Last night after another unforgivably padded results show, full of noise and flash but signifying nothing,

Melinda Doolittle

was sent packing on

American Idol.

The result was somewhat surprising because the 29-year-old Tennessean was widely assumed to be a shoo-in for next week's finals. Instead,

Blake Lewis


Jordin Sparks

will face off for the Idol crown.

All season Melinda had been a model of consistency and clearly the judges' favorite. Her experience as a backup singer was evident in her polished, often flawless performances.

If she had weaknesses as an Idol candidate, they might have been that she always seemed older than the others and a little too studied in her reactions.