Thursday, April 28, 2011

AI Results Show Recap: The Spell Has Been Broken...

Looking back on this week’s results show, I’m left with more questions than answers. Specifically,
  • Can we get a moratorium on “Walk This Way, Steven” signs? How about a little more creativity, folks?
  • What on Earth was the design on Randy’s denim shirt?
  • Did one of the Idols break Jimmy’s favorite vase or something? Because this man had a serious axe to grind tonight.
  • Is anyone else now giving credence to the order in which they introduced the contestants last night? (Scotty, Lauren, James, Jacob, Haley and Casey. Who was first out?) And finally…

I figured that when still-hyper Ryan promised that “a lot of fans are going to be disappointed by the results” that I would be more disappointed in who didn’t go home than who did. But we had an hour to kill, people, so there was lots and lots of mindless crap to do first.

J.Lo looked seriously hot again tonight, truly the Lady in Red. Steven, on the other hand, looked like Miss Jane from The Beverly Hillbillies, if she were a lesbian pirate. And as I mentioned earlier, Randy was wearing a denim shirt with some bizarre red object sewn on it. Adding to my confusion was the first “Marry Me, Randy?” sign I’ve ever seen.

Ryan highlighted Steven’s simultaneous appearance on the covers of Rolling Stone and People, which said he transitioned from “bad boy to America’s Sweetheart.” Steven paraphrased Mae West (as only a man wearing a woman’s blouse can), saying “I may be good, but when I’m bad, I’m better.” (Yeah, ok.)

The show went from surreal to snooze-worthy, with a segment on the contestants getting “a crash course in all things British” from an event at the British Consulate, the unimpressive Carole King medley and the Ford Music Video to Madness’ Our House. (Great song, though.)

Last year’s cannon fodder runner-up, Crystal Bowersox, performed her song Riding with the Radio. I couldn’t figure out if when Ryan ran alongside the contestants, he was prompting them to clap along with Crystal or just being the little jackrabbit he always is on results night.

We then endured the return of the AT&T-sponsored viewer questions. Casey befuddled the audience (all except his parents and Randy) when he said if he could duet with anyone, he’d choose jazz great Oscar Peterson. Jacob apparently discovered his “amazing range” when he was 6 or 7, and could sing the soprano, alto and tenor parts in church choir. (Yeah, I'm not going to touch that one.) The hardest thing for Lauren about being an Idol contestant is pretending she has no self-confidence missing her family and friends, especially with the barrage of tornadoes that hit the South this week. Scotty “The Body” (I wonder if Julianne Hough is starting to worry about Ryan’s new nickname for the 17-year-old) had a pre-Idol job working at a grocery store (ask him what the code is for a Granny Smith apple) and helping out at his mother’s tanning salon. James is always playing with a band, either as his main focus or a side project. And Haley, when asked who her favorite Idol contestant was, answered Adam Lambert, Kelly Clarkson and Siobhan Magnus, as well as Lee Dewyze and Crystal Bowersox. Ryan used that opportunity to take a pot shot at Season 5 winner Taylor Hicks. Good old Peaches. What a charmer…

In revealing this week’s results, each contestant got to relive snippets of their performance and the judges’ feedback (edited, of course, to manipulate the situation), and then heard Jimmy’s assessment. Haley was first, and Jimmy said he agreed with J.Lo that Haley has one of the best voices in the competition, but her problem is (get ready) she doesn’t know who she is as an artist, which is why the audience hasn’t warmed to her. Clearly Haley is getting tired of that little potshot, because she dropped a bleep-able phrase or two, and then tried not to show her frustration as she explained that she did know, and although she likes all kinds of music, she definitely likes the blues, you know? (Randy tried to make the drama all about him, nodding and saying “I know what kind of artist you are” during Haley’s defense of herself.) Ryan then revealed that Haley was safe.

According to Jimmy, Scotty is a great singer but the subtleties of his voice and performance might be overlooked by the Idol viewers. Lauren only hears the negative from the judges’ feedback, but “she has the poise to rival any singer.” (That hyperbole reminded me of when Barry Gibb called Jordin Sparks “one of our greatest female singers ever” late in Season 6.) Jimmy was disappointed in Casey, saying that he was “on, but he didn’t need to growl, because the family dog doesn’t have a vote.” James apparently “isn’t believable when he sings heavy metal” (really?), but “when he chooses the right songs, he could win the whole competition.” And Jacob, well, “Jacob is in banana peel status.” After leaving Wednesday night's show, Jimmy went to moonlight as a suicide prevention counselor. Clearly he has a knack for pep talks.

James was told he was safe, but the second most annoying thing is that after enduring the wrath of Jimmy, each of the remaining contestants (Scotty, Lauren, Casey and Jacob) were sent back to the couch to “hold tight” before their fate was announced. But then the group of them was called back to the center of the stage to find out (surprise!) Princess Lauren was safe.

Bruno Mars performed his new hit The Lazy Song. He’s already a huge star, and I think he has an amazing career still to come. I love him. But that being said, I fast-forwarded through his performance.

Ryan then said he would announce the results “in random order,” so there was no bottom three or two. First he announced that Jacob was safe (aargh), and then, as the hearts of millions of teen and tween girls fluttered nervously, he revealed that Scotty was safe and Casey was eliminated (again).

The judges were upset by this result, but Casey seemed to take his second elimination in stride. As Ryan saluted him, saying, “This is what talent looks like,” Casey revived I Put A Spell on You (his top 24 performance), and went around hugging and kissing the judges, audience members, his family and friends, and fellow contestants. Haley was genuinely emotional, and both she and J.Lo were in tears. To fuel the gossip of a relationship between him and Haley, Casey ended his song by singing the line "You're mine" to her. Little kidder.

This is the third year in a row that the recipient of the judges’ save didn’t make it to the top three. And it brings an end to the run of one of the most polarizing contestants, the one who I absolutely thought would win the whole shebang 8-10 weeks ago. He has tremendous talent but as I said a few weeks ago, his quirkiness outweighed the quality of his voice. I do believe that he can have a successful career as a jazz musician, and I hope he does.

And now we’re down to five. I want James to win very badly but know in my heart one of the country duo will win. I just hope Haley outlasts Jacob…

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