It's Latin Week! There are no Latin performers! Jennifer Lopez is the celebrity coach, so I'm sure we're all looking forward to some fanny from this giant of Latin music. I am taking notes in between transcribing the latest video-blog by Crazy Pammy of Atlas Shrugs AND drinking Sapphire martinis, so my head hurts something awful. It occurs to me as the credits roll that if only Howard Stern had called a bunch of talented, dedicated teenagers "nappy-headed hos" instead of Don Imus, my life would be much better right now. I'm such a selfish fuck. Let's get right to it.
MELINDA ("Sway", Dean Martin): Man, fuck y'all haters, Melinda is hot. Also, what a shock, she does a good job, vamping it up and even playing to the camera a lot, which she hasn't done much before – a sign of improvement. This isn't a stunner of a performance like we've seen from her in the past, but what does she have to prove at this point? Note in retrospect: Melinda is the only one who picks a classic Latin-jazz song instead of some two-bit pop garbage by a modern Latino performer. Simon dumps on her a bit, but he's gotta do somethin'. I think he's just had his spirit broken by Sanjaya and is taking it out on everyone.
LAKISHA ("Conga", Gloria Estefan): Boy, speaking of non-stunner performances…is this the week that the best of the best have an off night? Melinda was good but not great, and LaKisha seemed really tired and off. She didn't do much with this song at all, and really just seemed like she wanted it to be over. It wasn't terrible, but it seemed very lackluster. Randy liked it, but Randy is an idiot. I'm still gonna vote for her, because overall, she's still the second-best performer on the show, but this was maybe the worst we've seen her, and she's gonna need the help at this point.
REMAINING CHRIS ("Smooth", Santana): Ah, it's a real classic of Latin music for Chris. Takes me back to those golden days of Havana, 2003. No, wait, I mean Brooklyn. Anyway, this was pretty competent, but not inspiring – good performance, though, and he didn't fuck up, which will get him through this round because all the other guys stink. Drunk Paula still wants to do Chris.
HALEY ("Turn the Beat Around", Gloria Estefan): Every week Haley's skirts/pants/shorts get shorter and shorter, because she knows where the remaining butter on her bread is coming from. She basically ignores J-Lo's advice –either that or she simply has no sense of rhythm – because she butchers this thing, overfinessing it like crazy, losing the beat all over the place, and getting outshone by the backup singers. Awful. Simon completely nails what she's up to, as usual – if only he does that for Sanjaya. Haley could be doomed here, because it ain't gonna be him.
PHIL ("Maria, Maria", Santana): This song blows, as do most of the songs so far tonight, but that's not Phil's fault. It is Phil's fault that he's not that great, but he actually does an okay job with this, considering what we just had to suffer through with Haley. I just don't have much to say about this. It's Phil-like.
JORDIN ("Rhythm is Gonna Get You", Gloria Estefan): Remember how I said none of these people are Latin? Yeah, that. I mean, I'm not gonna say that these are a bunch of rhythm-deficient slices of whitebread, particularly since Jordin is not actually white, but if you're gonna sing "Rhythm is Gonna Get You", you should try to, you know, have some rhythm. This is flat as hell, and it's amazing because Jordin is usually pretty fine. These recent performances are just making LaKisha and Melinda's substandard performances look much better by comparison. This is just a really off night for everyone, it seems -- Chris has put in the best performance of the night, which is terrifying.
BLAKE ("I Need to Know", Marc Anthony): Ooog, this starts well, but it sounds like he actually botches the notes completely in the first chorus. Not bad to begin, but he really goes downhill from there. I'm choosing to blame Latin Music Night, because man, everyone sucks chorizo tonight. He picks it up a little – very little – at the end, but it's not nearly enough. I was hoping for a wow performance here, because all we have left now is Sanjaya. The judges say it's the best of the night, which gives you some idea of how much of a slog the last hour has been.
SANJAYA ("Besame Mucho", COnsuelo Velasquez): Jennifer does all the singing in his training session. Do you know why? That's right. I was worried for a second that Sanjaya was going to be unexpectedly good, but he has to focus so much on remembering the Spanish words that he can't pay attention to what his cruddy voice is doing. It's probably his best performance (in other words, it's about as good as Phil's worst performance), and he makes googly-eyes at the teenyboppers on the other side of the camera, so he'll get a bajillion votes. Simon needs to eviscerate him, but instead he pays him a left-handed compliment. This show was fun while it lasted.
WINNER: Sanjaya. Sanjaya. Sanjaya. And I still have to go listen to more of Atlas Shrugs. Why do we fear death? Why do we not welcome its sweet eternal embrace?