Ryan is wearing a ponyhawk wig as an opener. I imagine ponyhawks are showing up on more than a few MySpace pages and I wouldn't be surprised to see it on Saturday Night Live. Is is the decline of civilization? I don't think so. As bothersome as the Sanjaya situation has become, he seems to be riding the crest of the wave. Whether that wave is love for the underdog or backlash at commercialization or a combination of things it really doesn't matter. Love him or hate him, it's not his fault that he is still there, so he might as well make the best of it. How many of you are already imagining next week's hairstyle? Yeah, me too.

The ever-shifting format has Phil and Haley in the bottom two before we seacrest to commercial. How well one sings matters a bit, but how much the audience is attracted to or interested in a contestant makes just as much difference. Who has the audience lost interest in?

Meantime, while we perch on the edges of our seats in anxious anticipation, we are going to see Gwen Stephanie perform. I like “Sweet Escape” a lot more than the yodel thing. It's more pop than pop opera. Gwen is a visual artist in addition to singing. Her show is like Las Vegas on acid. Chinese dancers and gold-chained rappers and Gwen in impossibly tight clothing. It's like a stew that you can't quite figure out the ingredients, but you know it's good.

Joining Phil and Haley in the bottom three is Chris Sligh. Phil is safe and sets down. Haley is safe and Chris Sligh is going home. He has had great humor and entertained during his stay, but he didn't improve every week, at least not as much as some of the others. Good luck Chris. Next week is the music of Tony Bennett. That should be interesting. Anything can happen in Idol and does.