Dennis Haysbert and Scott Foley, <EM>The Unit</EM> Dennis Haysbert and¬†Scott Foley, The Unit
American Idol
Katharine McPhee was rumored to be this year's Mario Vasquez

, the dropout from last season who went on to superstardom. Or, rather, Starbucks. Well, Katharine said she'll be in it for the long haul, although I might have to quit Idol if Ryan Seacrest insists on saying things like "do you have the McPheever?" No, but cheese-ball lines like that do make me ill. Katharine did an okay Aretha Franklin  not quite up to Kelly Clarkson standard, but the judges loved her. They weren't quite as sold on Paris Bennett's "Conga," but she had fun anyway.

I was very impressed with Lisa, but she once again was scolded for singing an "old" song. It's just a matter of time before Simon Cowell tosses his "too Broadway" line Lisa's way. Ayla also did a good job, but I did agree with the judges that the song probably wasn't the best choice. Wow, she towered over Seacrest, didn't she?

The two most in danger will probably be Kinnik and Melissa. Each woman was told to book her plane ticket home, and both Simon and Ryan called Melissa "sweetheart." She has a name you know... but it is not Ann Wilson. And Kinnik became Alicia off-Keys with pitch problems galore. Paula Abdul made it worse by complimenting Kinnik's clothing. Paula giving props about your style? That is so not a good thing  it's like Ryan Seacrest talking up your sincerity. 

Mandisa effortlessly took on "I'm Every Woman," a tune that should only be attempted by fantastically talented ladies... like Mandisa. Finally there was Kellie Pickler's surprisingly good "I'm the Only One." The best stuff came after her performance Ryan asked her about lunch and she talked about someone named Sal Minn. Then Simon got all Addison DeWitt from All About Eve, calling Kellie a minx and saying he prefers this year's Carrie Underwood to the original. Now I'm picturing Pickler as Idol's own Eve Harrington, using the "aw shucks" routine as a front while causing trouble... l like starting rumors about other girls quitting. Bring on the bumpy nights!  Ken McGilvray

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