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Tiniest singer sent packing on ‘Idol’

Ramiele Malubay never gave a really memorable performance; Kristy Lee Cook and Brooke White joined her in the bottom three.
/ Source: msnbc.com contributor

Ramiele Malubay was one of the more likeable of the “Idol” finalists. The youngest of the women remaining in the competition, she was always smiling on the video clips that preceded her performances, and properly contrite when she was criticized by the judges. She always looked like she was having a good time and making friends on the show.

Musically, however, the best anyone could say about her singing is that it flew under the radar; she avoided the truly terrible performances and managed to stick around each week.  But in the three months that “Idol” has been on the air this season, she never offered a memorable vocal. Not many people outside of her family could name a single song she sang half an hour after the end of each week’s performance.

Though she’s avoided danger in recent weeks, Dolly Parton night didn’t offer her much to work with. “Do I Ever Cross Your Mind” was like all of her other songs during her “Idol” stay … solid, inoffensive and utterly forgettable. This week, that combination was finally too much to overcome, as she was eliminated from the competition on Wednesday.

Up to that point, it looked like everyone was rooting for her to succeed. Ryan Seacrest, Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul were quick to blame sickness on a couple of occasions where she didn’t sing well, and Paula in particular always stressed how talented Malubay was, and how she had such a big voice coming out of such a tiny body.

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The problem was that nobody in the viewing audience got to see her hit her stride. She might have had a ton of potential, but all that buys is a ticket to the semifinals. From that point on, the audience becomes the key factor, and she was never able to engage the crowd and give them a reason to vote for her. On Wednesday, before Ryan read the final decision, all the judges agreed that it would be no surprise if she went home.

Cook gets her usual seatMalubay was joined in the bottom two by Kristy Lee Cook. No stranger to being among the lowest vote-getters, Cook brought a little note saying “Kristy’s Seat” onstage with her for the announcement, so she’d be able to save one of her usual bottom-three chairs. 

Every season has at least one finalist who hangs around week after week, getting enough votes to squeak by and leaving everyone else wondering how that’s possible. Cook gets that honor this year, but at least she seems to be having some fun with it. Besides, any bit of levity that livens up a one-hour results show is always a plus.

Brooke White also was in the bottom three but, unlike Cook, it was her first trip. It was a bit of a surprise because she’s never been in danger before, but Simon Cowell complimented the voters for getting the bottom three right.

White was teary-eyed for a number of reasons, as she rambled on to Ryan in a speech reminiscent of Jason Castro’s a week ago. Like Castro, White was then quickly sent to safety, which may mean that the viewers will see more of those monologues in the future.

Sadly for Malubay, they won’t be coming from her.