I'm a bit torn about this week's American Idol elimination. On the one hand, I can understand why Didi Benami might have been frustrated at being pigeonholed as a singer/songwriter chick with a guitar. On the other hand, if you've found a groove that seems to work for you on North America's most popular singing contest, why rock the boat?
Didi seemed to be trying to reinvent herself the last couple of weeks as something of a siren. It didn't take, though, and she got voted out Wednesday night.
The 23-year-old waitress from Knoxville, Tenn., with a reputation for bursting into tears, managed to hold off the waterworks until the standard farewell montage of her time on Idol.
She shouldn't cry too hard, though. At least she's on the top 10 tour.
And the judges, unlike with Paige Miles, at least pretended that Didi had a shot at their save. She didn't though, not with the way they chatted and chuckled and completely ignored her as she sang "Rhiannon." It was superior to Tuesday's "What Becomes of the Broken Hearted" but not quite as good as her first shot at the Fleetwood Mac song a couple of weeks ago.
Still, I would have traded Tim Urban for another week of Didi.
I didn't really expect Teflon Tim to go home, though. He will eventually. He's not going to win. But the young women who think his floppy hair and ever-present grin are cute have managed to keep him around another week.
Was it just me or did Kara DioGuardi seem to suggest that Tim was a little simple with her comment that "I don't think he even understands, maybe, what we're saying" when he smiles through the judges' criticisms every week.
Tim said he does understand, but he has to smile because "every time I step out onto that stage I know it's a once in a lifetime opportunity" and he'd hate to leave depressed if it ended up being his last performance.
Katie Stevens was the third member of the bottom three, which was what I expected, although I was a little afraid Siobhan Magnus would end up there instead of Katie. Luckily, viewers took the same view as the judges and forgave her a pretty awful performance on Tuesday night.
"It was hard, I'm not gonna lie, it's not my favourite Idol moment," Siobhan told Ryan Seacrest of the judges' criticisms. "I could give a million excuses, but I'm not that kind of person."
She added, "I'm not defeated and I don't take it that way."
Good, because I'm hopeful Siobhan will be her quirky self, tone down the screaming and get back in the game next week.
Frankly, most of the chit-chat that Ryan engaged in with the contestants was pretty useless. Did we need to see Mike's pink pigtail or whatever that thing was, or talk about Crystal being nervous playing the piano (she clearly was a little), or explore how Aaron, who at 16 has never really been in love, could put the emotion into a love song, or rehash the boring "should Katie be a country singer or pop star" debate? Oh look, let's pick Andrew's mother out of the crowd again. And let's have Big Mike pick up Ryan for the umpteenth time (he did fling him kind of high in the air, though.)
"This is not the Oprah Winfrey Show," Simon Cowell admonished Ryan at one point, just one of several tense exchanges between the two.
And why on a show that supposedly prizes good singing did we get not one but two performances Auto-Tuned to the hilt, by Usher (with guest will.i.am of Black Eyed Peas) and Diddy (he's calling himself Dirty Money now, whatever).
True, in place of the usual ghastly group number we got Season 2 Idol winner Ruben Studdard singing his latest single. But we still had to endure a Ford commercial ("Kung Fu Fighting"? Really?) and a cheesy Clash of the Titans promotion (how thrilled did all those actors look taping a message for the Idol contestants?).
All of which leads me to the point - and I do have one - that it's time for Idol to cut the crap and cut the results shows back to half an hour.