessica Sanchez would have finished 7th. Let's hope she jumps to the top.



Idol gilds the music

A few comments about Wednesday's "American Idol":

1) With that sort of set-up -- white piano, fog and mist curling around violinists and cellists -- even I would seem like a great musician.

2) Oh wait, I just remembered: I wouldn't.

3) Colton Dixon had all of that going for him and still was only OK. He didn't do much with the song and the brief falsettos didn't work.

4) I was also disappointed by Phillip Phillips (fairly monotone song) and Skyler Laine (lots of shouting, not as much singing). Still, Skyler was part of a wonderful trio, with Joshua Ledet and Jessica Sanchez.

5) As usual, Joshua and Jessica were sensational tonight. (They're my favorites; they used to share that with Dixon, but now he's down a fraction.) Hollie Cavanagh and Elise Testone were also excellent.

6) It was a great clothes night. I loved Jessica's silver dress, Colton's jacket, Skyler's dress, Joshua's white suitcoat and more. This stuff was so good I could almost sense Steven Tyler runnng onstage to steal it.

7) Most of all, I loved Hollie's pink jeans. Does anyone remember when bluejeans were blue?

8) If I ran the world -- and I really should, you know -- this week's bottom two would be Skyler and Phillip, with Skyler going home.

9) Actually, that's close to my prediction. I'll say Skyler and Hollie are the bottom two, with Hollie going home.

10) And now that I really remember, let's be clear on this: Even if I had all of the night's effects -- the fog and rain and fire, the violinists and  hot saxophonist and hotter dancer -- I still would not even remotely seem like a good musician.







Retraction concerning "Shahs of Sunset" story

This is a retraction
concerning a story I wrote on the “Shahs of Sunset” reality show.

It was a good story, but it referred to
the person being interviewed (Asa Rahmati) as being married to
Shaahin Cheyene. Since then, Cheyene has said – quite definitely –
that he isn't and never has been married to her.

I apologize for that. I made the
mistake of adding a piece of information from a Los Angeles Times
story on the Web, without double-checking it first. (I hadn't done
that sort of thing before and, quite obviously, won't do it again.)

I'm sorry and this won't happen again.

Idol: The easy part is done now

OK, the astute observor will notice I missed a week of "American Idol." (I have excuses, which I won't get into now.)

The show did carry out my previous instructions, though, ousting DeAndre Brackensick. He's a cute and likable guy with the best "Idol" hair since Brooke White or Haley Scarnato, but his range is limited.

That leaves the final seven for Wednesday, with few flaws and much strength. Joshua Ledet and Jessica Sanchez have had moments of sheer perfection, but Colton Dixon is a strong dark-horse possibility, sort of in the style of James Durbin last year.

As it happens, Durbin will be singing Thursday, on results night. So will Jennifer Hudson -- the greatest No. 7 finisher in the history of any competition. She'll perform with Ne-Yo and Rick Ross; I promise to catch it and comment this time, with no excuses.

Hey, the "Idol" voters are making sense. Really.

"American Idol" viewers ofte get way too random, serving up some nasty surprises. Not this time, though.

After Wednesday's show (see two blogs back), I predicted that Hollie Cavanagh and Heejun Han  would be in th bottom two, with Hollie sent home. That would be fair, I said -- but the one who really should be sent is Skyler Laine.

And on Thursday's results show? Heejun and Hollie were, indeed, in  the final two; Heejun, however, was sent home. As a bonus, Skyler was in the bottom three.

In short, the viewers seem kind of sensible this week; I find myself grumble-free, which is unfamiliar turf. I'll add only a couple comments:

1) Scotty McCreery's new "Water Tower Town" is a good one. (It's kind of a close clone to Montgomery Gentry's "My Town," but that's a worthy song to copy.) This live performance didn't neccesarily do it justice, though. The lyrics -- good ones -- ere sometimes overwhelmed by the instruments.

2) Let's be glad Jimmy Iovine is there for some token frankness. The judges' comments seem even more overwrought when rerun close together. Suddenly, everything is great-groovy-wonderful; it turns out to be too much (way too much) of a good thing.