Four more down and only four more to go until we're really into this thing, and how do we stand? We stand not very well. We stand somewhat better than we did a week ago, but still on troubled ground.

As a friend observed last night, wasn't it awfully cruel to make the kids, four of whom were about to die, sing "Tonight's Gonna Be a Good Night"? Because it wasn't gonna be a good night, for an unfortunate fifth of them. It was going to be a pretty shitty night, actually. And ohhhhhh boy did they have to dub that shit. I loved how Ryan was like "Here they are, your top 20..." and everyone clapped and then all of a sudden all the applause died and there was no noise but the soft buzz of a studio mic. The sad thing? Kids didn't even sound good in a pre-recording. They still sounded rank. And, ha, they didn't even have Tim Urban sing. Instead they had him do lonely whiteboy rap (do the Black Eyed Peas do any other kind of rapping?) with two other dudes. What a sad world we live in. What a lovely, miserable place.

Who went home?

John Park
Well, shucks. That's that. I don't know. I know he kinda didn't do all that well these past two weeks, but I think Park was an interesting enough contestant to linger on into the Top 12. Certainly more interesting than some of the alternatives. Like that little kid from Texas or wherever the fuck. You know, who sang that Milly Stingrass song, "The Climb," during his audition? You know the kid. The kid. Nobody knows his name. Well, he is just fundamentally a lot less interesting than John Park. And yet.

Jermaine Sellers
This absolutely needed to happen. Not only was this fool not a terribly gifted singer, but he was ungodly annoying. Yes, Jermaine! I said "ungodly"! Now, I know you're a church-goin', god-fearin' fellow, because you told us fourteen million times, but I will still say ungodly. Goodbye, darling! Goodbye goodbye goodbye. See you at the Rapture. As you soar up to boring, chilly heaven and I stay down here and lay out my Tim Urban traps. It'll be a fun eternity.

Michelle Delamor
Sigh. She didn't do so bad on Wednesday night, and yet. Was she forgettable? Was it something else? Whatever the reason, she's gone now. There will be no more slo-mo Creed. No more... other thing she sang. Michelle Of The Love has not felt it from you, America. And vice versa. We press on.

Haeley Vaughn
Oh... How... how terrible. I just... I feel so bad. Haeley seemed like such a nice girl and I... OHhhhh I can't do it! Haeley's gone! Vaughn is Gone! Vaughn is Gone! I know it's cruel to be so happy about a teenager's sadness, but she was so very annoying, guys. So very, very annoying. And more than being annoying, she was just not a good singer. I know she was all choked up, so that was part of it, but no lie? I could sing a better version of "The Climb" (there's that song again!) than she did last night. I think I could. I don't want to challenge Haeley to a singing duel or anything, but. I feel it n my fingers. I feel it in my toesssssss.

So didja notice anything about those four contestants what went packing last night? Yep. Nary a one of 'em white. Three black kids and a Korean. Does this mean anything? Well, it might. But we can't peer into the frenzied hearts of every single Idol voter (yet), so there's really no way to tell for sure. It does seem suspicious, though. I mean, in the case of Haeley and Jermaine, they were resoundingly bad. They just stank up the joint. But why didn't Lacey deserve to go home for her pee-panted "Kiss Me" instead of Delamor's considerably better "With Jesus Sweep On a Mountaintop, We Are Creed"? And John Park is, again, far more interesting a contestant than some, and certainly a better singer.

I know why someone like Tim Urban is sticking around, and it is a forever flaw of this show, that it is so ruled by the crimson passions of teenage girldom, but it sticks out so much more this year for some reason. Because Tim is cuuuuuuter than all the rest ever before? Because he's awwwwwwfuler than all the rest ever before? Probably some weird Venn diagram of the two. Also, he's not Asian. I guess. I mean, I don't think many among us, this particular readership, would kick John Park outta bed. That's a handsome kid right there. And yet. Maybe he wasn't as relatable to whoever the fuck is voting for this whitebread show. Kendra Meerky, 14, from Overland Park. Delia Fleischer, 12, from Marblehead. Old Gay Mr. Boysalot, age unknown but definitely old, forty or so maybe, from Diddlin' Acres, that sex farm out off rural route 12. People like that. These kind of people. Ordinary people. Can we condemn such people, who we don't even know?

Anyway. Sheesh. They have to get rid of four more next week. Who will it be? Let's predict! I'm guessing, Big Mike & That Kid from the boys, Lacey Brown & Katie Stevens (shocker!) from the girls.