The lucky se7en get down with their bad selves this week in a country tribute hosted by Martina McBride. Obviously hardly anyone likes country, especially Simon, so this should be fun.

1. Phil – "Where the Blacktop Ends"

Phil claims to like country, and to be from Kansas (I think that's what he said), and to be really comfortable in this genre. Those are all fine claims to make, and they may well be true. It's hard for me to tell in which genre Phil feels most comfortable, because I can literally hear Phil dying while he sings. I am absolutely certain that he suffers from a terminal illness. He's probably on dialysis every second that he's not on that stage. And I'm not just saying this because he's bald. Listen to his voice. What's that? You can't hear it? It's too quiet? That's what happens when your body is struggling to fight against THE LAST STAGES OF SYPHILIS!

2. Jordin – "Broken Wing"
Jordin looked like a goddess tonight. I think she's pretty all the time, but tonight I really thought she looked like she emerged from the ocean, or maybe from a giant, vibrantly colored tropical flower, fully-formed and flowing and shimmery, just to sing to me the prettiest song I've ever heard. Okay, not prettiest. But it was a good Idol performance. Even Simon said so. He said she's going to win. Which means that Simon has finally decided to agree with me. For reals though, you guys, I'm totes in love with her.

3. Sanjaya – "Something to Talk About"

Sanjaya is dressed like a mechanic. Who is also a woman. Working on airplane engines. During WWII. The singing was sub-par, obviously (clarification: is was fairly good, for Sanjaya, but shitty for the standards to which everyone should be held). The judges have stopped humoring his billions of voters and decided to actually lay into him again this week. They were met with boos that, if they were arrows, would block out the sun at high noon. And then Simon would insult people in the shade.

4. LaKisha – "Jesus Take the Wheel"

Obviously SOMEONE had to sing a Carrie Underwood song, and I'm okay with that somebody being LaKisha. Personally, I thought she did a pretty good job tonight. She gave me chills on some of the big notes, her hair looked nice, and she managed to keep most of her boobies covered up. I even forgave her metallic golden space boots. The judges were all, "Fuh fuh fuh you could soooo totally do better," which I think is just a tactic they sometimes employ to get people to pity-vote for her. So they won't vote for Sanjaya as part of the American Revolution II: Electric Bugaloo.

5. Chris – "Mayberry"
Chris sucked at singing a little bit tonight, and because he looked like he was ready to cry all through his judging and offered his condolences and prayers to VT students and families, I'm guessing it was because of that, and really that just makes me love him more. He is from Virginia. I bet he's sincerely torn up about it. I mean, on a more personal level than your average sincerely upset person. This week I also discovered why I love Chris, exactly, despite his apparent lack of vocal talent: he's southern. I'd forgotten about that. I have a soft spot for southern boys. It's the accent, and the attitude, and their general love of whiskey and going barefoot and calling me "babydoll." Man, I cannot wait until Chris and I get married. Barefoot and whiskey-drunk.

6. Melinda – "Trouble is a Woman"
Melinda looks pretty fly this week. She got some sweet-ass hair extensions that seriously make her look about ten years younger. And although Melinda brings it, as usual, unfortunately it has already been broughten by Jordin, whom no one can touch this week. NO ONE. Not even Melinda, and you guys know how highly I think of her. Jordin FTW!!!!!1!!1!! (Spirit fingers!!!)

7. Blake – "When the Stars Go Blue"
Blake is a wizard. He made me love this song. He made me fall in love. Not with anyone in particular, but maybe with The Cure (again), I think, and Wilco, too? Anyone who has ever sung about stars or happens to sound like Robert Smith, which Blake kind of does, but more than that, it restored my faith in humanity. Because I've never heard the original version of this song before, but I'm sure it sounds a lot stupider than the one Blake sang. I mean, for sheerly mathematical reasons (that I doubt I will ever hear anything that sounds better than Blake's version of this song), but the point is that he took a song from a genre whose products I haven't been able to tolerate for the past ten years, at least, and made it awesome and clear and simple and vulnerable and lovable. Like a baby is lovable. I want Blake to kidnap me and carry me off to the cloud palace (designed by Le Corbusier) where he lives with his synthesizers and fog machines and light gobos. Also, Blake totally wore an argyle sweater and looked awesome in it. Remember when Jared tried to pull that shit? What a jell-o loving fool he was!

I seriously think that Sanjaya has a decent chance of going home this week. But who am I kidding? It'll probably be Phil, or, to the chagrin of my eternally broken heart, Chris.

P.S. In all sincerity, my best wishes to everyone who attends or knows someone who attends VT. I would hug each and every one of you if I could.