I just watched American Idol, and I was reminded why I've never been able to stay interested in that series.
Melinda Doolittle, by far the most impressive singer this season, was sent home, sending to the finals a lightweight Melinda imposter, and a talentless assclown. Sorry, I'm sure that's an unfair assessment, but based on the limited number of episodes I've seen this season, that's my impression.
Although I was shocked at first that Melinda was voted off, in retrospect it makes perfect sense because of Idol's horribly flawed voting system. If you're going to have an elimination-style program like this, you should be voting OFF the person that you like least. But Idol instead has you vote for the person you like the most, and then whoever gets the fewest votes gets booted. Thus, the person who leaves isn't the contestant people dislike the most, it's the contestant people like the least. That subtle but important distinction is Idol's fatal flaw, and it allows for all sorts of unnatural events, like Sanjaya hanging around for weeks because a small but committed group wanted him to stay.
In other words, if fans had been asked to vote AGAINST somebody, nobody would've voted against Melinda, and she would've made the finals as deserved. But she lost tonight because she was ignored. Everyone just assumed she'd be in the finals, so her supporters didn't make any sort of extra effort to get out the vote for her. The fans of Jordin and Blake knew their favorites were in BIG trouble, and therefore voted 3 or 4 or 10 times each, to try to edge the other out. What happened as a result is that both had enough votes to surpass Melinda. They made it because of a horribly flawed voting process.
I know it's unrealistic to expect them to change the voting process. The idea of voting against people might seem too cruel, or it might cost Fox too much money by discouraging repeat votes. But it would be the only way to ensure justice.