Says Melinda Doolittle, responding to Jennifer Lopez, who's encouraging her to reveal her sexuality on this week's "American Idol," where the theme is "Latin" music. Sway me now, she sings, with a big, red lipstick smile. Finally, she gets some criticism. (Really, constant praise makes a person boring.) Simon says, "a bit lazy, a little bit wooden." She shows some smarts, explaining, alluding to his previous complaints that he wasn't finding anything to complain about: "He really wanted to say something bad, and I'm glad he got the chance." Great, some personality.
Second, LaKisha (which makes me think they are trying to help Jordin Sparks, by moving her competition to the front end of the show). She sings that "Conga" song, which Simon says is "not a singer's song." I can see the pattern of the night. It's all about telling the kids to be hot... and how it's never hot enough. (Isn't there some offensive ethnic stereotyping here? It's not supposed to matter. We're telling kids to be hot.)
Now, Jennifer Lopez is trying. She's not sleepwalking, phoning it in like Gwen Stefani. She knows she has to show us this matters. I have never cared about her or been a fan of any kind, but this show is making me like her. With Chris Richardson, she corrects his pronunciation of a Spanish word and advises him to take the key up a step. Paula thinks it was "hot!" "sexy!"
Hayley Scarnato does that "Rhythm of the Night" song, and everyone's just "you have great legs" again.
Our bald wonder Phil Stacey is up next. Something about "Maria, you know you are my lover..." Blah.
Finally, it's Jordin Sparks. (So, my favorite Blake gets the final slot.) She's doing "The Rhythm Is Gonna Get You," making me realize for perhaps the first time that it's a different song from "Rhythm of the Night." I'm bored, but I feel like Randy's going to say it's "hot." Randy says it's "wonderful" and "great" and "the wow factor." Paula's all "you're out there." Simon: "okay... nothing stunning."
So, now it's my Blake. (Blake Lewis.) "I Need to Know." The judges love him... and I have to admit this whole genre doesn't hit me the way it's supposed to.
Oh, no! What am I thinking? There's still one more. I have to count, and then I realize: Sanjaya! Ooh, they put him last. He's going to do "Besame Mucho," an old-style Spanish song. I'm touched. This is a different genre, really, isn't it? Oh, he's sitting down. That means something. And he's growing a mustache and a goatee. That's all new. It's rather dull, but they act like it was kinda good.
Whew! I'm glad this one's over!