Reality Check: All's Not Fair in Reality TV

You could say that the time has come for "American Idol" to focus on the singing.

After all, Antonella has left the stage — and taken with her all discussions of the relative inappropriateness of posing sexily on World War II memorials.

In other words, we can get back to remembering that this is a talent competition.

And the notion that this is a talent competition would actually be a valid one if Sanjaya weren't still in the running. I mean, is this boy better than waterproof mascara at sticking around when he shouldn't or what?

Rather than attempting to fight what's proving to be the inevitable, I'm going to work on accepting his presence on the stage every week and simply offer up the thought that rarely is life fair. After all, William Hung got a record contract and Paula Abdul is paid to articulate her opinions.

In terms of my predictions for the week, I'm going to guess that Chris Richardson will dress even more like Justin Timberlake's doppelganger than ever and either mention Grandma or do a few of his spastic bounces while performing (for some reason, I don't see both happening).

Gina will reference the boyfriend and possibly stumble a bit, and Chris Sligh will leave the somewhat sappy comments about being saved by a woman out and just concentrate on being the class clown — albeit the class clown with the serious pipes — again.

And I don't think I'm going too far out on a limb when I say that LaKisha and Melinda's artistry will probably be even more evident than usual this week (an aside about the word "artistry" — I'm completely fine with it being used in reference to the LaKisha/Melinda/Blake crew. When Paula uses it in sentences about some of these other folks, however, I want to stage a one-woman revolt protesting word misuse.)

It's not just that LaKisha and Melinda are so talented — as Simon has pointed out, they both also possess a kind of genuine humility that's utterly charming.

Melinda looks so consistently shocked when the judges praise her, and LaKisha always convincingly claims she's relieved to have made it through to the next round.

"American Idol" isn’t the only reality show where it pays to be a strong, silent woman. Rita Verreos, whose limbs looked like they might snap off even before she got to Fiji and went on the "Survivor" starvation diet, just got axed for, essentially, talking too much.

After prattling on about things like lip gloss while having her hair braided — and in the process, annoying her starving, exhausted tribemates to the point that they forgot all about how much they hated Anthony — the single mom was unceremoniously dumped.

Should she have been extradited from the show while the horrible girls from the other tribe — namely, Stacy and Lisi — got to lounge around and savor their coffee, toiletries and other treats?

No. But again, when William Hung has a recording contract, how can the words "fair" and "reality show" even be used in the same sentence?

"American Idol" airs on FOX, which is owned by the parent company of

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