‘American Idol’ Says Bye-Bye To Didi Benami, Our Panel Saw The Exit Sign

By Eric Ditzian

Even though the judges predicted that a female would win this season, women are quickly becoming an endangered species on “American Idol.” Last night’s ouster of a teary-eyed Didi Benami leaves the ladies with just three representatives: Crystal Bowersox, Siobhan Magnus and Katie Stevens (who’s slummed it in the bottom-three for two straight weeks and is in serious danger during next week’s Lennon/McCartney-themed show).

Yet while we mourn the passing of yet another “Idol” lady, we can’t say we didn’t see this coming. Didi ditched what everyone thought was her gal-with-a-guitar wheelhouse (on display during tunes like Fleetwood Mac’s “Rhiannon”) and became a fragile crooner with no defined identity. Last week’s head-scratching rendition of Linda Ronstadt’s “You’re No Good” had our resident “Idol” guru Jim Cantiello wondering if Didi had embraced “performance art [as] a defense mechanism against her stage fright.” We might never know the answer, because on Tuesday (March 30) she was even more perplexing during “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted” by Jimmy Ruffin, and now she’s headed home — as both Cantiello and our Gil Kaufman predicted.

MJ Santilli of MJ’s Big Blog, meanwhile, was close to selecting Didi as the contestant not long for the “Idol” stage, but instead declared eternal bottom-three-er Tim Urban would be the one going home. It was close, but the dimpled, Teflon-coated 19-year-old survived once again.

After five weeks of “Idol” forecasting, here are the current standings.

Gil Kaufman: 8-of-11

Jim Cantiello: 6-of-11

MJ Santilli: 5-of-11

And so we come to another week of live shows, with the show down nine hopefuls. The week’s theme will be the songbook of Beatles legends John Lennon and Paul McCartney. “Idol” last plumbed their catalog in season seven. Back then, David Archuleta busted out an up-tempo version of “We Can Work It Out” (forgetting a slew of lyrics along the way), Jason Castro debuted an acoustic reworking of “If I Fell” and eventual winner David Cook delivered a brooding take on “Eleanor Rigby.”

Next week won’t be Lennon and McCartney’s first appearance on season nine. Lilly Scott (“Fixing a Hole”), Katelyn Epperly (“Oh! Darling”) and Haeley Vaughn (“I Want to Hold Your Hand”) all sampled the Beatles songbook. And now, all three of these singers have been voted off. Should we be worried?

Who did you think was going home on “American Idol” last night? What will you miss most about Didi Benami? Who will be the next contestant to go home? Let us know in the comments!