As stubble Tuesday became clean-shaven Wednesday last week in increasingly tiresome Ryan Seacrest land, it was the boys with the ironically gallows-themed Jon Bon Jovi songs who took the double hit on

American Idol

, leaving Blake and the Idolettes to take it to the finish line.

Ah, those sweet American Idol knowing looks we all gave our tellies as the shiny, not-so-happy person Phil Stacey sang "I'm going down in a blaze of glory."

Yes, you are. And now we are left to ponder this Idol existential dilemma: Is finishing sixth on American Idol really worth missing the birth of your daughter? Results after the break.

And the same Idol irony, so easy to conjure up, for little JT-wannabe falsetto man-boy Chris Richardson, who moped around and sang "Wanted: Dead or Alive."

Yes, you were a wanted man, Chris, your number was up, and that's the way these things turn out sometimes. TISNF! Don't fret, maybe your BFF Blake really will take you out on his tour.

The beat-boxing, twisty-mouthed, computer-programmed (is that fair?) Blake Lewis, consistently the most chatted about on various Idol Web sites, is now left to carry the torch for the boys in the Final Four, after a groovy electronica stutter-stepping rendition of "You Give Love a Bad Name."

Or, more precisely, "You give luh-luh-luh-luh-love . . . a bad name." We're singing it that way in our house already.

Blake earned the Mr. Originality award from the judges for his cover, in which he and an American Idol backup band drummer traded fours in an approximation of actual jamming.

And so now, it's Blake versus the three Divas, all of whom can belt out a song: LaKisha, who has already secured her place in Idol history with her full-on- the-lips shmooch with Simon, who judged those lips worthy ("Nice lips, I love them"); Melinda, the professional backup singer who still skews too old for our tastes; and Jordin, the teenager who can't stop talking and who will probably be eliminated this week.

Will LaKisha, Melinda and Jordin split the diva voting bloc, allowing Blake to slide through? This week's cringe-inducing theme: Barry Gibb. (Prediction: Blake remixes "I Started a Joke.")

All along, Blake has been the only one to really capture our attention, the only one who seemed worth watching, though his disclosure that he has some kind of software that turns normal songs into Blakean songs seems a little suspicious.

But, despite the unfortunate dark hair last week, Blake has, as LaKisha would say, that something something, that makes the people in my living room actually stop bickering and listen. For that, at least, he gets my vote.

As for Jon Bon Jovi, last week he looked ready to take over Ryan Seacrest's job, give it a little throaty gravitas - and where else could Jon Bon Jovi claim gravitas - and we're on board with that too.

Dave on Demand's Prediction

Ah, the Final Four. This is when it gets tough to choose. With the voluminous Bee Gees songbook at their disposal, the performances should be uniformly strong. LaKisha and Jordin are the most vulnerable, but will pull sympathy votes for that very reason. Melinda Doolittle, you are the missing link.