Jacob Lusk

On Paula, "SNL" and Jacob Lusk

A few random TV thoughts:

Jacob on "Idol": a great talent and a complex life

Jacob Lusk is full of contrasts.

He's a sunny guy, someone who was a concierge at a spa and has spoken fondly of baking and pedicures; he also, when prodded, talks of bleak moments in his past. He's a church guy; he also spent three days in jail, charged with boarding the Los Angele Metro train without a ticket. He's a soulful guy with immense gospel talent; he's also tried to rein that in at times, with mixed results.

Lusk talked to reporters today, after being ousted from "American Idol" on Thursday. Here's the story I sent to papers:

"Idol": Jacob is gone, but the music soars

So there I was, bummed by Jacob Lusk being ousted tonight from "American Idol." We knew it would happen sometime; the poor guy had spent lots of weeks in the bottom three. Still, you hate to see the ouster of one of the most magnificent voices in the 10 years of "Idol."

And then, by happy coincidence, I plugged in an advance screener of Monday's "American Experience." It provided a reminder that Lusk's music style will go on and on; it already has.

"Idol" voters: Go figure

OK, tonight's "American Idol" results are tough to figure.

Scotty McCreery, a potential country superstar, was in the bottom three. So was Jacob Lusk, the show's best pure singer. And Casey Abrams (the best musician) was voted out -- again. This time, the judges couldn't save him.

What do we make of it? A few conclusions:

1) It's helpful, in the early rounds, to have an odd niche. When there are 13 contestants, 10 percent of the votes can mean survival. As the field shrinks, however, it's best to be near the pop mainstream.

"Idol": A great year to be a teen

On Wednesday, "American Idol" producer Ken Warwick told reporters that the voting procedures may be tweaked next season. "It's something that w're going to have a long discussion about," he said.

And tonight, we again saw that a change is needed.

The shock wasn't that Stefano Langone was sent home. He's been in the bottom two or three most weeks; two weeks ago (when Pia Toscano was ousted) he seemed stunned that it wasn't him.

Idol: Scotty's way too casual

It's really possible to be too casual and, I must admit, too country. On tonight's "American Idol," Scotty McCreery pushed that to the limit.

The typical country song shows off the story, not the singer. That means it doesn't work well in a singing competition.

Kellie Pickler learned that a few years ago, when she chose a pleasantly bland song. "You had an entire year to pick from and you chose 'Soap Suds in the Bucket'?" Simon Cowell groaned.

"Idol": Flashy singers, pretty judges, heavy metal

OK, it's lucky Jennifer Lopez remembered to have hair tonight.
"American Idol" made a big thing about People magazine naming her the
most beautiful woman in the world, with lots of close-ups.

she looked pretty good -- Paula Abdul good, Steven Tyler good -- so
that was OK. Some nights, she kind of forgets and piles her hair up in
the air, barely becoming the most beautiful woman in the deli line. A
few comments:

"Idol": The guys keep soaring

I've always liked the women on "American Idol." That may be due to my sexuality (hetero) or some other personal quirk. Whatever the reason, it's an ongoing thing; twice in the finals, I was rooting for the female (Katharine McPhee, Crystal Bowersox) who lost to a guy.

So this wasn't an easy conclusion for me: This year, the guys totally and completely dominate "Idol."

The guys rule "Idol"

In years past, "American Idol" judges would proclaim a "guys' year" or a "girls' year" or such. This time, alas, there's no discussion; the guys rule, big-time.

Yes, the women did pretty well tonight, especially Pia Toscano (as usual) and Lauren Alaina (with an instant comeback). But none would or could do anything to match four transcendent guys.

"Idol": OK, now let's get serious

"American Idol" has finally reached the good part, trimming someone each week. That means it has my full attention; a few comments about Wednesday's show and then a prediction: