Before we begin, let's bang our heads in a moment of silence for the recently departed Neal. What's that? He's not dead? Man, you could have fooled me, what with the way his former rocker roomies were crying over his ouster. Ty actually shed tears, while Heather offered some mystical mumbo jumbo about Neal being a "light" that will surely be missed. It sounded to me like the kind of stuff psychologist Eugene Landy tried to sell Brian Wilson when he "counseled" him. Even so, Neal's departure did prove that anyone could be deep-sixed. I just never thought he'd be shown the stage door before J.D.

Ah, J.D. I don't know what to make of that guy. On one hand, he's clearly a favorite of the boys in INXS, who are impressed with his stagecraft and arranging abilities. But on the other, he comes across as an impulsive head case, who out of nowhere hits on Jordis and turns all mush-mouthed when he drinks too much. I can't fault him for that, though. When I've had one too many hoots from the flask, I start prophesying about God, country and going to war. Or so I've been told.

I'll be sure to have my wits about me for Tuesday night's performances, though, 'cause I predict some doozies: Brandon's rehearsal of "Tempted" was shaky at best, and J.D.'s arrangement of "We Are the Champions" was alternately referred to as "awful" and "truly awful" by the house band.

But some contestants could deliver the goods, namely Ty, who's aiming for a less-theatrical "Everybody Hurts," and MiG, who has decreed he will make "Lola" more "MiGgy." And being the only Aussie currently in the competition, his MiGness may have the unspoken advantage. Not that he needs it: His gifts of politesse and presence are more than enough to leave the competition Down Under.