Thursday, April 21, 2011

AI Results Show Recap: This Time It Means Goodbye...

After a few weeks of being the person standing next to the eliminated contestant, our self-proclaimed ladies' man, Stefano, was sent home this week. Along the way he turned in some memorable performances (particularly his amazing wild card performance, Smokie Norful's I Need You Now), hammered every song into the ground and single-handedly tried to bring suspenders back, all the while with a smile on his face and a better attitude than several of his fellow contestants. (You pick. I'll just play coy.)

Ryan described Wednesday's show in the best way possible: "A night of beards, drums, kisses and Steven-isms." While he touted an "incredible showing of support," he neglected to mention that the 52 million votes the contestants received this week was less than last week's total. After receiving a non-answer from Randy as to what he thought the end result of the show would be, J.Lo summed it up concisely, saying "I hope it's not a girl."

Our first musical number of the evening featured Stefano, Haley, Jacob and Lauren singing Train's Hey, Soul Sister. (It's not like the song wasn't permanently burned into my frontal lobe already.) Clearly I know I'm over the contestants when I hoped Ryan was going to announce that Darren Criss and the Warblers from Glee were going to sing. Sigh. As you might expect, the performance wasn't particularly impressive, and someone needs to tranquilize Jacob before group numbers. I've had more than enough jazz hands, thank you.

After another lackluster Ford Music Video (didn't care enough even to write down the song it was to), the trio of James, Casey and Scotty broke out Viva la Vida by Coldplay. (Easily one of my favorite songs, and another that requires a lobotomy to get out of my head.) I thought their voices blended extraordinarily well, and although I have truly had my fill of Casey's pouty, angry face all up in the camera, I really enjoyed this song. (Looking at my notes, I wrote "Good! Can I download?")

As usual, Ryan engaged in banter with a few of the male contestants about nothing worth repeating, but let the female contestants remain silent. And then Kieren dimmed the lights, and the duo of Casey and Jacob stood to receive their results. Ryan announced that America wanted more of Casey's soft lips (gross), and Jacob was off to the silver stools of shame in the bottom three.

Season 7 winner David Cook returned to the Idol-verse to perform his new single, Last Goodbye (which I like, but I would have loved it if it were a remake of Jeff Buckley's Last Goodbye). David remains one of my most favorite winners and he has such a great personality. Can't he and Kelly Clarkson run this show? He mentioned that his mother came with him because she wanted to meet Steven Tyler. Oh, and did I mention we're seeing David Cook in concert next Friday night? Hooray for us.

Lauren, James and Stefano were next to hear their results. To the surprise of no one (not even him), Stefano was again in the bottom three.

Next up, Haley and Scotty. Ryan tried a fakeout by saying "Scotty, wow. You are safe," but no one was fooled. Haley headed over to her favorite stool. And as she sat down, Ryan beckoned her back to the center of the stage and fake-whispered, "You're safe." Good.

Katy Perry's Cirque du Soleil-meets-Mission Impossible's-security-lights-inspired performance of her hit song E.T. was up next, and I'd wager this was one of the pre-taped performances, because when it ended, Ryan was standing backstage with Jacob and Stefano. (Now that we've gotten both halves of the Perry-Brand pairing on the show, can we be done with Russell Brand? Please?) Both Jacob and Stefano talked about how proud they were of their performances and how they knew that even if they were sent home, it wouldn't be the end.

Just before the results were revealed, Ryan asked Steven if Jacob and Stefano deserved to be in the bottom two. (Only Simon answered those questions honestly, Ryan.) In typical "everybody gets a gold star" fashion, Steven said, "No one deserves to be voted off. Everyone sung their butts off and they're all excellent. And the 50 million people watching you and voting know that." (Perhaps someone wants to explain to Dr. Love in an Elevator that 50 million votes probably means 100 young girls, tops. I kid.)

Ryan shared the bad news that it was the end of the road for Stefano. He seemed ready for that announcement, and was more interested in singing than anything else. He chose his disco version of Lately as his swan song, with the prophetic lyric "this time could mean goodbye." James seemed really overcome with emotion about Stefano's departure (the band is just down to him and Casey now) and at the end of Stefano's song, he ran over to give him a bear hug. And of course, we were treated to the dewy glow of the Most Beautiful Woman in the World's tears.

Next week: the music of Carole King. I'll be listening to my Tapestry CD the entire week to prepare.

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