It was a turbulent week for American Idol. Just when you thought you'd only have to be subjected to Corey Clark two nights a week, like a virulent case of herpes, he was back when least expected--all over our TVs on Monday night. Seems Paula's sweetheart has a darker side--charged with beating his sister and going to trial this month. Without regard for due-process, Corey joined Freedomie Davis on the scrap-heap of contestants labeled by the AI Producers as too embarrassing to allow to continue.

But by Tuesday evening, as American Idol-time rapidly approached, we learned from ET that last week's pre-empted Disco Night was back on! Washing away the negatoid feelings, one could almost sense the AI audience letting out a collective Cool-and-the-Gangesque Woo-hoo! It was going to be amazing: these kids would nail those songs, and hey, bringing the fun was what disco was about, so the night held so much promise.

But very disappointingly, American Disco-Idol turned into more of a yawn-fest than a dance-a-thon. Not helping matters was the guest judge. Straight from the "who-the-hell-is-he" files, former (current? who knows) Earth, Wind and Fire bassist Verdine White was rolled out on stage to the herald of Seacrest horns--like this guy was even on the radar screen of any member of the studio audience. To be fair, he ended up being well spoken, but I have a hard time believing AI couldn't entice someone with a little more credibility to come out. And why wasn't Ryan wearing a leisure suit? Bah.

Anyway, after enduring an entirely unconvincing (well, I suspect it was; I admit having to mute the annoying little woman-beater) talking-head piece from the so-five-minutes-ago Gorey Clark, we got on with the show.

Rickey - First up was Rickey. Sporting either the dead carcass of a wildebeest or a massive faux afro, Rickey was feelin' the fun tonight. Looking very good in an orange/red paisley shirt, Rickey has already proved himself in this range singing "The Way You Make Me Feel" during tryouts. But alas, Disco Rickey took a wrong turn at funkville and totally blew up EW&F's "Let's Groove." Sounding more like falsetto spoken word poetry gone wrong than disco, Rickey had his worst performance of the competition. At least he had the good-sense to ditch the wildebeest early on. Paula gushed about his entertaining, which, yeah, he did. But Randy and Simon weren't thrilled. Simon said he was shocked by "someone who should be performing at a children's party." Shocked? Really Simon? Remember the Hercules thing? Yeesh. Probably a bottom-three performance.

Carmen - Having taken the "less-is-more" approach to her makeup, Carmen made up for it by adding extensions. Truly she was looking fine in a black top and gold-lame pajama pants. Bleating "Turn the Beat Around," she got down to the nitty-gritty. But Carman has a like-her-or-hate-her type voice. I like it, and despite luke-warm reception from Randy, she did her best job so far. Simon wisely pointed out that Carmen is the most "commercial" of all the girls left.

Kimberly C - Having patiently waited through two songs to see which part of Kim C's anatomy she'd show off tonight, we weren't let down. What we got was a pseudo-disco/Pirates of Penzance black number with gold lame sash--and a lot of back-skin. Never disappoint an audience, I guess. Singing the great "Knock on wood," Kim added some rock edge to it. Randy pointed out how poor the arrangement was (he was right). Paula criticized *gasp* her pitch. Like Simon said, "Woopee." Not great, not awful. Bleh. Given the continuing nonsensical backlash against her, Kim probably walked-the-plank into the bottom three again this week.

Clay - Next we were treated to Disco Clay singing "Everlasting Love." We discovered tonight that Disco Clay is the same as Country/Rock Clay and Motown Clay. That is to say, Clay once again ignored completely the theme of the night and just sang very well in his lounge-singer-Vegasesque way. Yawn. I'm so over Clay. The song lyric says "open up your eyes," and darn, Clay should take that advice. Simon lays into Clay, who looks for a few seconds like he might cry, before recovering with his baby-sitter Ryan Seacrest. To be fair, I think he'd make a great Christian rock singer.

Trenyce - I think it's safe to say that the entire audience was prepared for Trenyce to steal the show tonight. And maybe that handbag over there too. Well, I didn't catch where the handbag ended up, but the show was secure. Though she did sing "I'm Every Woman" fairly well--the best of the evening to this point-- even this wasn't very special. Decked out in a Mini Pops-like orange over shirt and rainbow-bright tube top and just-about-too-short denim miniskirt, Trenyce looked more mouseketeer than Pop Idol. She did get a nice haircut. Randy and Paula gush, while Simon still isn't blown away. No one mentions that "I'm Every Woman" isn't a disco song. It's not.

Ruben - Channeling Barry White, Ruben puts in another very good performance. Singing "Can't Get Enough of That Sugar Crisp...erm, Your Love," the Velvet Teddy Bear does well, but again, it's not his best performance and not really disco. Ruben sports a nice cap and yeah, that same shirt. It's his look. Whatever. For a variation, maybe he'll represent his zip-code for his second album. Simon says he thinks Ruben should win the competition. He's got a point.

Kim Locke - Okay, Ruben's taken the most heat for his wardrobe (or lack thereof), but Kim's giving him a run for his money. The wide-spread opinion is that her outfit was bad. People are asking "who dresses this girl anyway?" Poor thing. Wearing a satin camisole and asymmetrical chiffon-type skirt, Kim's belly was a bit too obvious in the shiny material and studio lights. That being said, her massive hair and great make-up made her face shine and gave her a super-disco look. She got into "It's Raining Men" with some hip swaying. More so, Kimberley with an "e" was excellent--perhaps the best of the evening. It's not easy to follow Ruben, but damn, she did fantastic. The start of the song was a bit off for, say, 10 seconds of the looooows, but improved, improved, improved as she kicked it in the @ss. So, it's safe to say that in every way Kim really let it all hang out this week.

Josh - Last up for the evening was our Rhinestone Cowboy. Josh had a cold, so we'll let him off the hook this week for absolutely murdering "Celebration" by Kool and the Gang. Also, gotta give the guy props for sticking to the theme even if it's not at all his thing. A couple of the other contestants-- *cough*cough*clay*cough* --should take note. That being said, he sounded more like a drunk guy at some club near the speakers after last call than an American Idol this week. Weak. Simon calls it dreadful and adds that if he'd sung like that in try-outs, he'd not have made it to this level. Patriotism only goes so far, so Josh should be in the bottom 3 this week. Fickle fans may even send him packing. Then again, he might stick only to be sent overseas with his units as the attrition rate of AI contestants exceeds that of the Republican Guard.

So that's that. Bottom three are Rickey, Josh and probably Kim C. Best of a very average night was Kimberley Locke with Ruben and a surprising Carmen. A very dull and weak week. Too bad, as it held so much promise. At least it looked like the kids had fun. Well, hopefully next week will be better.