A bad, bad night for "Idol"


This was a wretched night for "American Idol," one that will hurt the rest of the season.

Until tonight, this season was distinguished by the wonderful variety and talent of the women. These weren't just the cookie-cutter cuties we're used to; they had distinctive looks and sounds. And three of them -- Crystal Bowersox, Siobhan Magnus and Lilly Scott -- had the feel of indie-rock stardom.

The first two survived tonight, but Lilly -- one of the most interesting contestants the show has had -- was inexplicably voted out.

Well, I'll try to make it explicable, anyway. First let me say that I'm also bummed about the departure of Todrick Hall (good voice, great stage presence) and Katelyn Epperly (good voice, good presence, great hair). Alex Lambert was the only departure I found reasonable. Except for that great piano-man duet, it was an awful night.

Now for two possible explanations for Lilly's departure:

1) The peaks-and-valleys factor. Sometimes, an "Idol" contestant will do great work every week and people keep voting for him or her; if there happens to be a week that's merely good, people lay off and plan to come back and vote the next week. Occasionally, alas, there is no next week; that lone valley is fatal. That may have been what happened to Lilly, whose "I Fall to Pieces" was good, but not nearly as good as her previous weeks.

2) Or maybe we should look to country songs for all explanations. A recent one summed it up: "God is great, beer is good, people are crazy." That last part says it all.