APPROVED_ai_08-paula-jazz_0392abrF_1[1] 1) After listening to the contestants on Tuesday night, shouldn't they add a 14th number for a "none of the above" category, even at the risk of connecting to another phone-sex line?

2) Paula Abdul has officially begun creeping me out, so much so that watching the show has become uncomfortable. I've been at parties before when I was talking to someone who acted like that, and the fascination with how they're holding themselves together begins to mesh uncomfortably with the sense that they might fall into you, throw a drink at you, or throw up on your shoes. Abdul's on-air demeanor has gotten so weird that even my buddy who got fixed up with her on a blind date in high school has finally stopped talking about it.

3) Fortunately, we have other people here that watch "American Idol" with religious fervor. I just can't bring myself to do that. Thanks to TiVo, however — zapping through all the human-interest fluff, Ryan Seacrest's non-interviews and the commercials — I actually finished a two-hour episode in about 50 minutes. Then I watched "The Daily Show" to cleanse my palate and reactivate my brain.

4) Favorite moment: When Simon Cowell turned to Gordon Ramsay in the audience, and he didn't have a microphone, so his lips just moved without any sound. That's actually the first time I've ever found the "Hell's Kitchen" chef tolerable. And at least his hair looked way better than his mentor, Marco Pierre White, from NBC's "The Chopping Block."

5) Cowell had a fabulous burst of honesty when he blurted out that "American Idol" isn't about art. Bingo.

6) Now that it's been pretty well established that becoming the official chronicler of "American Idol" is not going to stop the bleeding at — much less save — the sadly beleaguered Los Angeles Times, is there any chance that the paper might reduce its coverage of all things "Idol" back to merely a ridiculous amount, instead of a breathless, pandering, embarrassingly ridiculous amount?

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