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Published: Thursday, 3/8/2007

Why America?

Here s the good news: Antonella Barba has been finally kicked off American Idol as she should have been several WEEKS ago. Kudos to America for realizing that while she s great to look at, she doesn t have the pipes to continue on in the top 12.

I had hoped that Antonella was going to get booted, but instead predicted that Haley Scarnato and Sabrina Sloan would be sent home packing.

Sabrina was my long shot, because vocally she s outstanding, but as I said before, I just didn t think she showed enough personality to keep going. I thought Haley going home was a no-brainer.

• See Erika Ray and Frank Corsoe haggle over American Idol. Note that their discussion took place Thursday afternoon before Thursday night's elimination.

Sabrina Sloan Sabrina Sloan

But in true crazy Idol fashion, Haley took one of the Top 12 chairs while Sabrina sang her last amazing note on the show.

Onto even worse news: Sanjaya Malakar is in the top 12. Just in case you don t think you read that right: Sanjaya is NOT going home. We ll have to listen to him sing AGAIN. I was actually willing to bet money that he would have been booted Thursday night, and was fairly confident in that assessment when I sat down with The Blade's sports editor Frank Corsoe on Thursday morning.

Sundance Head Sundance Head

Why America? Why would you allow Sundance Head to go back home to Texas, ESPECIALLY after rocking out to Jeremy on Tuesday night? I was expecting great things from him, as was judge Paula Abdul.

I m speechless, she said after Sanjaya stole his place in the top 12 and Sundance was given the mike to sing one last time on Idol. This is a singing competition, and Sundance here is one of our finest. It s mind-boggling.

Jared Cotter Jared Cotter

Also booted Thursday night was Jared Cotter, probably because I can t imagine him getting any votes from guys. He tried WAAAAYYYY too hard to appeal to the ladies, shown by his song choices If You Really Love Me, Let s Get It On, and Back at One.

Man, for the third time in a row, I successfully chose just two out of the four going home.

Apparently, I have to quit paying attention to the contestants singing voices and just randomly pull names out of a hat because I d probably be just as accurate. So far, the shocker of the season has to be that Sundance didn t make it to the top 12.

What wasn t really shocking is that the announcement that host Ryan Seacrest has been hyping all week turned out to be that Fox, American Idol, and the Charity Projects Entertainment Fund have partnered to start a fund-raising effort they re calling Idol Gives Back.

Idol sponsors and a bunch of additional partners plan to donate money to the charity that will help children living in extreme poverty in both the United States and Africa based on the number of votes that are tallied for the top six contestants on April 24.

It s an admirable plan, considering that nearly 37 million people voted their favorites into the top 12 on Tuesday and Wednesday night alone. Nice idea!

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