"Smash" soars; so do (some) "Idol" singers


Let's talk a lot about tonight's "American Ido," after a quick detour:

1) Already the year's best new show, "Smash" is ending its season wonderfully. I just had a chance to see the final new episodes (10 p.m. May 7 and 14); they are brilliant. There's a tad too much melodrama, but the characters are beautifullu drawn and the closing numbers -- a gospel tune May 7, an original May 14 -- are stunning.

2) How can you have an entire studio without a flower expert? Asked what he had in his lapel, Joshua Ledet was stumped. Ryan Seacrest hesitated, then pronounced it a tulip; apparently, no one corrected him. It was, my flower expert says, a daffodil.

3) The dresses, incidentally, were spectacular -- especially the silver one Hollie Cavanagh wore. Now, if they would just quit making those cute little girls wear giant heels.

4) Phillip Phillips, by comparison, is on the verge of depleting the world's supply of brown and grey.

5) When Steven Tyler said Joshua is one of the two best singers in "Idol" history, I paused for a moment -- then agreed. The other one, I'd say, is Adam Lambert.

6) Then again, Adam only finished second. Joshua could -- maybe should -- do better.

7) Then again (again), Katharine McPhee also only finished second. Now she's sensationally good in "Smash."

8) Joshua was superb tonight. So were Hollie and Jessica Sanchez. 

Jessica's second song was one of those breakthrough moments -- right up there with Fantasia singing "Summertime" and ... well, Jessica Sanchez singing "I Will Always Love You."

9) By comparison, I'm still not a fan of Phillip. (Changing a melody is fine; obliterating it is questionable.) Or of Skylar Laine, whose vocal arsenal includes very little except shouting.

10) Incidentally, if you want to hear great singing, alongside smart plots, watch "Smash." Or did I say that already?