In about two hours (from when I’m typing this in California), we will be down to eight contestants on American Idol. It appears as if the favorites are developing and the others are trying to just hang on just another week. Just maybe they can come out of nowhere and shock the Idol world from this point, but I doubt it. See what Jeff and I had to say early this afternoon about last night’s episode in our weekly Idol chat.

Jeff: So anyway, your first taste of countrified Idol - what did you think?
Steve: First of all, I'm not a fan of country music, so when I learned this, couldn't help but groan a bit. Of course I thought Kristy Lee should shine considering that's what she does.
J: Yeah, right up her alley
S: Was a little disappointed though - while she was into it and won't get kicked off, it was just “pretty” good.
J: nothing impressive from KLC, per usual
S: A couple girls in the office are trying to convert me into a country fan, but they have yet to get anywhere.
J: I'm not a country fan either - and even passed up chance to go to the rehearsal after finding out the theme (that and it's time-consuming) - but liked the show more than I thought I would
S: You had a chance to go?
S: I'm sure our 5 readers are disappointed, that would have been a fun chat.
J: I'm on a waiting list for tickets, and this week, I got pulled. The actual tapings were full immediately, so the rehearsal was the only thing open. I himmed and hawwed and then saw the theme and figured it wasn't worth the trek
S: the “him” and “haw” was on purpose there right haha
J: Yeah they were, and to those five people out there, get on the waiting list at You never know until a few days before if you've been picked and you usually have to wait in line a long while, but I've been a few times before, and it's a lot of fun
J: Any surprises from last night's show?
S: The sad part, is no. It seemed to be more of the same from just about everyone - except, negatively from Syesha. - Fairly obvious that country isn't her thing and thought it going into it, but trying to tackle a song that Whitney Houston completely destroyed may have not been the best move.
J: do you mean destroyed in a good way?
S: Yeah I do. Houston had the absolute perfect voice for that song, and while Syesha was decent, sometimes you just leave one like that alone.
J: I think the strong ones remained strong, but I think Michael Johns is improving week by week and I think Brooke is starting to slide. She seems uncomfortable. Syesha is in trouble. She wavered between Dolly and Whitney, before launching into Whitney's version at the end
J: Can't compare yourself to possibly Whitney's most known song
S: I agree completely
S: Dreadlocks guy also just really gets on my nerves. I figured out yesterday that it isn't really his singing that bugs me either, it’s his facial expressions. They alter from goofy to looking like he has to use some Pepto Bismol.
J: yeah, he seems either stoned or uncomfortable the whole time. Younger girls may find it charming, but it gets a bit annoying.
J: Do you think the whole David Cook taking others' unique arrangements (Eleanor Rigby, Billie Jean) is an issue or overblown?
S: I think it is overblown. In reality, that is all anyone is doing anyway, he just choses smarter songs for him, then people call him smart only to realize they are wrong because they didn't know the other song, and then blame him.
J: exactly. If others are giving him credit for "unique" arrangements, that's their problem
J: plus, they have mentioned several weeks in a row who did the other arrangement
S: yup (although I never saw when Seacrest did it like you said last week when I went back to it)
J: even if they're not making a big deal about it and still calling it unique
S: Any change in your top 3?
J: hmmm, I like David Cook and Michael Johns best right now. That third spot is up for grabs
J: Ramiele and Kristy Lee have to go
S: I agree to both points. I gotta say Archuleta is no. 3 no doubt. He does a good job even if his songs are too boring, but his talent and the huge fan base of his will easily carry him into the top 3.
J: for sure on little David
J: but bottom 3 tonight I'm going with Ramiele, Syesha and a surprise of Brooke, with Syesha going home
S: My bottom 3...hmmm...
S: Ramiele, Brooke I actually agree with, and either Syesha or Kristy Lee. I think Ramiele goes home. She just sounds like a karaoke singer too much and isn't comfortable on stage. Syesha was strong for two weeks before this (and it actually surprised me that she was in the bottom 3 last week) and has more potential AND talent.
J: true, just not sure if the voters see it
S: they're all stupid!
S: I don't vote, so I can say that. LOL
J: same here
J: please send Ramiele home, but we'll have to wait and see...
S: 8 short hours until we know! I won't be holding my breath.

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