Haley Scarnato

was voted off "American Idol" last night. Music writer Jonathan Takiff and TV writer Ellen Gray weigh in.

WHY SHE GOT THE BOOT

Ellen: The Sanjaya Hair Obsession aside, voters this season really do seem more invested in voices than in looks. Then again, maybe they were just worried she'd catch cold.

Jon: Haley really bent the rules with Vicki Sue Robinson's "Turn the Beat Around" - a disco- queen-era (1976) song-and- dance routine that didn't deserve to be in this week's Latin Music night competition. And neither did Haley.

WHO WE'D HAVE SENT HOME

Ellen: Sanjaya Malakar. Because not being as bad as usual for one week doesn't make him good. Too bad his fans couldn't let him go out on a high note.

Jon: Haley or Phil Stacey, sounding like he's never really met a girl named "Maria, Maria."

WE JUDGE THE JUDGES

Ellen: Given that Simon Cowell's given a free pass to lots of pretty girls with so-so voices, his turning on Haley for using everything she's got looks a bit hypocritical. If not downright creepy.

Jon: At this point, the gang is handing out bigger bouquets to Chris Richardson than the stiff deserves. Maybe it's 'cause he has that Justin Timberlake vibe.

WATER-COOLER WHINE

Ellen: Melinda Dolittle's response to Simon's rare criticism couldn't have been more perfect if they'd scripted it.

Jon: Last week, she sported a sleek, tight-cropped hair-do. This week Melinda was in full-blown bouffant, looking very Gladys Knight. A wig? While not moving that well, Melinda sounded just fine and looked as smart and sophisticated as she ever has. *