"American Idol" no longer makes any sense: Up is down, down is up. Right is left, left is north of Albany, which is in Iceland, but not New York State. It's all become terra incognita -- which certainly makes it intriguing, but definitely odd, and absolutely beyond the realm of reason. 

Even the judges are lost. They sat there last night, with a look of utter bewilderment, as if they too had effectively given up, as if to say: "All that stuff we said about you being a great star and how much we loved you? All of that? Nevermind. . ." 

Nevermind. James Durbin should have made it to the final two. Instead: Out. 

In the scheme of things, these sort of season endings don't really matter at all.  If he's genuinely talented, and all appearances very much suggest that he is, then some day he'll be selling records. 

Actually winning "American Idol" doesn't matter at all either, and a case could even be made that it's a career misstep -- the sort of thing that you have to live up to forever, and that you inevitably do not. 

Winning "American Idol" guarantees absolutely nothing -- other than that record contract and a meet-and-greet with Simon Fuller.

Winning simply says more people voted for you -- but they probably won't buy your records anyway.

So congratulations, James! You didn't win. Lucky you. 

(Up is down, etc.) 

The other fact from last night is how handily it demolished that unshakable piece of conventional "Idol" wisdom -- that the female contestants won't move forward because the female voters won't vote for them. Conventional wisdom is, after all, conventional.

Also this: "Idol" has hinted that it'll shake up the voting process next season. But to what? Any adjustment will result in an exagerated and unintended result, too, simply because no one can really predict how voting procedures will affect an outcome. Until there's an outcome. 

So this is where we stand: Haley, Lauren and Scotty. 

Everyone will say, "oh Scotty's got it in the bag . . ."  Except, of course, no one really knows. But that doesn't stop this who-will-win industry from churning out bogus predictions, and error-riddled prognostications.

No one knows who will win.

Until the winner really does win.

And he or she will be lucky if he or she doesn't. . . 

That said, I am still sticking with my McCreery prediction.

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