American Idol: And Then There Were 12

Last night’s American Idol voting results proved one thing: We need to start checking text messages for hanging chads. Because like Pat Buchanan carrying the deli demographic in Florida’s Palm Beach County during the 2000 presidential election, something was fishy about the Idol vote. And it wasn’t the lox.

Having grown up with the shenanigans of the Chicago political machine, I’d like to believe that it was all just good old-fashioned vote fraud. How else to explain the ouster of Lilly Scott and even the loss of the improving though oft-maligned delicate flower that is Alex Lambert?

Otherwise I fear we’re heading into the realm of what the great philosopher Louis Prima would have called “that old black magic.” Lacey Brown appears to have cast a spell on America with eyes so piercing that she could play a she-wolf in Wolfen II. And while he may look like the victim in a teen slasher film from 1978, Tim Urban is proving harder to knock off than some bastard spawn of Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger. I demand to see his birth certificate, although I can’t wait to hear his version of “Sympathy For The Devil” during Rolling Stones week.

But gone they are: Lilly and Alex, and Katelyn Epperly and Todrick Hall. And so as this phase of Idol ends and the Top 12 chapter gets ready to begin, it is now time to issue our honors for performances during Idol’s semifinalist competition.

The Constitution Use-It-Or-Lose-It Golden Microphone: For the ousted Lilly Scott, who exercised her First Amendment rights and called things as she saw them by declaring with disgust, “I don’t know what America wants to hear.”

The Helter Skelter Award For Reinterpretation of Beatles Songs: To Haeley Vaughn for her version of “I Want To Hold Your Hand.” Somewhere Yoko Ono is declaring, “And people say that IM can’t sing?”

The Twilight/True Blood Platinum Garlic Press: Just wondering, but has anyone seen Tim (The Undead) Urban outside during the day?

The Bon Ami (Not Benami) Prize For Ethnic Cleansing: To American Idol voters who managed the early elimination of much of the competition’s diversity by voting off African-Americans, Latinas, and an Asian—for a total of six of the first eight departing contestants.

The Salon Selects/Sanjaya and Syesha Mercado Blowdryer of Renown: Let’s give it up for best-tressed Katelyn Epperly. She has got one great head of hair.

The Carrie Underwood You-Go-Girl Statuette For Scoring Hot Jocks: To Janell Wheeler who has reportedly dated University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow.

The James Cameron/Navi Thesaurus and Desk Reference Set: Given by acclamation to Alex Lambert for meritorious achievement in linguistic creativity. Alex had the guts to tell a national television audience that he invented his own language in sixth grade and continues to use it as part of his rehearsal and preparation process.

The San Andreas Fault/Andrea Bocelli Grant For The Merging of Tectonic Science and Music: To Katelyn Epperly whose tepid performance this week raised a musical question: If you feel the earth move under your feet but nobody else does, did an earthquake actually take place?

The Scottish Woolgrowers Golden Sheep Bequest: The award, a year’s supply of cashmere, will be split between Randy Jackson and Andrew Garcia in recognition of their ongoing efforts on behalf of the cardigan revival.

The Jermaine Sellers “I Know God” Brass Pulpit: To none other than Tim Urban who added the line, “I know that there’s a God above” to Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” Shameless pandering or is the dude onto something? Discuss.

And here’s the Top 12:

Didi Benami

Crystal Bowersox

Lacey Brown

Siobhan Magnus

Paige Miles

Katie Stevens

Lee Dewyze

Andrew Garcia

Casey James

Aaron Kelly

Michael Lynche

Tim Urban

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