Hugh Laurie, <EM>House</EM> Hugh Laurie, House
American Idol
George Huff was in the house, but these off-key performances probably removed the smile from his face for the first time ever. I did actually enjoy Taylor

and was freaked out to be in agreement with Paula Abdul Taylor is really great when he just stands there and sings. Mandisa wasn't at her best, but vocally she was still miles above the others. Yes, Simon Cowell, we know the "song isn't for you." If it were, it would be called "Damn You," not "Praise You." Paris definitely had the "attitude" part of "Work It Out" down, and she managed a decent vocal while doing the patented Beyoncé booty dance. Bucky was OK  though the band drowned him out a bit, he picked a good song for his voice. But Paula has no room to criticize anyone's diction.

Since his name was dragged through the mud all over the Internet, Chris finally copped to covering Live instead of Johnny Cash last week. Then ol' "one trick Daughtry" announced his intention to sing Creed. Creed? I blocked them out after 1999, so I didn't realize they qualified for the 21st Century theme. Kellie completely lacked energy during her rendition of "Suds in a Bucket," but at least nobody had to define any of the words in that song for her. I completely disagreed with the judges after Katharine and Elliott performed. Katharine really didn't do the Christina Aguilera song justice; she was sharp and breathy, when usually she's one of the best. I also felt Elliott wasn't too strong on his tune, and the arrangement didn't help. But the judges loved them both. Go figure.

As far as Ace's performance, let's just rename the band Train­-wreck right now. Were those nerves or jazz hands at the end? Loved Simon's reaction to Paula's interest in the scar... I'm sure Ace really got it after a chest waxing gone wrong. No doubt he'll visit the bottom three again, as will Lisa... singing the song Kelly Clarkson did so beautifully at the Grammy Awards was a huge mistake. Sadly, I think her time is up, if only because Paula will be speed-dialing to save Ace so she can see all his scars.

Got a burning question for Idol judge Simon Cowell? Submit it here and he may answer you in an upcoming issue of TV Guide magazine.