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American Idol: We Didn't Think LaKisha Was That Bad

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Country music proved to be an Achilles heel for many of our American Idol contestants. The night started off on a good note, with baldiePhil Stacey doing a decent job on Keith Urban's "Where the Blacktop Ends" and Jordin Sparks doing an even better job on coach Martina McBride's song "Broken Wing" (which is a lot of chutzpah for a 17-year-old).

Then came Sanjaya.

With permed hair in a do-rag, he butchered a song we liked: Bonnie Raitt's "Something to Talk About." He tried to be sauve and ultracool, but his performance just showed the audience the true Sanjaya: an awkward, geeky teenager who might place 5th on a good day in his high school talent show. But we'll stop there because he's gotten enough publicity.

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We disagreed with the judges, though, on LaKisha Jones's performance. We thought she did a great job with former Idol winner Carrie Underwood's "Jesus Take the Wheel" and think that the judges have a tendency to be a little overcritical of her performances. Simon, Paula and Randy were right on with Chris Richardson's take on Rascal Flatt's "Mayberry." It was second worst of the night. He was off-key and nasally, which means he probably just wrote his ticket off the show.

Next up, standout Melinda Doolittle sang her ass off with a song -- "Trouble is a Woman" -- we'd never heard before. And Blake Lewis closed the show with a Ryan Adams' song "When the Stars Go Blue." (Yes, we know that Tim McGraw did it, but Ryan Adams' version is far superior). We still find Blake an intriguing performer, no matter what the genre.

Tune in tomorrow at 9 pm to see who gets the boot.

>> Side note: Did anyone else catch Simon's mea culpa? When Chris gave a heartfelt shout out to Virginia Tech, the camera panned to Simon rolling his eyes. Then later during the show, Simon himself gave heartfelt condolences to Virginia Tech, in the middle of another performer's critique. It was a little jarring. Way to try to save yourself Cowell.

Photo from Americanidol.com