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April 23, 2008
Idol Chatter: Irish eyes still smiling

OK, so are the more than 38 million fans who voted this week picking a prom king/queen or the next "American Idol?"

If it's all the same to you, I'd like to see a contestant win who actually can cut an album, win awards and WOW a year later. (Read: Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood.)

And I'm not saying Irish lass Carly Smithson isn't all that. But, geez, I don't think she deserved to be eliminated this week - with pseudo-suited Jason Castro and lyrically lost Brooke White still left standing.

Tonight's results show shrunk the bottom from three to two (Carly and Syesha Mercado - are you kidding me?)

They performed their respective Andrew Lloyd Webber songs from Tuesday night's competition. And, actually, Carly seemed more resolved to her elimination than, say, Brooke might have been.

"I've had doors closed in my face before," she said during her exit video. "But I feel like I've won already."

The two "Davids" (Cook and Archuleta) were the first to be declared safe. And I loved what David C. had to say about his rendition of "Music of the Night:"

"What's more unpredictable than doing a song the way it was written?"

Brooke likely earned the "human" vote because her lapse in lyrics Tuesday night was, well, human. That, according to judge Simon Cowell. (Said Lloyd Webber, who accompanied the six finalists Wednesday on a group version of "All I Ask of You" ("Phantom of the Opera"), of Brooke's bumble:
"Losing your way, it happens to the best people. ... She's a very talented girl. In her dress rehearsal, she was flawless.")

Lloyd Webber even offered his poignant thoughts on a possible parting song for Paula and Simon (if ever the day comes): "Time To Say Goodbye" or "How Can I Say I Miss You If You Won't Go Away."

Now, here's one Brit with a sense of humor!

Next week, mentor Neil Diamond will set the stage for the Final 5 "Idol" contestants.

OK, so I admit I won't allow Neil anywhere near my iPod. That doesn't preclude Jason from tackling "Holly Holy."

Heaven help us!

FYI: Check back to 21Q on Thursday for a Q&A that I take part in with Carly, plus details about this summer's "American Idol" tour. Sacramento's a usual stop!

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