American Idol: Top 11 Performance Show, Quick Thoughts
All right, time for the American Idol Top 11.  Will Sanjaya finally make it impossible for America not to kick him off?  Please make it so.  These are my quick thoughts while watching the episode.

  • Ryan discusses forgetting the lyrics with Randy.  Concensus: inexcusable.  Paula discusses a naked Simon.  Consensus: Paula is not sane.
  • Nice!  The theme of the night is "The British Invasion".  We get a montage of The Beatles and all those British knock-offs that followed them over to America.  If they all choose good stuff, this could be one of the best batch of songs ever sung on an American Idol performance show, especially for the guys.  You've got The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Zombies, all sorts of good stuff.

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  • Ooh, maybe not so much.  We get a look at the contestants practicing some corny group songs. 
  • Haley Scarnato is up first, and she'll be singing “Tell Him”, which is a darn good song.  I'm rooting for Haley tonight.
  • She's really moving around.  Making good use of the studio space, if you will.  After last week, you can tell her confidence is up.  By the way, Haley is scantily clad tonight,  wearing a miniskirt and a backless top. She even approaches the judges and sings to them at one point, which is pretty ballsy.  Randy loves it, says it was the perfect song for her.  Simon calls her “a naughty little thing”.  Simon gives her some backhanded compliments, and a thinly veiled remark about how good she looked. 
  • Chris Richardson will be taking the stage next, sing a “Gerry and the Pacemakers” song called “Don't let the Sun Catch You Cryin'.”  He's just alone on the stage with a dude playing the guitar.  He doesn't do any of his manic performing stuff, just stands and sings the song.  His voice still isn't powerful, but he's doing a really good job up there.
  • And Paula is crying again.  What the hell? She calls the performance “sexy”.  Down Paula.  Simon calls it Chris's best performance.   
  • Stephanie Edwards is up next and will be singing a Dusty Springfield song, “You Don't Have to Say You Love Me.”  Too bad she's not singing “Son of a Preacher Man.”  I don't know this song, and so it seems a little boring.  She's doing a fine job, but I still think she sings out of tune occasionally and is just missing that extra something. 
  • Is Paula crying again?  Sedate that woman.
  • Randy (thank you!) calls it pitch-y.  Simon thinks she is losing her edge.  I agree. 
  • Blake Lewis will be singing a Zombies song, which is one of the more underrated bands of the 60s.  “Time of the Season” is a pretty psychadelic song as is, so whatever Blake-izing he does will be pretty cool.  After every chorus he goes into a little beat-boxing session, not too long.  A really good performance, I think.  A little shaky vocally at times, but mostly really good in all facets. 
  • Randy calls it “brilliant”.  Simon says it was “a million times better than last week.”  Simon thinks it was the best of the night so far.  Blake is by far the best dancer on the show. 
  • Ryan makes an ass out of himself trying to impersonate Blake.   
  • Lakisha Jones is up and will be singing “Diamonds are Forever”, which was, I think, the theme song to a Bond movie.  A bizarre choice.  And it sounds like a Bond song.  This is the worst performance by Lakisha yet.  She sings it well, don't get me wrong, but she's not playing to her strengths.  She dominates all the high notes, especially at the end, but I was still a little underwhelmed. 
  • Randy agrees, saying that he didn't feel enough Lakisha in it.  Simon thinks it was like seeing Lakisha is 50 years. 
  • Phil Stacey will be singing “Tobacco Road”, which is a damn good song.  I hope Phil can wow us tonight.  He's singing it as more of a rock song, and it's probably a good decision.  Phil really does have a great voice.  He's still a little bland, but this was the best performance of the season for Phil. 
  • Randy thought it was “pretty good”.  Paula and Randy thought he was out of tune a little bit.  Simon wasn't crazy about it.  Simon hates Phil.  Really hates him. 
  • Jordin Sparks is up and she does one of these fan Q&As with Ryan.  She's seeing “I Who Have Nothing”, a song I am not familiar with.  Apparently, this is a very “big song”.  Wow, she is kicking this song's ass.  This may be the official arrival of Jordin as a serious contender to win this thing.  She is a big presence, very demonstrative.  Best song of the night.
  • Randy and Paula love it.  Simon thought it was gloomy, but he still thought it was great.
  • Oh God.  Sanjaya Malakar is up next.  Before we go to the break we get a shot of Sanjaya on the side of the stage acting "wild".  This will be interesting.
  • He's going to be singing The Kinks' “You Really Got Me”.  Which is a great song.  And kind of a badass song too.  Two things which Sanjaya is not.  He's doing an okay job, but it's still offensive, because FOX keeps cutting to a shot of a girl crying in the audience.  Over and over again.  If the youth of our country are fawning over Sanjaya, something is wrong. 
  • Randy was shocked.  He thought it was Sanjay's best performance.  Paula liked it.  Simon avoids saying anything. 
  • Gina Glocksen will be singing “Paint it Black”, which is one of my favorite Stones songs.  It'll be interesting to see what she does with the song.  Go Gina!
  • I can't objectively evaluate this song; I love it too much.  She's not butchering it.  It's pretty good.  I'm so ingrained with the original, though.  We'll see what the judges say.  As always, Gina has that monster voice. 
  • Randy thought it was just alright.  Simon hates it.  Well, then.
  • Chris Sligh will be singing “She's Not There” by The Zombies, one of the best of the 60s.  This is a tough song to sing with lots of falsetto.  Chris does the whole behind the stage thing, the camera following him.  He does a fine job, not spectacular.  He stayed true to the original, and I enjoyed it. 
  • Randy liked it, but thought the beginning was shaky.  Paula and Simon both enjoyed it.
  • Melinda Doolittle is ending the show with “As Long as He Needs Me”, a torch song.  Melinda thinks it's out of her comfort zone, but I think she'll be okay.   
  • That little girl is still crying.
  • Melinda dominates it, until the last note which was a little shaky.  But, easily the best of the night.  She kind of outclasses everyone up there.  The judges love it.
  • We can easily say that that was the best performance episode of the season.  We'll be back tomorrow with a full recap.

-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer

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