Donald Faison, <EM>Scrubs</EM> Donald Faison, Scrubs
American Idol
Kellie Pickler ("pick Pickler!") belted out Kelly Clarkson

's "Since You've Been Gone" like a champ, but her hard-luck backstory got the lion's share of attention. You've probably noticed that as soon as a contestant has his or her story told, he/she is pretty much guaranteed to move on to Hollywood. And when your father is in prison and your mother abandoned you at age 2, you are definitely making it to the next round. Kendra Winston's tale of growing up in orphanages and becoming a young mother was equally poignant, and call me a sucker, but I hope the woman Simon called a "young Whitney Houston" goes very far in this competition. I would have been annoyed if anyone other than Paris got so dramatic after getting the Idol judge's seal of approval, but she is so adorable and talented (unlike a certain other Paris) that it worked for her. Ryan Seacrest wasn't kidding when he wondered where the good male singers were. Epitomized by the appropriately named Jimmy Crabtree, the guys in North Carolina just couldn't compete with the ladies. But Ryan, please do not use the phrase "in the N.C." ever again. Just say no to inappropriate pilfering from your own network. How funny was Simon's genuine birthday-party glee when oversinging Marcus bombed out after using Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson's Ultimate Voice Coach DVD? Why did they blur out the title? And I wonder how many other copies will be crushed by a hammer before the year is out. I'd be willing to bet Rhonetta will personally bust up a batch, along with some copies of Forever Your Girl. Poor Paula, she thought she was being nice by offering the girl some water but then had to suffer the wrath of that not-so-li'l Kim calling her washed-up, a has-been. As for the other rejected wannabes: Ronda's voice is a dead-ringer for Lisa Simpson's; Seth Strickland wasn't the only one who muttered "oh crap" during his Michael Jackson-inspired mess; 26-year-old Sabrina "the teenage witch" Oakley only got her nickname half right; and if you listen closely, I'm sure Marcus is still holding a note from "She's Out of My Life."