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the water cooler

Has ‘American Idol’ Jumped the Shark?

Melinda DoolittleCourtesy of Fox

As if Sanjaya Malakar's longevity on American Idol this season didn't drive the point home, Melinda Doolittle's elimination last night proved it: This year's voters prize personality over pipes. What did the critics think of her ousting?

"Okay, so either there was something really funky in the chicken-and-cheese quesadilla I had for dinner tonight, or I just watched Melinda Doolittle get the boot from American Idol." [EW]

"If there's another lesson we've learned this year on Idol, it's to stay away from the ironic message T-shirts on elimination night. Doolittle's gothic-script black T said it all: "Death Cheater." [MTV News]

"For someone of such talent not to make it to the finale can mean only one thing. There's got to be an American Idol conspiracy here somewhere … The whole show is fixed. American Idol producers didn't want Melinda Doolittle to win." [Reality TV Magazine]

"The nation has decided: American Idol has jumped the shark. Not only did Melinda Doolittle, the season's strongest and 'most consistent' contestant, not make it to next week's finale, even judge Simon Cowell looked bored enough to slip into a deep sleep during last night's results show." [Boston Herald]
Caryn Ganz