The difference between 10 and 11 isn't much in most cases, but when it comes to "American Idol," that one spot means quite a bit. Making the Top 10 not only leads to more exposure on national television (obviously), but it also includes an invite to be part of "Idol's" summer tour.

The unlucky contestant whose bubble got burst Wednesday night was Alexis Grace, a likable -- yet extremely forgettable -- 21-year-old from Nashville, Tennessee. While no one other than Alexis will lose any sleep over her departure, it was still a surprise to see someone other than Michael Sarver leave the show, who benefited tremendously from the country-themed episode.

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"Why country?" I hear people ask. My response, "Why not?" Even though country music is in no way relevant to my life, it seems like a good test for the contestants. The producers are basically giving everyone two choices: a) channel your inner Randy Travis and pretend like you're at the Grand Ole Oprey, or b) pick a country song and put a modern spin on it. Guess which option turned out to be the better choice…

The three worst performances - Alexis, Michael, and Lil Rounds (she wasn't "bad," but it was definitely not her best) - went with a pure country routine. Meanwhile, everyone else tried to do his or her own thing, and it went pretty well. (We'll discuss Adam Lambert's performance later.)

Keep "country week" in perspective, people. This is a competition, and forcing the contestants to pick a song out of all their comfort zones was a great challenge. The cream, once again, rose to the top.

The Adam Lambert Debate

After touching base with fellow "Idol" followers, there actually didn't seem to be much of a debate about Adam's version of "Ring of Fire." Everyone truly hated it.

Not me.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'm not an Adam fan, but I try to keep things objective. And in my opinion, I thought it was a great performance with a totally unique twist.

Overly indulgent? Absolutely. But isn't every entertainer overly indulgent to some degree? I give Adam credit for going out there and establishing himself somehow, and here's something to keep in mind: he didn't end up in the bottom three. That tells me that he has enough of a following to stick around for a while.

Adam isn't going to win Season 8, which doesn't necessarily mean anything. He strikes me as someone who will be the lead singer of a rock band, and I'll predict that he becomes the most visible person after Season 8 comes to an end.

Does anyone else think Adam's "Ring of Fire" was good? What did you think of this week's performances? Let us know in the comments!

Story by Phil McRae

Starpulse contributing writer