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'"Amazing Race,'' ''American Idol''

By RD Heldenfels Published: April 19, 2006

Here's the link to the latest podcast:

And here are last night's notes:

First, a brief shocker on ''American Idol,'' where the bottom three included Chris, Paris and Ace. I wonder if Chris's rocker fans thought his mellow side Tuesday was a bit of a sell-out. But it's more likely that the top 6 were all very close, and Ace way behind them all. At least, I gave him the lowest grade on Tuesday.

Remarkable, though, that Kellie can admit to butchering a song and still survive. My guess is that she racked up the sympathy votes. Beyond that, I have no theories.

On ''Amazing Race,'' the long-awaited non-elimination round happened, and conveniently so, since the last place team was the likable BJ & Tyler (a.k.a. the Hippies). In fact, it was a rough run for them and for Eric & Jeremy, who seemed to be dominating the game. Shows what a little bad luck and a couple of wrong turns can do.

Big points, though, for Fran & Barry, who finished first and -- as well as I can remember -- are the toughest older team the show has produced. Still, after Barry had to dig in all that sand, couldn't Fran have done the driving?

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