RYAN SEACREST brought it up at the beginning. Chris Richardson alluded to it. Even Simon Cowell mentioned it (after what he would later say was a poorly timed eye roll). But in all the fleeting but heartfelt references Tuesday night on "American Idol" to the shooting tragedy at Virginia Tech, nobody had the wherewithal to use the most powerful tool of heart-to-heart communication at their disposal, the one that the whole enterprise ostensibly is about: music.
What an utterly wasted opportunity to offer comfort, or to channel emotion, that any of the seven remaining contestants could have tapped -- and on Country Night no less. Can you imagine the effect of LaKisha Jones singing Willie Nelson's "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain"? "Someday when we meet up yonder/We'll stroll hand in hand again/And in a land that knows no parting/Blue eyes crying in the rain."