Top 11 Week on 'Idol': The Best and Worst Performances
Top 11 Week on 'Idol': The Best and Worst Performances
And just when we thought this week's theme on American Idol would mean easy pickings for the contestants, well, think again.

Calling last night the worst performance show in Idol history isn't an exaggeration. Even I can't remember a night where the performances were, for the most part just consistently horrible. (Blah, to put it nicely.) Some might say it's because this season's contestants are the worst in the show's history. Some might think it's just a matter of song choices--and, for someone who's found a bunch of really good performers this year, I think that is the case.

Last night was, indeed, unusual. There's this one great performance, and there's this one bad performance. It should be easy, right? But everything else was memorable for the wrong reasons--memorable, yes, but for the wrong reasons, yes--and it muddled up my pick for the worst performance. Here's my thought process after the show:

"Paige Miles. No, Katie Stevens still failed. No, Andrew Garcia is totally overrated. But he did better than last week. Siobhan Magnus' scream? Separate article. Okay. Settled."

And by settled, I mean I've made my picks for the best and worst performances of this week. And, as it turns out, the choices were pretty obvious.

Two thumbs up: Crystal Bowersox's "Me and Bobby McGee"

For the record, Crystal is still starting to bore me. Sure, she's this year's frontrunner, and there's no denying she's really good, but she's starting to bore me. She's been doing the same thing in the past weeks--plus one for consistency, minus one for sounding plain. But, considering everybody else's performance, the old reliable became the best there is.

All the proof we need is in Simon Cowell's comments. Last week, he told Crystal that she's been overtaken. This week, he said she's in "a different league" than everybody else. This performance felt like a reintroduction to the Crystal Bowersox we loved hard at the beginning of the semi-finals, especially after being tempted away by Siobhan's high notes last week. If this pattern continues, it's going to be a very close race between two contestants.

Two thumbs down: Paige Miles' "Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)"

Should I still repeat the things that made this performance oh-so-wrong? One, she chose a very big song. Two, she was terribly off-pitch all throughout. Three, her timing was off all throughout. Four, it elicited reactions from speechlessness (hello, Abbey) to uncontrollable sadness. That easily makes this the worst performance ever, right?

Not yet. What makes this more unbearable is the fact that, in the last couple of weeks, she's finding her footing. Simon always said she's the best female vocalist this season, and we've seen flashes of that in past performances of "Walk Away" and "Honky Tonk Women". But this performance virtually erased all of those memories--and negated the rest of the night's low notes, from Katie Stevens' struggles to Tim Urban's slide to Andrew Garcia's desperate pandering to the judges. If she stays next week, I'll be really surprised.

There are two lessons from this performance. One, don't start your performance sitting. I said this during last night's recap: it constricts your lungs and makes a pitchy performance much more pitchier. (Check the comments. I did say it.) Two, be comfortable--and that means ditch the high heels. She sounded better with the laryngitis, ironically...

Just plain scary: Siobhan Magnus' scream in "Superstition"

I'll admit, I almost chose this as the worst performance of the night solely because of the scream. But, hey, it's still a high point in a tepid performance show, even if my stomach started grumbling after that last note went through my ears and made me cringe. Thus, I'll just give it a short mention here... and ask you to read my open letter to Siobhan. I realized I have so much things to say to her, it would make this article too long.

So, what's your pick for last night's best and worst performance? Was it really the worst night of the season? Or do we just have really high expectations? Better yet, is there still hope? And can anybody pass me an antacid? I watched that video again and now my tummy's acting up...

(Image courtesy of Fox)