Colton -- much more than a dark horse

Some comments after tonight's "American Idol":

1) What's this talk about Colton Dixon being a dark horse? To me, he's always been a front-runner, mixing musical skill with looks and emotional intensity. His performance tonight proved that again.

2) Most years, people have shied away from anything remotely connected to religion. Even when the category was "inspirational songs," all the contestants -- even those with gospel roots -- ducked. Not this week; Colton opened with a contemporary Christian song and Hollie Cavanagh sang "Jesus Take the Wheel."

3) That was admirable, but Hollie's performance was only OK. The same was true of Skylar Laine, who gave us lots of firepower, but not much vocal variety.

4) Remember how judges used to warn everyone (wisely) to avoid big songs by big singers? Now Joshua Ledet has conquered two of them -- first Percy Sledge's "When a Man Loves a Woman" and now Mariah Carey's "Without You." What's more, Elise Testone somehow conquered Led Zeppelen.

5) My own favorites, overall, are Dixon, Ledet and Jessica Sanchez. But what aout tonight? I would send Skyler Laine home, with Hollie Cavanagh in the bottom two; my prediction, however, is that Hollie goes, with Heejun Han in the bottom two. We'll see.