IN IT TO WIN IT: We only saw one performance tonight from someone who went all-out to demonstrate his or her worthiness in a reality competition, and that was Rob Mariano. That's the Survivor I've been missing, the one in which deprivation and physically grueling challenges created drama.
I'm basically done with Idol this season, and have gone from fast-forwarding the intro packages to skipping the judging to now skipping most of each performance as well. The show that I want to see -- and the one that this Iovine-added season promised to deliver -- is one which sought and created the next contemporary artist. The show took a fatal turn away from that path two years ago when Kris Allen outlasted Adam Lambert, and the ascension this year of the G-Rated Lambert and two uninspiring country artists has not improved matters. Nor have the singers themselves (save Haley, I guess) improved all season long. As Matt Zoller Seitz aske yesterday, "When are the chrysalides going to open up and release the beautiful butterflies?"