It was "Latin Night" for the remaining eight "Idol" contestants Tuesday, and, clearly, there was room for only one diva with Latina bombshell Jennifer Lopez in the house. How else to explain the guy contestants coming across better than the women, who have typically been held in higher esteem this season?
J.Lo challenged Melinda Doolittle to bring the sizzle on "Sway." But when Doolittle wisely opted for a more organic smolder, she got dinged by Simon for lacking personality. That was a first. LaKisha Jones didn't fare too much better with Miami Sound Machine's "Conga," with Paula judging it too safe.
Chris Richardson ignored J.Lo's advice to sing the Rob Thomas/Carlos Santana hit "Smooth" in a higher key, but Simon liked it because it sounded contemporary. Haley Scarnato's dreadful rendition of "Turn the Beat Around" was at least helped by again flaunting her physical assets. Cynical Simon advised her to keep wearing as little clothes as possible. Bald-headed stepchild Phil Stacey couldn't catch a break from the judges, even if he did give J.Lo goosepimples with his vocals on Santana's "Maria, Maria."
Simon found super bubbly Jordin Sparks "very frus-TRA-ting" singing Gloria Estefan's "The Rhythm is gonna get you." Jordin was sort of channeling Christina Aguilera, the wrong Latin diva for this song. Blake Lewis was the other hero of the night singing Mark Anthony's "I Need to Know," which Randy called hot and the best song choice of the night. And a little pandering didn't hurt. Anthony is J.Lo's husband. And in the anchor spot was the indestructible Sanjaya Malakar (dude, lose the facial hair), warbling "Besame Mucho," impressing J.Lo and bewildering the judges. "It wasn't horrible," said Simon.