American Idol: Top 3 Performance Grades
Here's one thing you can say about last night's American Idol top three performance show: no one shot themselves in the foot.  All three of the singers showed why they have made into this season's top three.  On the other had, there were no legendary, epic performances that we will remember for seasons to come.  This is a little disconcerting.  This is the time of the American Idol competition when we expect the finalists to step up and give us something memorable. 

Nonetheless, it's hard not to be pleased by the songs last night.  There was a certain across the board professionalism from the singers that hadn't previously been seen this season.  They all came out and gave good to great renditions of three separate songs, impressing the crowd, and receiving nary a discouraging word from the judges.  Simon even seemed to be a bit miffed that he had no choice but to continually dole out praise.  As always, here are the performance grades, given out as objectively as possible.

Jordin Sparks: B+

Jordin wasn't at her peak last night, yet still got the job done.  Pinning down what went wrong is difficult, but Jordin always has those minor out-of-tune moments that will rankle some people.  Her performance of “I Who Have Nothing” was as good as the first time she performed it (which is, to say, great).  Jordin still suffers from her youth.  Not as much as she should, but it still pops up from time to time.  Her ability to “perform” is still lacking, Jordin being more comfortable singing stationary behind a mic stand.  Prediction: Jordin makes the final two. 

Blake Lewis: A-

The grade is indicative of Blake going out there and doing exactly what he had to do for a shot at making the final two.  He sang well, he was contemporary, he differentiated himself substantially from the two ladies, and he impressed the judges.  This was Blake's best overall night, and it came when it counted the most.  Now, Blake still has some deficiencies as a singer.  His voice lacks power, and he can rely too much on his beat-boxing.  Saying that, he is clearly the best performer this season, and one of the best to ever grace the American Idol stage.  He is also fearless, and creative in his arrangements.  Prediction: Blake makes the final two.

Melinda Doolittle: A-

Melinda is an amazingly talented singer.  She is polished, never failing to provide a focused and technically flawless performance every time she hits the stage.  So, what's the problem?  There really isn't one, except that Melinda, as a person, is pretty vanilla.  She's kind of boring.  Whenever she sings a bad ass song, it feels like she's pretending.  Her consistency may turn into a problem tonight, when the results are announced.  Melinda is in trouble, and it's not her fault.  She has done absolutely everything in her power to give us greatness and she has, on an incredibly consistent basis, to boot.  She just doesn't connect with the audience.  Prediction: Melinda is eliminated tonight. 

-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of MSNBC)