"American Idol" starts with the news that "with the cooperation of law enforcement" they've eliminated one of their contestants -- they don't say his name, but it's Jermaine Jones.

Ryan Seacrest adds, "when you're doing a live show, anything can happen." OK... the reports are that Jones was kicked off because he had prior arrests, and outstanding warrants. What does that have to do with the show being live?

It seems more about lack of proper checking of the contestants -- it's not like that's done live and you only have two hours to do them all. It's typical of "Idol," they use words as if the actual meaning is irrelevant.

Back to the music; first up is Phillip Phillips, who was taken to the hospital this week and says he's still got pain in his side. But he's a trooper, so is up on stage.

Singing Otis Redding's "Hard to Handle," he's got good energy and a big smile. There's nothing particularly creative about his rendition..

Randy Jackson says "you sound amazing" and recommends he does something like that as a single later. Jennifer Lopez calls it "perfect, I loved it." Steven Tyler simply says, "watch your melody, but keep it up man, very good."

Yup, happy talk is back.

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