Western Homes usually handles the American Idol beat, but I do watch the show, and since I need to get back on the Screen Jam horse, I thought I'd offer my thoughts as quickly as possible.
Subjective rankings, from least favorite to most favorite:
Sanjaya Malakar: Oh, how I cringed when he chose a song from the Kinks. Without a doubt, though, this was his best performance, as he found a path that didn't require him to hit notes. Somehow, it all seem to fit, and I actually am curious to see he if he could pull it off again. But his work up to now has been so horrible, I don't want to risk it.
Chris Richardson: Bland. So, so bland.
Gina Glocksen: I've watched all year and she just does nothing like me. She shouts more than she sings; she strikes me as a wannabe rather than as an actuallyis. Many other people like her, and I keep trying to get on board, but it just ain't happening.
Phil Stacey: Placing him below Haley might reveal me as a heterosexual male. He sings better than Haley, but then again, I think he's sort of all over the place. He's not easy to listen to at all. Haley is weaker but less grating.
Blake Lewis: I thought his was tonight's most overrated performance. He's got his own style, but his voice is weak. He wears thin really quickly on me.
Haley Scarnato: She's among the weaker female singers on the show, but I'll still take her over some of the guys. Her outfit tonight was so skimpy that I got scared it might dissolve; I can't say that's going to hurt her.
Chris Sligh: Chris was one of my absolute favorites coming out of the auditions, but he is slipping. It's as if he's lost that twinkle. I think he could get it back, though not enough to make him a serious contender.
Stephanie Edwards: Same sort of feeling. I thought she was a solid No. 3 entering the final 12, but she seems to be retreating into herself.
Jordin Sparks: I've liked her more and more each week, and I thought she was fantastic tonight. Her personality is great, she can sing, and I now expect her to be a finalist. I only question her consistency, but I look forward to seeing her perform more than any other competitor.
Lak(K)isha Jones: The judges were rough on her tonight, considering her talent is still miles better than almost everyone else's. I do think she's in trouble, though, because on an emotional and physical level, she doesn't compel you to vote for her as much as everyone else. I think she could be this year's shocking early exit.
Melinda Dolittle: She's lovely. I actually would like to see her lose her shock at being praised, but there are worse things to possess. She can sing anything, filled with passion yet steady as a rock. Absolutely, it is her competition to lose.