Until tonight, Simon Cowell was having a great year. Time after time, his comments have been strong, to the point and correct.
Now, alas, he's been terribly, brutally wrong. In particular, his Adam Lambert comments were the exact opposite of the truth.
Sure, we're used to the Johnny Cash version of "Ring of Fire." But when you listen to the words, you realize that Lambert's version fits. Cash sang of mild discomfort, Lambert sang of writhing, Hellish pain; both served the words beautifully.
Cowell was way off when he called it "indulgent rubbish" and "really horrendous." He was also wrong when he assumed that "Lil" is short for "Little." (I assumed that, too, but I asked her; she explained that "Lil" is her complete first name since birth.) He was also wrong in not remembering to change into one of his going-out-in-public T-shirts.
Here are a few other comments and my should-go, will-go. Please add your comments; also, please check my previous blogs on "Idol," basketball and St. Patrick's Day:
1) It's tough to sing a story song in 80 seconds. Lil Rounds, a great singer, got nowhere with "Independence Day," a great song. There simply wasn't time to set it up.
2) Danny Gokey also chose poorly with "Jesus Take the Wheel." The first half was quite bad; the second half saved the song and Danny. Also, there was subtle brilliance to the notion of dressing him in a pure-white jacket and bathing the stage in white; sub-consciously, it looked and felt like a one-man choir.
3) Speaking of attire, Allison Iraheta looks wonderful in leather. And she sings powerfully. This is how Elvis would have done it, if Elvis came back as a tiny Latina teen-ager. Maybe he did.
4) What a strange group this is, when all of the great ballads were sung by guys, none by women. Anoop Desai, Kris Allen and Matt Giraud each sang beautifully.
5) I didn't particularly like Scott MacIntyre's performance and I hated Megan Joy Corkrey's performance, but I'm under no illusion that either will be voted out. Megan gets most of the sympathy votes this time, including a hospital trip and missing the run-through.
6) My should-go, based strictly on tonight: Megan Joy, followed by Michael Sarver, then Lil Rounds, then Scott MacIntyre.
7) My will-go -- Michael Sarver. He tackled a song that doesn't really show off the singer. This isn't a spelling bee; no one wins for showing a good memory. There's an outside chance, though, that Alexis Grace or Lil Rounds will go. I hope not; they're terrific singers who had adequate nights.