THIS WEEK'S "PLEASE STOP IT WITH THE ASL HAND MOTIONS ALREADY" AWARD GOES TO . . . ALAINA! So here's the problem with the girls' bracket on AI. As I mentioned last week, generally speaking, the black girls have it all over the white girls this year. But thus far, the black girls are all poorly differentiated from each other -- except for Lakisha and Melinda, who are each fairly distinctive and whose backstories have gotten a lot of airtime. I don't think this is going to be outcome-determinative just yet, as there are still plenty of non-differentiated sub-par white girls to kick off (Alaina / Antonella / Haley), but I suspect that we will ultimately see a Stephanie, a Jordin, or a Sabrina depart the show before her time just because of the way AI demographics tend to work.
All that being said: I continue to believe that Melinda kicks the snot out of Lakisha. Last week it was more a matter of taste, but this week it was the difference between a good singer and a great one. Truth be told, I also preferred Sabrina to Lakisha, who was just sort of generic-Gladys-Knight-coverish. I actually kind of liked Leslie this week, too, especially the more-or-less a capella part at the beginning, although she makes me nervous every time she moves any part of her ungainly body. (Who knew that AI could give us two performances of the same Nina Simone song in a single week?)