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''Idol'': Goodbye, Melissa (Updated With Podcast Info)

By RD Heldenfels Published: March 15, 2006

Here's the info on last night's podcast with me and Amy Carlson Gustafson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press:

Below are the notes I filed Wednesday after the results show.

If you checked out Tuesday's podcast, you heard the reasons why Melissa was a prime candidate for ouster even though she was not the worst singer. (In short, Kellie and Kevin may have been worse but still have followings, while Melissa -- and, I thought, Bucky -- were more in the danger zone of OK but not likely to spark enough passion to retain a solid voting base.)

So we can't be surprised that tonight was Melissa's last. Her final performance tonight was pretty awful, too. But the show did have its bits of drama, with Ace and Lisa in the bottom three, especially Ace. (More about him in a bit.)

Although neither had a stellar night, there were plenty of worse performances. And, if you keep a cumulative score the way many viewers do, Ace had piled up so many early points that he should have been safe anyway.

Maybe this is one of those cases of overconfident fans figuring they didn't have to protect their guy, only to put him in jeopardy. Eventual champion Ruben Studdard was also in the bottom two or three at least once, if memory serves. Also, since we don't know vote totals, we don't know if there was a huge voting gap between Melissa and Ace, or even between Melissa and Lisa. In online stuff I looked at today, Melissa was a pretty strong consensus pick to go bye-bye.

But enough about the vote. Let's just ponder for a moment how long half an hour can feel.

We got the previous night's recap -- with some reordering of performances, so that it looked as if Paris's turn was the show's climax. We got the semi-humorous promotional video for a car. We got Stevie Wonder performing. (Fox alluded in a promo to this being a rare performance. Did we not just see him at the Super Bowl?) And, finally, voting results.

And, along the way, one more reason to hate Kevin: He didn't manage to look the slightest bit guilty that Ace was in the bottom three while he was safe.

One more Ace note: This item arrived today from UPN --

"The Big Off Pitch Episode"-When Dee Dee's first potential client, Ace (guest star "American Idol" contestant Ace Young) decides he wants to quit baseball to sing, she turns to Mona, so she can intentionally crush his music dreams, but when the pro-athlete turns out to be musically gifted, an all out bidding war breaks out between the half-sisters who both want to sign him, on a rebroadcast of HALF & HALF, Monday, April 3 (9:30-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on UPN. has reported that Ace and ''Half & Half'' star Essence Atkins are an item.

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