Last night's American Idol was better than usual, with a handful of excellent performances, some so-so performances, and a couple of really terrible ones. The theme for the evening was Michael Jackson songs, and, surprisingly, there was far fewer cringe-worthy performances than one would expect given the choice of songs.
Sadly, Anoop, my favorite, gave us one of the weakest performances of the evening, and may be at the end of his rope.
Adam did an amazing job snarling and stomping his way through "Black or White," and deserved all the praise that he got, even if Paula did go a little insane in her comments. Allison, the sixteen year old who sounds (and looks a bit) like someone who's spent the last forty years of her life sucking down Marlboros and Jack and Cokes, sang "Give in to me," one of the evening's best. I thought Alexis also did a great job with her rendition of Dirty Diana, although the judges didn't seem wowed. I still think she'll survive, although millions of teenybopper voters may be confused by her phone number (thanks to the sex line snafu) that may leave her at the bottom anyway. My other top picks for the evening are Lil Rounds and Matt, whose work on the piano was, I thought, amazing.
I wasn't moved, however, by Kris, who played a guitar that we never even heard, or by Danny, who the judges continue to adore, but who, to me, continues to perform admirably by not extraordinarily.
The bottom of the list would have to be Megan, whose singing I honestly love (even last night) but whose performance of "Rockin Robin" was frankly embarrassing, thanks especially to her twitchy and juvenile dancing throughout. Also pulling up the rear for me is working guy Michael, blind guy Scott, Puerto Rican Jorge, and teeny bopper Jasmine, all of whom sang nicely but bored me to tears.
And then, sadly, we have Anoop.
Anoop has been my favorite since his first audition, when he charmed the judges and the audience with his nerdy intelligence and sweet singing. But I am beginning to realize that nerdy and sweet alone won't get Anoop to the top.
So long, sweet Anoop. We hardly knew you.