American Idol: Top 8 Girls, Performance Grades
Oh, you American Idol ladies.  I pity most of you.  It's over.  It's a two-woman race, and there's no way that's going to change.  Melinda Doolittle and Lakisha Jones will be fighting it out to the end.  No one else has a chance.  I'm trying not to be cynical here, but Melinda and Lakisha just have a million times more to offer than even the next best singer (Jordin Sparks).  Some of the girls may end up turning in great performances, but their peak isn't close to the heights Melinda and Lakisha have already hit on their worst nights. 

What follows are my performance grades for each female last night. 

Jordin Sparks: B

Just okay.  I don't know if the world needs anymore Pat Benatar, and she was a little lost in the shuffle when the song began.  She got into a groove near the end.  The problem with Jordin is that her voice has yet to fully mature.  If she was four or five years older, she would definitely compete for the American Idol crown.  Now, she's just too inconsistent.  The silver lining is that Jordin probably has the most room for improvement of any girl in the next few weeks.

Sabrina Sloan: D

I had a lot of issues with Sabrina's performance last night.  I thought she sang out of tune for most of the song and I'm disappointed that the judges didn't bring it up.  She's right in there with Stephanie: middle of the pack, with no hope to break thorough. 

Antonella Barba: D

What is there left to say?  Antonella isn't the apocalyptic singer some are making her out to be.  She's pretty good, in a general sense.  As I've said, she could easily have a career as a backup singer.  She's still young, and her voice could still mature, but for now she is totally overwhelmed in the competition.  I hope America puts her out her misery this week so she get on with her life and sign that contract with Playboy.

Haley Scarnato: C

Simon verbally punched Haley in the face last night, and it was an unpleasant moment to watch.  That said, what he said does have merit.  Her singing is reminiscent of a high school musical and her performances are not memorable.  She should be eliminated this week along with Antonella.

Stephanie Edwards: B

Lakisha Jones-lite.  That's all.  She is just shy of being really good.  There is still way too many minor things that Stephanie does that keep from being the great singer she needs to be to compete in the competition.  I don't see her breaking through into another level, but I've been wrong before.  Maybe in another year she could've advanced pretty far, but she's not getting past the big two this season.

Lakisha Jones:  A-

Not her greatest performance, but still way better than everyone besides Melinda.  She's a woman to everyone else's little girl.  The worrying thing is that Lakisha has slowly devolved since her first Hollywood performance.  She needs to get back to that level to make it a true grudge match with Melinda.  If she doesn't, Melinda will continue to widen the gap.

Gina Glocksen
: B+

I wasn't expecting that.  Belting out an Evanesence song, Gina showed what she's is capable of.  She's the one possible spoiler in the group, if only because she brings a totally different dynamic than anyone else.  I wonder if her bread and butter will resonate with the voters, or if it was a little too hard rock for them.  We'll see tonight.

Melinda Doolitte: A

It's scary.  Melinda is getting better in every aspect of her performing.  She's starting to get supremely confident up there on stage, and for good reason.  Her voice is powerful and in control, and she effortlessly switches gears.  Her performing (the one thing I wasn't sure if she could make great) has been stellar.  Melinda has to be the odds-on favorite to win American Idol this year,  Frankly, it'd be an upset if she didn't.

-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer