We're done with the individual cities, and now they're cutting together the odds and ends. Sounds bad, right? The best part of the show was the previews for next week, when we finally get to Hollywood, the place we've been hearing for weeks that we're going to. Mostly, we've got to wade through a lot of dross. A few comic characters, but I've seen too many in the last few weeks to be in the mood to describe them for you. There are a couple of sweet guys who aren't very good, but love Paula a lot, and everyone is pretty nice to them -- almost as if they suddenly feel a sense of responsibility for what happens in the lives of the rejected contestants. Amid all that there were four really good singers tonight.
1. Tami Gosnell, the pedi-cabbie who could pedal Randy, Paula, and Simon uphill and who they said looked like some star from the 60s (clearly, Janis Joplin). She sang "Whipping Post" with lots of power and a distinctive tone.
2. Paul Kim, an Asian guy who was irritated that when people think of an Asian guy on "American Idol," they always think of the comic contestant William Hung.
3. The incredibly beautiful (and tall and roller-skate-wearing) Ebony Jointer. She sings a Whitney Houston song and makes us think we're looking at the Season 6 winner.
4. Finally, there's the one we think of as the new Mandisa: Lakisha Jones. She sings "Think" -- "Freedom! Freedom!" -- exactly the way you'd want someone to sing "Think."