Adam Lambert, Anoop Desai, Casey Carlson, Danny Gokey, Joanna Pacitti, Kristen McNamara, Lil Rounds, Matt Giraud, Nick Mitchell, Tatiana Del Toro

Hey, Idol, how about playing fair

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michaeld.jpgBy MARK FRANKLIN

So we won’t be treated to a second straight season with a Castro in the top 12. Michael (right), Jason’s brother, got cut from American Idol last night.

Viewers probably aren’t sure why. I don’t think we saw him perform during Hollywood Week. Perhaps he was haunted by his brother’s somewhat lackadaisical effort last season.

Leneshe Young (right) got the boot, too. Again, it’s hard to figure out why, considering laneshad.jpgsome of last night’s survivors. Especially after Idol pulled on our heartstrings by telling us about her poverty-stricken background during the Louisville audition episode.

Sorry, folks, but I’m sensing a fairness issue on Idol this season.

The way I figure it, 18 guys and 18 gals are going to make it into the voting round this season. And some of those folks are going to be virtual strangers to us when the real competition begins, 11 episodes into the season.

We finally got another glimpse of Casey Carlson and Joanna Pacitti last night, as they screwed up the words to their songs. Nice impression that will leave on voters.

Kristen McNamara got a lot of TV time last week, for all the wrong reasons because she was part of Team Compromise, which came unglued during the group performance. We finally got to hear her sing, a little, last night.

And, suddenly a guy named Junot Joyner was on stage, turning in a great rendition of “Hey There Delilah.” Where has Idol been hiding him for the last nine episodes?

Other contestants … well, to put it bluntly, Idol seems to be jamming them down our throat. I don’t have to see Danny Gokey, Lil Rounds, Matt Giraud, Adam Lambert or Anoop Desai again to know they can sing. You’ve shown us proof, Idol, over and over and over again. Every time the cameras roll.

I mean, why not just paste gold stars on their foreheads and say, “Hey, this is who you should vote for next week.”

nick-mitchell.jpgSpeaking of voting, the biggest challenge next week might fall to the folks at Vote For the Worst.com, the Web site that encourages the public to vote not for the best Idol contestant, but for the worst.

I mean, how do you pick between Nick Mitchell (left), who absolutely refuses to play it straight, and Tatiana Del Torro (lower right), who has taken center stage among the gals now that Idol has said farewell to Bikini Girl.

One acts like a clown and seems to think he’s auditioning for a comedy club rather than a singing competition. The other’s a stuck-on-herself drama queen who looks like she might come apart at the seams if she doesn’t keep advancing.

tatiana-del-torro-tatiana-nicole-2.jpgHere’s a prediction. If Idol has kept these two around this long, it’s for their entertainment value.

And they won’t send them packing during tonight’s two-hour final stand at the judges’ mansion.

Nope, voters will have to decide their fate.

Vote for the Worst, best of luck.

It’s gonna be a tough choice.

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