And this is why we occasionally get our viewing heart ripped right from our chest.
first major — and unexpected — casualty of American Idol VII came
Thursday night when Alexandrea Lushington, the 17-year-old from
Douglasville, Ga., was voted off the show with Alaina Whitaker, Robbie
Carrico and Jason Yeager. Carrico was a mild surprise, but nothing of
the magnitude of Lushington.
Lushington was ranked No. 4 among
the girls and No. 7 overall in the competition by this blog. She was
outstanding in week one, and while missing out on the “wow” factor
Wednesday when she sang “If You leave Me Now” by Chicago, she hardly
seemed to be a legitimate candidate to be bounced.
But fans of
the disappointing Kady Malloy, the up-and-down Carly Smithson, lukewarm
Brooke White and the struggling Amanda Overmyer obviously phoned in
more votes for their girls than those who were backing Lushington. More
than 31 million votes were cast this week.
While there is no way
to statistically measure a claim such as this, I would venture to say
the exit of someone at the talent level of Lushington this early in the
competition is a first for Idol. I cannot emphasize what an upset this
Whitaker and Yeager were in way over their heads and will
not be missed. They never had a chance for the final 12, but I thought
Carrico did, mostly because six guys HAVE to make it and he appeared to
be the best of the rest following frontrunners Michael Johns and David
Here’s my overall rankings with 16 contestants remaining. Last week’s ranking is in parentheses.
1. (1.) Michael Johns — there’s a teen sensation in his rear-view mirror.
(5.) David Archuleta — word of his Tuesday night performance spread
like wildfire across the Internet, and anything close to another
performance like his take on “Imagine” and Johns is in trouble. Simon
Cowell already considers The Kid the favorite to be the next American
3. (3.) Ramiele Malubay — Ballads look to be her strength.
(1) Asia’h Epperson — We’ll give her a mulligan for picking “All By
Myself” and wearing those silly hair extensions. Geez, Asia’h, let’s
get your act back on track.
5. (8.) Syesha Mercado — Can you
imagine when this year’s competition gets down to the final six or so
how difficult this will be? Any of these top five are as good as any of
the previous Idol champs, including Carrie Underwood. You read it here
6. (NR) Kristy Lee Cook — This is where the drop-ff starts, and where the departed Lushington should be.
7. (NR) David Cook — One of the week’s top comebacks.
8. (NR) Chikezie — the only soul singer left in the field, but he’s no Ruben Studdard or George Huff.
9. (4.) Jason Castro — If he bombs again next week, he’s toast. Burnt toast.
(NR) David Hernandez — he definitely has a future, but I think it’s on
Broadway. He is definitely not a rocker, although he seems to think he
Best bets to go next week: Mulloy, Overmyer, Whitaker, Danny Noriega, Luke Menard, Castro.