American Idol, The First Cuts are the Deepest

It was the night viewers have been waiting for, and contestants dreading. The first eliminations from American

Idol. The top 12 men performed Tuesday night. Wednesday was the ladies' turn. (You can read my take on the guys and girls.) 28 million people voted, and we found out which two boys and which two girls are saying


But first, some time filler please. Ryan Seacrest chatted up the judges a bit, and threw Paula a softball question about whether viewers should be jaded by an Idol-ite's

previous experience. It was an obvious ploy to deflect criticism about the whole Carly Smithson

Scandal, although they never mentioned her by name. But Paula reminded us that Kelly Clarkson had a previous record deal of some kind before season one, and that if

wannabe Idols hadn't tried to make a name for themselves prior to the show, they shouldn't really be there.

Then the group of 24 performed together for the first time. It was some montage of not-very-good songs from the sixties. Can I ask a question here? Why have they made the

elmination show an hour this year? A half hour was plenty. Now it just drags on and on. I don't under... oh wait. Survivor is on CBS at the same time. That's why.

So then it was time for the first male elimination. Ryan nonchalantly called Garrett Haley to the stage and... WHAM... told him he was going home. It happened so fast, I was

shocked. Like ripping a band aid off. Garrett wasn't in my bottom three, but I did think his song this week was pretty forgettable, so I wasn't surprised he came out with some of the

fewest votes. Garrett sang his farewell song and off he went.

Then it was time for a female elimination, and Ryan called up Kristy Lee Cook. But you knew he wouldn't pull the same trick twice. Kristy was safe, despite a woeful performance

Wednesday. Then, without calling her up to the stage... WHAM... Ryan told Amy Davis she was gone. Amy was one of my bottom three picks for butchering Patsy Cline, which

she got to do again.

Can I ask a question here? Why do they let the losers sing again? I understand giving them one last shot on stage, but seriously, if they sang a song so poorly that they got the

boot, why do Idol producers think we'd want to hear it again?

Time for some more filler. The world premiere of Paula Abdul's new video, "Dance Like There's No Tomorrow."

Oh. My. Goodness.

It was horrible. For starters, they've digitized her voice so much, it puts Cher to shame. Second of all, the song itself is completely lame and forgettable. It sounds like something

Britney Spears rejected. Third of all, the dancing was ridiculous to the point of being a parody of Paula Abdul videos from the '80s. I actually felt sorry for Paula after watching


Paula Abdul: Dance Like There's No Tomorrow 

Fortunately it was back to the show soon enough, and time for another female elmination. Ryan called out plus-sized model Joanne Borgella and Amanda Overmyer, the so-called

"Rock & Roll Nurse." You kind of knew Amanda wouldn't be going home. I don't think she'll stick around long, but this is definitely too soon. And sure enough, Joanne got her walking

papers. (She was probably thinking Paula should have been eliminated after that atrocious video.) As she sang her farewell song, a lot of the other girls were crying and

seemed genuinely broken up.

After the break, it was time for the last elimination of the night. Ryan called out Chikezie Eze and Colton Berry. Truthfully, I thought it could go either way, but Colton got the axe

while Chikeze lived to torture us another day. Colton was in my bottom three. Paula told him to keep on singing. Simon told him to get a job. I'd take Simon's advice, Colton.

Although I will say this: At this point in the competition I don't think being eliminated is a sign that people don't like you or your singing. It's more a sign that they just liked someone

else a little more. Which is probably no consolation to Colton, Joanne, Amy or Garrett.

The biggest mystery of the night was solved when we found out this year's goodbye song -- "Best Days" by Graham Colton.

Can I ask a question here? Why don't they just use "Bye Bye Bye" by N'Sync?

Ethan Morris: "Not always right, but never in doubt." Go ahead and write me.