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Haley Scarnato!

Great! Just when it looked like Haley Scarnato! might actually heed this week's Simon Cowell advice to wear even less clothing next Tuesday, you go and boot her off the show by giving her the smallest number of votes. Nice work, viewers!

This week, freed from the shackles of an impossibly short 30 minute format which, let's face it, is ample time for the broadcast networks to recap all that day's national and international news, but hardly long enough for a singing competition results show, "Idol" producers can now really show us their stuff.

Like Eva Longoria in the audience.


Ooh, and the Idolettes group-sing is back. This time it's "Bailamos" in honor of Latin Week on "Idol."

Let's not forget the American Idol Trivia Bowl. This week's question: Did Elliott Yamin, Taylor Hicks, or Katherine McPhee sing with Meatloaf during the "Idol" finale last May? If you get the answer right you could win $10,000, which, show host Ryan Seacrest wants us to know, is chicken feed to show judge Simon Cowell.

Speaking of Ryan and chicken feed, Ryan heads over to the Farmer's market in Los Angeles, right next to the studio where "Idol" is shot, to interview a bunch of, um, farmers carrying "We Heart Blake" signs, and a cute little girl who likes Sanjaya Malakar the best of all this year's Idolettes.

Akon -- remember him waving his arm and losing his pants with guest mentor Gwen Stefani on "Idol" a couple weeks back? He's back to wave his arm some more, sell a few albums and try to pick up two cute blondes in the audience.

Hey! It's time for the Ford Music Video -- golly the time is flying. This week the Idolettes morph into each other to the Turtles' tune "Happy Together." It's unsettling.

And now, an "Idol Gives Back" charity fundraiser update: Fox network's parent, NewsCorp has pledged $5 million dollars to the fundraiser for needy children in the U.S. and Africa -- which is still chickenfeed for Simon, only Ryan doesn't say so this time.

See Simon on tape in Africa, holding hands with an adorable child named Caroline. See Simon explain a schoolroom-in-a-box, filled with an inflatable globe and enough scissors, crayons, chalk, rulers and textbooks for eight children. Total price: $183 dollars.

Caroline drawing a picture of Simon with man breasts: priceless.

Ryan chats up the Idolettes. Haley says she felt this week's Latin theme called for black satin short-shorts, spike heels and a sheer top, but promises she will never wear anything inappropriate on the show. Millions of men watching at home feel better about having voted for Blake Lewis instead of Haley.

Ryan puts Phil Stacey, Haley Scarnato!, and Chris Richardson in the week's Bottom 3, then quickly tells Chris he's safe as the crowd in the studio gets ugly. The crowd calms down considerably.

Time for Jennifer Lopez to sell a few albums. But first, she introduces America to a new expression: Pop a squat.

"Pop a squat" means "sit at my feet and hang on my words." That's in footage of J. Lo "mentoring" the Idolettes that was so good it didn't make Tuesday's performance broadcast. Sanjaya Malakar, on tape, says he hopes J. Lo picks up on his passion and gives him her phone number, adding his hope they won't have to tell her husband Marc Anthony about it. We want what he's smoking.

Many of the remaining Idolettes -- and all the women -- are better singers than J. Lo. But, like the Cowardly Lion lacked that testimonial, the Tin Man that heart, and the Scarecrow those brains, the Idolettes lack the all-important wind machine, smoke machine, flame throwers, and bevy of biker-chick dancers that separate them from an former "In Living Color" backup dancer turned pop star.

After her song, J. Lo tells Ryan that "Idol" has been on "a couple seasons now" and that she subscribes to the Paula Abdul school of "Idol" judging. By which she does not mean canoodle the hot guys, until one of them gives an interview to ABC News. She means "concentrating on the rightness brings more rightness."

And then, before you know it, there's just a couple minutes left. Ryan tells Haley she's going home and Haley, through her tears, shimmies and jiggles her way through "Turn the Beat Around" one last time.

Editor's Note: For more on last night's "Idol," read Lisa's TV column.

By Lisa de Moraes  |  April 12, 2007; 8:01 AM ET
Categories:  "American Idol"  
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Next: 'Idol's' Country Crooners

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