"The Dreamgirls" semi-finals won't happen next week on "American Idol." LaKisha Jones got the hook after receiving fewer of the 45 million votes cast this week than had Melinda Doolittle, Jordin Sparks, or Beatbox Boy Blake Lewis, who we increasingly suspect is a hologram.
The Results show is strangely distressing from the get-go, and not just because everyone knew LaKisha of the Best Backstory was going to get the boot. Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell have changed places at the judges table. Simon is doing Paula's trademark seal clap, Paula is doing Simon's trademark man-breast massage, and Fox Standards and Practices execs are getting the vapors.
Then, this weeks' "American Idol" Idiot Question asks which former competitor went to Africa to lip-synch a song while surrounded by impoverished, hungry children. Guess right, show host Ryan says -- was it a) Ruben Studdard, b) Carrie Underwood, or c) Bo Bice -- you could win $10,000. Ryan expresses embarrassment at how easy the question is; he forgets to let on how inappropriate it is.
Coming back from an ad break, Ryan, who says he already knows who's getting tossed tonight, draws LaKisha into a conversation about how she was telling herself during the ad break she must not to forget the words to her song in case she's going home tonight. She also talks about what a bad day she had on Tuesday, what with last-minute key changes, wardrobe problems, and so forth.
The judges had turned on LaKisha weeks ago, but viewers kept her in the competition far longer than she would have if Simon Cowell ruled the world.
Simon, overly eager to get in ahead of the kill, can't wait to tell Ryan who of the four Idolettes left on stage he thinks is going to be cut. Fellow judges Randy and Paul admonish him to leave it alone. He ignores them, names LaKisha, and beams.
Editor's note: For more on last night's American Idol, read Lisa's TV column ("Idol" coverage begins on page two).
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