THE JITTERBUG! Two ironclad golden rules of American Idol were violated tonight: (1) if you there's no natural endpoint to your song, don't randomly shout one of its words at the end. This, of course, is known as the Jennifer Fuentes rule even though, strictly speaking, she didn't violate it herself. (2) Don't sing anything that would really painful or ironic if it were your farewell song, and Michael Johns, you're tempting the Idol gods with "Don't You Forget About Me" tonight.
Beyond that? Young David Archuleta is, as Simon said, almost a lock for the final two already, though like him I'd have preferred it all on solo piano. Clifford the Crunchy Muppet undersold just lovely again, this time on"Hallelujah". He doesn't have a big voice, but he knows what to do with what he has, and he just wins with charisma and warmth.
I'm increasingly fond of David Cook, whose take on "Hello" made clear he's staking out Constantine's slot as the "I'm too hip to be here, but I'm here" grownup, even if he didn't take it as far as Me First and the Gimme Gimmes did. Junior Johnny Weir has fully embraced his swishy side, and it works for him as a performer. And Chikezie successfully pulled off the gender swap on Whitney's "All The (Wo)man I Need," but I still think he's in real trouble tonight.
Oh, speaking of irony? David Hernandez shouldn't have chosen this week to sing about "when you touch me like this," but given that I assume this was taped yesterday, it's not his fault. You can't go wrong with Jim Steinman on this show.
Luke Menard should be gone. None of the other seven deserved to go after tonight, so Thursday's going to be tough.
Fienberg: "Luke seems to think that the world just loves a lilting falsetto. Vocally he's inoffensive and whiny, but his stage presence is dreadful. If you can't get the audience clapping along to ["Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go"], you're not even good enough to share the stage with Snoopy at Knott's Berry Farm and Luke is satisfied with standing in place and smiling."
Sepinwall: Actually, I'm going with a commenter there, Linda, who just floors me with this -- "Like, what's more PAINFULLY earnest than 'Imagine'? 'Another Day In Paradise,' is what. He can't top himself next week unless he does a monologue as the therapist in Good Will Hunting."