Dear Asia’h Epperson: (“I Wanna Dance with Somebody” by Whitney Houston) I’m going to borrow from Simon’s stock cue cards and cry karaoke. But really good karaoke sung by a reasonably sober person. I might be slightly biased, however, by the fact that 1) I apparently still absolutely detest that song as much now as I did in the 80’s and 2) every time I see your name I think your mother must have been one of those futuristic romance writers who think the liberal application of superfluous apostrophes gives that yummy alien flavor.
Dear Kady Malloy: (“Who Wants to Live Forever” by Queen) I am offended on Freddie’s behalf. Honestly, wtf were you thinking? And for God’s sake, blink once in a while.
Dear Amanda Overmyer: (“I Hate Myself for Loving You” by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts) You should have eaten your Wheaties this morning because that was weak. Honestly, you’re a bit of a one note wonder and you already sang that note. Oh, and don’t believe Randy. He’s obviously been sipping from Paula’s cup. Huh. So has Simon, I guess.
Dear Carly Smithson: (“I Drove All Night” by Roy Orbison) The only version of this song I’m familiar with is Celine Dion’s and…you’re not her. Sorry. However, if I was a lesbian and you didn’t have tattoos, I would totally date you. (It’s the accent.)
Dear Kristy Lee Cook: (“Faithfully” by Journey) I’ve liked you since your first audition, so I say this with love. 1) Unlike the judges, I’ve heard—and loved—not only Journey’s original but also country singer Lorrie Morgan’s version and yours is fairly meh in comparison. 2) You’ve got to stop scrunching your face up on one side like Popeye when you reach for the high notes.
Dear Ramiele Malubay: (“Against All Odds” by Phil Collins) Buh-bye now. And I don’t say that only because my husband is embarrassingly infatuated with you. (And even he didn’t like it.)
Dear Present and All Future Idol Contestants: Back away from the Phil Collins, k? You can’t do it. Nobody can. With the exception of Disturb’s “Land of Confusion” nobody ever has.
(Apparently all you have to do is butcher a Phil Collins song and any infatuation on my husband’s part dissipates. Good to know.)
Dear Brooke White: (“Love is a Battlefield” by Pat Benatar) Strangely, my favorite female performance of the season—perhaps the show itself. I mean, I love that song and this was kind of like Dolly Parton sings Pat Benatar. But it worked. It was absolutely beautiful and, though I think never having seen an R-rated movie is kind of weird and your Mary Poppins-ness will alienate you from the texting-mad pre-teen voting demographic, I’d like for you to win.
Dear Syesha Mercado: (“Saving All My Love for You” by Marilyn McCoo even though I thought it was a Whitney Houston song?) You bore me. I’m sorry. Your voice is lovely, but I feel no emotional connection to you.