Amanda Overmyer didn't exactly win any points for being warm and cuddly, but the most recently eliminated "American Idol" finalist does get points for honesty.

In a conference call with TV critics after she was voted off the "Idol" island, Overmyer was (predictably) asked who she thinks the eventual winner is going to be.

"I have no idea," she said.

Good answer!

Anybody who's watched "American Idol" at all knows that it's possible to be up one week and down the next. And a lot of frontrunners have gone by the wayside in previous seasons.

Overmyer was correct when she pointed out that two finalists who got good reviews from the judges (and were not in the bottom three of the voting) last week haven't had entirely smooth rides to this point. Not even Utah teen David Archuleta, who's been the favorite from the moment the final 24 were announced.

"All I can say is Syesha (Mercado), at one point, wasn't the favored one," Overmyer said. "And David, at one point, got slammed by the judges. It's anybody's game, you know? It's definitely anybody's game and I don't venture to make a prediction."

Good answer!

"TMZ" IS KNOWN for going hyperbolic on a daily basis, but the gossip TV show was more than a bit over the top in its portrayal of David Archuleta's father, Jeff, last week.

Not only did the show refer to him as "the stage dad from hell," it compared him to Josef Stalin, Kim Jong Il, "that horned thing from (the movie) 'Legend"' and Martha Stewart.

OK, the Martha Stewart thing is kind of funny. But, c'mon, you're comparing him to a Soviet dictator responsible for tens of millions of deaths? That's a bit much.

"Evil has plagued mankind for centuries," the TMZ narration intoned last week. "Now it has a new face. This man — Jeff Archuleta, father of 'American Idol' cherub David Archuleta, aka the stage dad from the depths of hell."

Hyperbolic indeed.

The "report" cited unnamed sources when it cited any at all, and it was pretty much a regurgitation of the unsubstantiated gossip done earlier by "Entertainment Tonight."

"TMZ" accused Jeff Archuleta of "mind games, making his son cry and sabotaging competitors." Cut to video of David saying he "feels stressed thinking about it."

That footage has absolutely nothing to do with his father. And, thus, is nothing short of deceptive.

(See next item.)

After video of someone asking David Archuleta how it feels to be an "Idol" favorite, the "TMZ" narration said, "Trust us. Thanks to Jeff, it feels like crap."

I'm not anti-"TMZ," which annoys stars mostly by being right. But, um, unnamed sources tell me they missed the story on this one.

"TMZ" CORRECTLY SLAMMED "American Idol" for "deceiving its 30 million viewers every week."

It turns out that the show-ending recaps of each finalist's performance aren't really recaps of the finalist's on-camera performance — they're clips from an earlier dress rehearsal. And sometimes they are downright deceptive.

For example, this past week Michael Johns, who was terrible on the live show, was much better during the dress rehearsal. The week before, Archuleta sounded a lot better in his recap, too.

And, as "TMZ" pointed out, those recaps that aren't really recaps come directly before viewers go to the phones to vote.

Fox's explanation is that because the show is live (in the Eastern and Central time zones), there's no time to do actual recaps. Which, given that we see instant replays in live sporting events every day, seems a rather weak excuse.

But if it's an ethical lapse, is it any worse than "TMZ" using a totally out-of-context quote from David Archuleta?


OVERMYER SEEMS TO HAVE an exceptionally good attitude about getting voted off "American Idol."

"Yesterday was not the most traumatic thing that's happened in my life. I just got voted off of a TV show," she said. "I was thankful to be there and privileged to have that many millions of Americans vote for me just to keep me on until (the final) 11.... I'm cut out of a different mold from everyone else in the competition, I found it very (heart) warming that I had that much support."

She's hoping for a career in music, but she insists that's not her biggest goal in life.

"Success, to me, is a strong, healthy family and success in whatever job that you do," she said. "If ('American Idol') is just 15 minutes of fame, I'm not going to chase it my whole life trying to get it back. I'll take it for what it is and move on.

"Hopefully it's not. Hopefully I can make a career out of this, but it's not going to be that unicorn that I keep chasing."

Good answer!

Now if only Overmyer remembers to take her own advice ...

AS FOR ALL THAT bickering between host Ryan Seacrest and judge Simon Cowell, Overmyer said it didn't bother her.

"That's just part of good TV," she said. "If they didn't do that, nobody would be watching it."

Good answer!

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