While "American Idol" judges Randy and Paula gave Phil Stacey rave reviews for his rendition of "Blaze of Glory," I'm going to guess that the beginning of the chorus — "I'm going down" — might prove to be prophetic for him this week.
Let's look at the facts: Two have got to go, and I don't think it's going to be Melinda, Blake, LaKisha or Jordin. I'm feeling like Chris Richardson, despite a solid version of "Wanted Dead or Alive," may be edged out as well by the stiff competition.
Not helping matters for CR: Seconds before his performance, he reminded us that Chris Daughtry had done the same song last season.
I would like to offer this as an "Idol" commandment: Thou shalt not refer to better former contestants because we will be reminded of their superior performances and like you less.
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Meanwhile, word must have gotten back to LaKisha that she was seeming like a sourpuss destined for the "Idol" audience, because Tuesday night, her perma-scowl was replaced by a glowing smile and she was making jokes about her "slim side" before she even started singing.
Then she absolutely killed "This Ain't a Love Song" — in a way she basically hasn't since her first performance of "I'm Telling You" — prompting all-around raves from the judges and even a kiss from Simon.
While Melinda was out of her comfort zone, she sang "Have a Nice Day" with enough sassy attitude and strong vocals to ensure her a continued place in the competition. Plus, she got a kiss out of Jon Bon Jovi. Simon who?
And Blake gave "You Give Love a Bad Name" his beat box treatment, seemingly thrilling everyone but a miffed-looking Bon Jovi. I realize this is surely sacrilege to Bon Jovi fans out there, but I have to say that I liked Blake's version better than the original.
His dyed brown hair, meanwhile, barely made a blip, which is what happens when hair isn't the only thing the contestant has to talk about. You didn't think I would let this week go by without slipping in a sly Sanjaya reference, did you?
Jordin's "Living on a Prayer" didn't go over well, but the girl handled the criticism so gallantly that, in my opinion, it was easy to overlook what her performance lacked. I also think she is so adored that she could croak out "Happy Birthday" and still be safe.
Then again, with so many others rising to the occasion, she may need those prayers to stay. Whatever happens, with a third of the group going down on Wednesday night, don't expect anyone to be singing "Have a Nice Day."
Anna David is a freelance writer. Her first novel, "Party Girl," is coming out in June 2007 from HarperCollins.
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