It had to happen at some point, because she really didn't have the voice to make it to the very end. But that didn't make Ramiele Malubay's "Idol" elimination any easier to take.
Ramiele was something else. I mean, even with David Archuleta in the room, precious little Ramie put the "c" in cute.
It wasn't just her size — which was minuscule enough to make Paula Abdul and Ryan Seacrest seem like basketball players. It wasn't just that she always managed to pout with just the right combination of attitude and flirtatiousness so that we never found her too precious. And it wasn't just those tears that never stopped flowing when someone she truly believed was her best friend was eliminated.
It was all of those things put together, plus a precious Dad who looked like he was about her size and never seemed to miss a performance.
But even I — a die-hard Malubay-ite — couldn't go on pretending forever. The fact is, a career can't be based on cute. The additional fact is that I can’t picture myself going out and buying a Ramiele Malubay album if one ever existed, which I can't imagine it ever would.
And as things have heated up and people like David Cook and Michael Johns have upped their games while stalwarts like David Archuleta and Carly Smithson have continued to stay strong, Ramiele's precarious place in the competition was becoming increasingly obvious.
Sure, I would have preferred to have seen Kristy Lee Cook or Syesha Mercado go home, but I think I have to accept the fact that Kristy Lee is apparently never leaving (despite the fact that she's now apparently obsessed with showing us that she knows she's always going to be in the bottom three) and Syesha's got some impossible-to-ignore-forever pipes on her.
Now, it may seem like I'm unnecessarily harsh on Syesha. But I ask a simple question: why can't she, when, say, Ryan asks her if singing "I Will Always Love You" was difficult, simply say, "Yes?" I mean, can't we all agree on the fact that this number would be challenging even if you were Whitney?
But Syesha instead goes into some nonsense about what a hard question that is to answer and how she knows how it all goes with the territory. Which, ultimately, made it sound like she was saying that a really difficult song wasn't difficult for her. Can't someone please tell her that vulnerability = likability?
On the other end of the spectrum we have Miss Vulnerability 2008, otherwise known as Brooke White. Wednesday night gave her a multitude of reasons to cry — including her first trip to the bottom three, some notably poignant "Idol Gives Back" footage and mentor Dolly Parton's song about Jesus. And you better believe she took each and every one of them.
While Brooke gets flack from some people for talking to the judges instead of listening more intently, I still find her chattiness quite cute. Then again, maybe she needs to zip her lip, smile blankly and give opaque but somehow obnoxious-sounding answers like Syesha.
Because if cute couldn't save Ramiele, it probably can't save anyone.
Anna David is a freelance writer. Her novel, "Party Girl," is in stores.