Michael Slezak
March 02, 2010 AT 12:00 PM EST

There was a lot of talk of a higher power on tonight’s American Idol telecast. One contestant declared himself a “God-fearing person.” Another vocalist talked about prayer as a pre-performance ritual. Heck, even Simon Cowell got into the (holy) spirit, accepting an invitation to attend church. But after listening to the 10 male semifinalists’ performances, I’m beginning to fear that God has finally decided to forsake the nation’s most popular televised singing competition now that its ninth season is providing direct, ratings-draining competition for the final season of ABC’s Lost. [SPOILERS ahead, west-coasters!] How else to explain the parade of bum notes sent forth by everyone from Jermaine Sellers and John Park (expected) to Andrew Garcia and Casey James (less so)?

I mean, I began the night scratching my head at the effusive praise heaped on Michael Lynche’s opening act, “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World,” but it all made sense after the nine subsequent dudes had finished defiling the musical legacies of everyone from Tina Turner to John Mayer (too soon, BTW) to Hinder (okay, perhaps “legacy” wasn’t the best word choice). Again, show-closing Lee Dewyze got buried alive in compliments from Randy, Ellen, Kara, and Simon, but even he had more pitch problems than Andy Pettitte with a whole tube of Super Glue on his hands. (I know, I know…it always goes south when I make a sports metaphor.)

The Top 10 ladies take the stage tomorrow night, Idoloonies. Let us pray…

What did you think of tonight’s show? Which singers managed to impress you tonight? (I kinda liked Alex Lambert, Big Mike, and kinda sorta Aaron Kelly.) Who do you think is going home tomorrow? Post your thoughts in the comments section, watch the latest episode of Idolatry embedded below (for a second time, if you must), then check back early tomorrow morning for my full TV Watch recap. And to get all my Idol-related updates — I posted news of Crystal Bowersox’s medical issue before Fox’s official release hit the Internet (oh snapzzz!) — follow me on Twitter @EWMichaelSlezak.

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