Y'all, what are we going to talk about now?
Sanjaya — he of the ponyhawk, the creepy smile and the possible deal with the devil — ended his "American Idol" reign of terror on Wednesday after giving one of the only truly boring performances of his "Idol" career. No, I'm not kidding. That sound you heard was America gasping, then cheering. His tears at the end were oddly reassuring; I think he really did want to win and wasn't just treating the whole thing as a joke. He also gets points for changing the chorus of his farewell song to: "Let's give 'em something to talk about — other than hair."
Now I suppose the biggest question is which contestant Vote for the Worst will pick next.
Joining Sanjaya in the bottom three were LaKisha and Blake, each I believe making their first appearance there. I'm not too worried about Blake yet; he has devoted fans, and I believe they'll turn out even more in force next week. But I do sense the tide turning against LaKisha somewhat — especially since Jordin stepped it up — and she's certainly not a lock for the final anymore. For the rest of my thoughts on the show — including a possible resolution to EyeRollGate —
- Seacrest asked Simon to explain his side of EyeRollGate, and he repeated basically what the producers said earlier Wednesday: "I may not be the nicest person in the world but I would never, ever, ever disrespect those families or those victims." They also played back a cut of the judges' table that showed Simon indeed talking to Paula about the "nasally" comment all through Chris' Virgina Tech shoutout. Here's my feeling: 1) I do believe Chris was sincere in what he said, 2) I think it looked bad because he said it only after getting slammed by the judges and sniping at Simon, and 3) no matter how mean Simon has been, I truly don't think he would roll his eyes at a tragic shooting.
- Seacrest's intro was almost exactly the same as last week, complete with pregnant pause and meaningful glance at Sanjaya.
- What, exactly, was that thing on Randy's head?
- The "Idol" challenge hit a new low tonight: The question was about this season's finalists, and one who got voted off just a couple of weeks ago at that.
- In one of the better segments of the hour-long results show, Seacrest asked the Idols what they listened to this week. If you were wondering, Melinda's been "getting my Jesus on," while Sanjaya listened to country, Blake to Incubus, Jordin to Fergie, Chris to Jason Mraz (and, at least a little jokingly, Herman's Hermits), Phil to Willie Nelson, and LaKisha to Yolanda Adams.
- My boyfriend, upon Fergie taking the stage: "She's gonna wet her pants!" Also, that girl who got called on stage during her performance apparently forgot to take her dose of Ashley Ferl Crying Powder; she just looked stoic.
- The Pimpomercial was heist-themed and set to "I Ran" with some cool black-and-white special effects. Meanwhile, the group sing might have actually been one of my favorite group sings ever; I'm aware that this kills my street cred, but I'd download it.
- For the elimination, Seacrest did the divide-into-two-groups trick, with Sanjaya, LaKisha and Blake on one side and Chris, Phil and Jordin on the other. Melinda was the "lucky" one to get to choose between the two, and she elected to just sit down in the middle of the stage — totally appropriate for her.
- Anyone catch Seacrest saying after his chat with Antonio Banderas that they were short on time? Yeah, that two-minute-results-show-with-58-minutes-of-padding totally isn't long enough.
- Martina McBride's performance of "Anyway" was simple and straightforward, quite a contrast to J. Lo's flashy outing. Her little girl appeared on stage with her and told Seacrest he thought all the singers were good, to which Seacrest responded: "Thanks, Paula."
- Ratings be damned: 38 million votes were cast this week, the highest ever for a Top 7 week.
- Next week: A little thing we like to call Idol Gives Back. Apparently, two superstars will be singing an improbable duet together. Who's it going to be?
Photos courtesy of Fox