Chrissligh_americanidol6top12_240American Idol fans, let’s take pause, for just a second, to enjoy these blissfully brief 30-minute results shows while we still can. If having to watch ‘Til Death is the price we pay for less filler, then so be it, says I.

Wednesday (March 28) night’s Idol results show begins with host Ryan Seacrest taking the stage in a frightful wig mimicking Sanjaya Malakar’s unique seven-horned faux-hawk from Tuesday. As the crowd whoops and Sanjaya has a great laugh at his own perceived tonsorial bravery, Ryan declares, "I’ve been Sanjayaed."

Doesn’t that sound like just about the worst thing that could happen to somebody at this point? It’s not as painful as being Bobbitted, I guess. It’s a bit more dignified than being Britneyed. It has better hygiene than being Federlined. But does anybody want to be Sanjayaed?

The evening’s Ford commercial plays to the fetishistic tendencies of any viewer with a desire to see Chris Richardson in chaps. While the ladies of Bad Girls were more believable as Western heroes, Chris lip-synches amiably to "I Fought the Law." As always, the commercial makes me want to trade in my own Ford for something Japanese.

It’s immediately time for the Bottom Three.

Blake Lewis is safe. LaKisha Jones isn’t going anywhere. Despite having given one of his very best performances on Tuesday, Phil Stacey is the first contestant sent to the Bottom Three. Melinda Doolittle is good to go for another week. Chris Richardson, bedecked with what appear to be product labels, is safe. America’s favorite lightning rod Sanjaya will antagonize viewers for another week. Haley Scarnato, whose name is accompanied by whistles and hoots, is sent to join Phil. Jordin Sparks is good to go as well. That leaves Gina Glocksen (one of Tuesday’s standouts) and Chris Sligh (Tuesday’s biggest dud) waiting while FOX sells products.

The answer to tonight’s American Idol Challenge is Ruben Studdard, but you knew that, America. And Ryan reveals that Exxon-Mobil has signed on as a sponsor for Idol Gives Back, which totally makes up for that whole Valdez thing. Darnit. I promised I wouldn’t make fun of Idol Gives Back. Seriously, anything charitable Exxon-Mobil wants to do is worth supporting.

Does it make me an old man that I desperately want to call Gwen Stefani’s duet partner "Acorn"? Yes. I suppose it does. Well, Ol’ Gwen and Acorn do a very winning rendition of "The Sweet Escape." As we learned last night, this is one of those songs that’s fun when Gwen sings it and probably wouldn’t be bad for Jordin Sparks, but would take on new meaning if Sanjaya were get the chance to do his own cover. [Gwen is tall. Ryan is short. That bears repeating.]

Back to Gina and Chris on the spot. Gina sticks out her lower lip in feigned sadness as Chris goes off to the Bottom Three. Ryan quickly sends Phil back to the group, safe.

Randy says it’s a tough call. Paula says this is never a fun time. Pressed for candor, Simon announces, "I think it’s bye-bye Curly,"

Haleyscarnato_americanidol6top12_24Ultimately, Haley is safe and we’ll all be able to ogle her for at least one more week. Sorry. I mean we’ll be able to appreciate her unique take on the music of Tony Bennett.

That’s it for Chris. He won’t have the chance to make David Hasselhoff cry. Chris is given the chance to reprise the Police song he destroyed on Tuesday night. Guess what? He still can’t sing it. In a cute moment, he exits hugging his fellow contestants, telling Phil he owes him 50 bucks.

The ‘Fro Patro’ is no mo’.

Ryan describes Chris as "one of the most clever contestants we’ve ever had" and my two-bit analysis is simple: Chris made it into the Top 24 on the basis of his personality, but decided he wanted to actually win the competition on the basis of his voice and he ditched almost everything that was initially playful about his persona. Since he wasn’t a bad singer, that good faith carried over for a few weeks, but the first week his voice (and sense of rhythm) failed Chris totally, viewers no longer had that wit and humor to remember.

So long, Chris. You weren’t the worst singer left, but American Idol is a game and you didn’t play it correctly.

America, did you make the right choice? And what Tony Bennett song should Sanjaya sing? Sound off on the Idol results…

And check out all of our Complete Zap2it American Idol Coverage.

Posted by:Daniel Fienberg