With impressive performances, LDS singers Brooke White and David Archuleta moved on to the Top 24 on television's "American Idol." Both got positive comments from Paula, Randy and Simon. David has really caught fire, with nearly 300,000 views of this weeks performance on YouTube.

Two other reported LDS singers (thanks for the e-mails and posts) did not make the cut: Nashville-based Cardin Mckinney and Shaun Barrowes of Spanish Fork, Ut. One online AI watcher suggests that one possible reason why Cardin got cut was that three Mormons were just too many for the show.

Good luck Brooke and David. Well be watching you.

And for Cardin and Shaun, remember "American Idol" is not the only way — or even the best way — to reach your musical goals. Im sure well see more of your talent in the future.

Of course, this is not a "Famous Mormons" or "American Idol" blog. There are many other places to stay on top of pop culture. I think the broader issue (and, frankly, the more interesting one) is walking the razor-sharp tight rope of being in the world and not of the world — especially in the entertainment industry. The pop music industry seems to be pretty much about making as much money as you can while pleasing the lowest common denominator.

Standards? What are they?

The chicken-before-the-egg dilemma is that it's difficult to have creative control until you are "big" enough to demand it. And you can't get big enough to demand total creative control without the powers that be requiring and exercising a significant degree of creative control along the way. In many initial recording contracts, the artist does not even have final control in selecting the songs they are going to record.

It's a difficult game of give-and-take and I don't think you can judge someone else unless you've been there. We're not supposed to do judge others anyway.

I suppose the key is to not lose your way in the giving and taking.

The Parable of the Talents comes to mind here for me. We all know it and try to live by it. It seems easy enough. We are counseled to share our talents by serving others. Dont just hide your talent where it can't grow.

But sometimes I think we gloss over the reality of the investing the servants in the parable had to do to earn a profit. In order to make those two or five talents, they had to put their money, their time and energy at risk.

Sure, its great when you win. But sometimes you lose.

And Im not talking about a competition here.

When we put our talents out there to share with the world there is an inherent risk to our spirituality we should always be aware of. Invest wisely. Positive payoffs are great, but don't take too big of a risk, because the cost might be very difficult to repay.

Quick Notes

My friends (and up-the-street neighbors) Melanie and Roger Hoffman have a new childrens album out on Shadow Mountain Records. "Stories of Jesus" features 15 original songs about the life of the Savior designed to both entertain and teach. The cheerful lyrics and memorable melodies had me singing the rest of the day — I guess Im still a kid at heart.

And this is really cool. A growing collection of LDS music to enjoy online (or download): Liahona.net's "purpose is to provide wholesome and uplifting music and other content without charge through the Internet."

(Quint Randle was born and raised in Southern California and has been a music journalist and songwriter for more than 25 years. He is now a faculty member in the BYU Communications Department. He has co-written two No. 1 songs in the Christian-Country market and still moonlights as a member of the award-winning duo Joshua Creek. He founded Gig Magazine and has written for Mix Magazine, Recording Engineer/Producer and Guitar Player. He also co-authored the book "Making Money Making Music.")