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March 11

Your fearless webmaster (okay, anyone who knows me knows I am anything but fearless…but come on, play along here!!) has spent the last week battling some sort of illness.  While the Barry White-esque deep voice was a plus, the rest of it was horrible.  So to all of you out there who've battled being sick this winter…I definitely feel your pain! 


There is one positive to being sick…I get to watch a whole bunch of TV.  So let's enjoy.


The Week That Was…


On "American Idol"… We have to start here this week since this was the ultimate week, with the Top 12 finally figured out.  It's actually a shame that the season had to feature 6 guys and 6 girls, because there were 7 or 8 guys that reasonably could've made the top 12 otherwise.  I'd put the chance of an all-guy final at better than 50% at this early stage.


First, for the second week in a row, I got three of the four right who got voted off.  (Yeah, I'm pleased by this.)  And there were changes in my rankings as well.


I am very surprised by Nikko Smith not making it through.  I thought his rendition of "Georgia On My Mind" was excellent, and actually had him #1 for the night, and #4 overall.  Travis Tucker has been toward the bottom of my list throughout, and last night only reinforced that.  Travis was the only guy to not get a positive comment from Randy and Paula.  I'm surprised America brought Scott Savol into the Top 12, but not disappointed by it…he is, however, on the thinnest ice among the guys.


Janay Castine looked a little more comfortable this week than the previous two, but the judges were right…she was extremely pitchy.  It was a tossup for me between Amanda Avila and Lindsey Cardinale to be the other girl to go.  I think Lindsey's strong performance in Week 2 might have saved her. 


So, of the Top 12, based on my rankings, here's how they rate:


  1. Bo Bice
  2. Jessica Sierra
  3. Nadia Turner
  4. Anwar Robinson (tied for third)
  5. Mario Vazquez (tied for third)
  6. Carrie Underwood
  7. Mikalah Gordon
  8. Vonzell Solomon
  9. Scott Savol
  10. Lindsey Cardinale
  11. Anthony Fedorov
  12. Constantine Maroulis

These numbers mean nothing now that all twelve are actually competing against each other.  And Anthony's strong performance in Week 3 probably vaults him higher than where I have him listed; and vice-versa for Scott's weaker performance in Week 3.


On "The Apprentice"… I rewatched Audrey's breakdown tonight.  Wowza.  Tough stuff.  Then after all that emotion, she decides to step up and be project manager?  Not the best move, and it cost her.  It was obvious that Trump knew beforehand he was going to fire Audrey, since he bent the rules to allow four people back into the boardroom (which he wouldn't bend the rules earlier on in the competition).


The two teams are now even, but the classic "corporate restructuring" is supposed to happen this week.  Honestly, I'm not sure why, since the teams are even and the whole concept of the season was to pit the "Book Smarts" versus the "Street Smarts."  I don't get it.  We'll see what happens and I'll probably comment more on this next week.


On "Survivor"… Not much to say here this week.  Jeff's injury meant he really did have to go. 


On "The Amazing Race"… I'm really starting to wonder if Rob and Ambuhhhhh are going to parlay their "Survivor" 15 minutes of fame into a win on the Race.  They've been using Survivor-style tricks to try to get ahead.  It's worked but I wonder if they do it too much if it will change, in a bad way, the way this game has been played for so long.  Probably won't have much of an effect in the next series – since families will be competing.  It's hard to pick who's next to go here because there's so much opportunity for change in the standings.  Check out my colleague Travis Eberle's column "On the Buzzer" this week.  In it, he talks about ways to ‘fix' this show.  And he's spot on.

Odds and Ends… We chronicled "Nashville Star"s Jenny Farrell in this space last week.  America decided to give Farrell a second chance to make a first impression…and she did not disappoint.  Farrell's performance Tuesday was inspired, and while maybe not the best of the night, definitely worth having an opportunity to see.


It was a little awkward though that they kept bringing Farrell's incident up…over…and over…and over…in the "backstage interviews."  The mop-and-bucket segment was one of the more tasteless things I've ever seen. 


Your columnist will be at the Opryland Hotel in the next couple of weeks…I'll let you know if I see any of the Nashville Star contestants milling around.

The opinions expressed in InSites are those of the author only, and do not represent the opinions of any other person, organization, or entity.
Jason Elliott can be reached at


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