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American Idol: The Sanjaya Show Continues

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American Idol was only an hour and seven minutes tonight, which we think meant shorter songs clips and shorter packaged coaching segments with guest judge Gwen Stefani. And the shorter show was just fine with us because (1) most of these “Top 10” singers are good -- but they’re not great; (2) while the song choices were better than last week’s British Invasion, they were ripped right from the Adult Contemporary radio station playlists (think No Doubt, The Police and Donna Summer) and (3) FOX gave us a new episode of House immediately following AI. And House might just be the best show on TV right now.

But we digress.

Our biggest pet peeve with tonight’s show was that the producers didn’t fill up the entire hour with more camera angles of Sanjaya Malakar’s hair. Picture this, if you will -- his long locks were put up in seven ponytails to create a massive fauxhawk. It was incredible. And much better than his rendition of No Doubt’s “Bathwater.” (LAist understands that he has a HUGE fanbase, but the guy was seriously out of tune. Guys, do you really, really believe he has a better voice than Melinda or LaKisha? Or is it his sex appeal that draws you in?)

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Anyway, here are LAist’s top three and bottom three performances from tonight’s show:

The Good:
1. Melinda Doolittle singing of Donna Summer’s “Heaven Knows.” She may be shy, but the girl exudes personality plus on stage.
2. Gina Glockson’s version of “I’ll Stand By You” surprised us. It’s hard to cover Chrissy Hynde, but Gina did, and did it well. Her performance was so much better than last week’s.
3. Blake Lewis might not be the strongest singer, but he gives us interesting song interpretations. Tonight’s “Lovesong” by The Cure showed that he has a decent voice – and there was no beatboxing involved.

The Bad
1. Sorry Sanjaya fans, his “Bathwater” wasn’t good. At all. He was off key and showed no charisma during his performance. Even Gwen couldn’t muster an “I’ll think he’ll do a good job…” for the cameras.
2. Haley Scarnato’s version of “True Colors” can be summed up in one word: boring.
3. Ditto can be said for Phil Stacey’s “Every Breath You Take” by The Police.

Tune in tomorrow night at 9 to see if Sanjaya makes it through to the next round.

Random AI note: Unfortunately, while they’ve whittled down Tuesday shows, starting April 11, American Idol’s going to stretch out the Wednesday night show to an hour because lately the cut contestants haven’t been able to sing their farewell songs. Well boo freaking hoo – note to producers – maybe just cut the drama and tell us who gets the axe without going through the whole lineup? Just a suggestion...

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AP Photo/FOX, Frank Micelotta