This is American Idol?!

Sorry, I’m not very excited about “American Idol” this week …

Call it Cabin Fever, but it could be that lately I’ve had no desire to watch television. It’s nearly hit a point of hating to turn on the big box at night -- unless it’s for “Lost,” which is the only show I really, truly look forward to watching right now.

(Yeah, “Lost!” … How good is that show right now, right?! I know it’s good when I’d rather drop every thing and every thought, and allow myself to be absorbed completely by that show. And then do little talking about it afterward, just letting it settle into my brain like a mudslide. … But, oooh, I‘m liking the idea of Sawyer and Juliette together, which made the whole Kate-showing-up-at-the-end thing so much more dramatic …But, I digress … )

Lately, I would rather spend two hours rocking a screaming, squirmy Phoebe to sleep than be glued to a couch, watching a television.

Amid the frigid winter, the duties of fatherhood, the threat of more layoffs, plummeting economy and some side projects, I haven’t been feeling inspired to blog much lately, either. There are bigger things looming …

So then … I’ve been pondering my noticeably lessened enthusiasm for “Idol” since the early audition rounds. Is it the many changes and the addition of the Wild Cards? Maybe, it’s the new judge? Is it that I find this year’s lineup less interesting and talented than past years, and thus haven’t latched on to any number of contestants the way I have in the past (See: Brooke White, Danny Noriega, Gina Glocksen, Chris Sligh). I don’t know.

And if I hear Kara label a contestant as “commercial” or “package” one more time, or even if she tries to convince an artist he/she should be a blues singer rather than a pop singer, I think I might throw Phoebe’s toy basket at the TV …

Ah, but the pull of “Idol” -- and my love for music -- still lingers. So I keep watching.

On with the show …

* * *

For the record, I thought Tuesday’s performance night was the worst of the trio of semifinal rounds … It seemed like a lot more than 12 people performed. More like 22. Goodness, that felt like a looooooong show.

I can’t understand why people seem so hyped-up about Lil Rounds … Or Jorge Nunez for that matter. So he got excited about his performance and started blabbering to the judges in Spanish. Big deal, it wasn’t that great.

(I, too, would like to know how the performance order is picked. I’ve only been a faithful “Idol” watcher since Season 6, but I’ve noticed every year that it seems like the most buzzed-about contestants get the prime performance spots. Lakisha Jones, David Archuleta and Danny Gokey are a few who come to mind … )

“Blind Man” Scott Macintyre (“Mandolin Wind”), Kendall Beard (“This One’s For the Girls”), Ju’not Joyner (“Hey There Delilah”) and Taylor Vaifanua (“If I Ain't Got You”) picked some great songs, but I thought their vocals left something to be desired. On Ju’not’s slowed-down take of “Delilah,” I couldn’t have agreed more with Simon: Halfway through I was ready for it to be over.

Arianna Afsar‘s take on Abba‘s “The Winner Takes It All” and Alex Wagner-Trugman’s version of Elton John’s “I Guess That’s Why They Call it the Blues” were deathly awful … Seriously, guys. You can’t just add a bunch of runs and roars to a song and think that makes it more contemporary. Ridiculous.

Nathaniel Marshall’s performance of Meatloaf’s “I Would Do Anything For Love” was just boring.

The only clear-cut winner, from where I was sitting, was the second-chance-girl Felicia Barton singing Alicia Keys’ “No One.” She was easily the female performer of the night, I thought.

And I thought Kristen McNamara, singing “Gimme One Reason,” was a good second, even while the judges ripped her. Yeah, I got the karaoke vibe, too, but compared to the rest of the singers on Tuesday night, I thought she was in -- if not, then a Wild Card spot for sure.

Which left Von Smith, who started the night with a decent “You’re All I Need to Get By,” despite missing some of his lower notes, as my pick to take the third spot.

How wrong I was.

Lil, Jorge and Scott were the three who got through. Kristen and Felicia were discounted even for Wild Card spots.

* * *

Going into Thursday night’s Wild Card show, Kates and I were rooting most for Jesse Langseth, Von Smith, Megan Corkrey, Matt Giraud and Jasmine Murray …

Coming out of Thursday night’s performances, I figured on Jasmine Murray (“Reflections”) and Megan Corkrey (“Black Horse and the Cherry Tree”) being clear favorites -- though my adoration for them is burning out, too …

I was calling for Matt Giraud (“Who’s Lovin’ You”) as the top male. Gosh, with his soulful take on “Who’s Loving You,” I was ready for Kara to have an orgasm right there on the “Idol” stage.

The performances by Jessi (“Tell Me Something Good”), Von Smith (“Sorry Seems To Be the Hardest Word”) and Ricky Braddy (“Superstition”) were good but not great. … I didn’t even bother taking notes on Tatiyana who sang Whitney Houston A-gain. What the crap is she thinking!?

And Anoop Desai as the unprecedented No. 13? I don’t think he’s tops in the bunch, but if he’s in it means I can keep singing my “Anoop shoop, doo-doop” song every time his name is called.

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