American Idol: Top 8 Performance Show Quick Thoughts
Jennifer Lopez comes to American Idol tonight, presumably to make it seem like Sanjaya isn't that bad of a singer.  Really, what is J-Lo going to teach the contestants about singing?  If she wants to show them some dance moves, fine, but these final eight contestants are almost all better singers than she is.  Anyway, my feeling is that today is a contest mainly between Haley Scarnato, Phil Stacey and Chris Richardson.  Whoever puts on the worst performance out of those three is probably the one to go home on tomorrow. Unless Sanjaya finally gets removed, but we all know that isn't going to happen.

What follows are my quick, unfiltered (and live!) thoughts while watching tonight's episode.

Hey, everybody.  It’s Latin night on American Idol!  Obviously, this is for Jennifer Lopez, who will be the guest celebrity on tonight’s show.  You see, J-Lo is Latin.  She is “Jenny from the Block”.

We get a look at J-Lo’s career up to this point.  And, in case you’re wondering, no, they didn’t cover her stint as a Fly Girl on In Living Color.

The key to Latin music is passion, according to J-Lo. 

Melinda Doolittle will be performing first, a song called “Sway”.  J-Lo wants Melinda’s sexy side to come out. 

For the record, before we get much further, I think this Latin Night idea is a bad one. 

I think a lot of things when watching Melinda Doolittle (great singer, professional, humble), but “sexy” isn’t one of them. 

A fine performance by Melinda, but uninspiring.  Definitely not one of her best, but I’m also not so sure she could’ve done a lot more with the song.

Randy agrees with me, saying it’s solid but not her best.  Simon didn’t really like it, thought it was lazy and wooden.  I wouldn’t disagree.  But, if Simon starts the night off criticizing Melinda, then Simon might just verbally Medieval on the rest of the singers.

Lakisha Jones is up next, and I’m hoping she can put together another good performance.

Lakisha is singing “Conga”, a song you’d know if you heard it.  Is this by Gloria Estefan?  Was the Miami Sound Machine involved?  This is an okay song, but it doesn’t give Lakisha a whole lot to work with.  I was under whelmed.

Randy liked it a lot.  Paula wasn’t a big fan.  Neither is Simon.  He says it “wasn’t a singer’s song,” which is absolutely true.  And then tells Lakisha her dancing wasn’t very good.  Cold-hearted.

Idol Gives back is just two weeks away.  I really am interested to see how much money they make.  Could be huge.

Chris Richardson is next singing “Smooth” from that legendary Latin singer Rob Thomas.

This should be in Chris’s wheelhouse.  Good choice.

Not a very good performance.  Chris, unfortunately, doesn’t have a very good voice.   Weak in the higher registers and he falls back on his “vocal Olympics” far too much.  Pretty lackluster overall.

Randy thought he did a really good job.  Paula calls the performance “hot”.  Simon didn’t think the singing was great, but liked the performance. 

Haley Scarnato will be singing “Turn the Beat Around”, another famous Latin song.  This will be a hard song to sing for anyone. Haley is flaunting her legs again, this time accompanied by some blood red lipstick.

She does the whole “stand on that ledge behind the judges” to perfection.  She’s not the best singer, but that was an okay performance.  Not very good, actually.

Randy calls it a “karaoke” tune.  Simon calls Haley out for wearing her skimpy clothes, but also says that it’s a great tactic at this point, because she’s not as close to as good of a singer as the remaining ladies.

Phil Stacey will be singing Santana’s “Maria, Maria” next.  The first note wasn’t catastrophic (which is usually an issue for Phil). He’s a little out of tune at times, but he’s doing a good job.  Phil’s a better singer than he gets credit for. 

Ehh, it’s too out of tune in places for me.  And it’s a little boring, sloppy.  Ooh, and his voice breaks near the end. 

Randy didn’t think it was his best.  Paula thought it was solid vocally.  Simon thought it was lifeless, and I would agree. 

It’s been kind of a brutal night thus far.  I blame the Latin Night.  Just let them choose any song they want.  Things would be way more interesting, way more exciting.  But we wouldn’t want that, would we?

Jordin Sparks is the next performer.  Hmm, I missed the name of this song.  Anybody want to comment below and let me know who this is by?

You can tell that Jordin’s confidence is soaring these days.  I can see her winning this thing.  Her voice is awesome; confident and mature. 

Randy loves it, as he should.  It was the best performance of the night.  Simon only thinks it was okay.  Simon is rather cranky tonight, more so than any other night I can remember. 

Blake Lewis is up next, singing “I Need to Know” at a bizarrely slow pace.  It kind of works, but it’s also kind of boring.  Not a bad performance, got better near the end.  Blake is still better than all the guys by a longshot.  Simon calls it the best song choice of the night and the best performance. 

Sanjaya Malakar will be the final performer of the night after the commercial.

Seacrest calls Sanjaya “the embodiment of Latin passion.”  I don’t know how to react to such a statement, so I’ll choose stunned silence. 

Sanjaya Malakar chooses to sing something with a Spanish title that I’m not going to try and write down. 

It’s a slow romantic song.  I am scared.

It looks like Sanjaya got a haircut.  Apparently they keep a lot of Soul-Glo backstage, because Sanjaya’s sporting a gheri-curl. 

Sanjaya is doing his best to be “sexy”.  Meanwhile, my face is melting.

To be honest, Sanjaya has been far worse.  But, that was an extremely easy song to sing.

Randy says it was actually really good.  Paula thought it was nice. 

Simon:  “I’m going to hate myself for this: it wasn’t horrible.”

I just looked out the window to make sure the apocalypse wasn’t upon us.  I mean, we just witnessed a passable performance by Sanjaya.  Baffled is where I’m at right now. 

What did you guys think of the performances tonight?  The best comments below will get published later tonight.

-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer