Beyonce-lite Stephanie Edwards became the second finalist voted off American Idol, most likely the result of being the most expendable of the four female R&B singers. Her performance of "You Don't Have To Say You Love Me" was shaky last night, and that, combined with an inexplicably entertaining Sanjaya Malakar performance that was aided by Crying Girl, made it pretty easy to predict Stephanie's demise.
What was more shocking to me was Chris Richardson falling into the bottom 2. Chris was great last night. I couldn't believe he hit the seal. I thought for sure it would be Phil, who was a big cheese-ball on his "Tobacco Road". It's far too early for producer manipulation, isn't it? But look for Chris to not hit the seal again for awhile.
Getting back to Sanjaya, I really think he bought himself at least a few weeks with that crazy, go-for-broke "You Really Got Me". It was the kind of performance that no one would have ever expected, which, as my friend Destiny said, made it one of the "greatest moments in AI history". For me, it conjured images of La Gata Loca, Zayra Alvarez, who ended up being one of the best entertainers to ever participate in a reality music show. Sanjaya has quite a ways to go before reaching her greatness as a performer, but the fact that he's even envoking comparisons shows he's at least making strides.
Here's Zayra's "You Really Got Me". I hated it when I first saw it, and I couldn't believe she was still on the show, but when she followed it up the week after with a gorgeous "Everybody Hurts", she truly won me over.
And here's Sanjaya's:
And for another comparison, here's Ryan Starr's from Season 1 of American Idol. Hers was called a train-wreck by Simon:
Whose was the most train-wrecky? Hard to say. They were all kind of train wrecks in different but entertaining ways. What do you say?