For as many people who voted this week following American Idol’s Wednesday performance show — a record 55 million — it was obvious during Thursday’s results way too many of them were missing some serious brain cells.
We came that close to the biggest Idol travesty since Asia’h Epperson failed to make the round of 12 or Chris Daughtry finished fourth. In order:
1. Paul McDonald: The most unique talent this season and No. 1 for four out of weeks in the Idol Nation rankings, shows up in the bottom three. And since two contestants were to be voted off the island, he could easily have been gone. Fortunately, he was not, or what has been — to this point — considered the best season in Idol history could have been reduced to also-ran status.
2. Haley Reinhart: She is not only not voted off, she is not even in the bottom three.
3. Stefano Langone: Ditto.
America, what’s the deal? Maybe this should haven’t been as much of a surprise as I make it out to be, since every Idol season there seems to be one of these goofy weeks. Hopefully, there won’t be a second. But geez … that was close.
GONE, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
Naima Adedapo and Thia Megia were the two who were sent packing. Neither was a surprise, although I thought Thia had improved enough to merit at least one more week.
Naima was, at times, a breath of fresh air, but she simply could not put two consistent weeks together. I’ll remember her most for her “Dancin’ In The Streets” number during Motown Week. Thia waited too long to show some emotion and make a connection with the audience. At least she went out with a memorable performance, singing Elton John’s “Daniel”.
We are two weeks from when the brutal cuts begin. That’s assuming Stefano and Haley are the next two to go (though I now realize there are no givens his season). Thoretically, the final seven should be the top seven in the ensuing rankings. That’s when we’ll be at the point of Season 10 when you can make a case for any of those remaining to advance — or be eliminated. Let’s just hope our anticipation of that Magnificent Seven (fans of movie westerns will appreciate that reference) is not dashed by what almost happened this week.
1. (1.) (2.) (1.) (1.) — Paul McDonald: I’m still shaking my head about what almost unfolded before our very eyes.
2. (2.) (1.) (2.) (3.) – Pia Toscano: OK, I have gotten over my Pia tantrum from Wednesday night after she sang her 433rd consecutive ballad. Pia could be the next Celine Dion and I will probably buy her debut CD. I just hope that CD has at least one up-tempo song on it.
3. (4.) (5.) (5.) (7.) — James Durbin: The crazy kid who loves pro wrestling is coming on strong(er) each week — note the progressive improvement in the Idol rankings. Look at the top four on this list. They are so diverse, led by our rock and roll manchild. Sure, we’ve had rockers before, but none quite like Durbin, who has this bad-boy-with-a-smile aura. Chris Daughtry, Bo Bice, Carly Smithson and the rest from the rock era of Idol all projected a completely different image. Another plus for Durbin is that he and McDonald are the most accomplished of the final nine in playing to the audience, an inangible that will become more valuable in the weeks ahead.
4. (5.) (4.) (6.) (8.) — Scotty McCreery: The “I Told You So” duet Thursday night with Lauren Alaina was a thing of beauty and will most definitely crack our list of Season 10 Top 10 individual performances, which will be updated and released later this week.
5. (6.) (7.) (7.) (4.) — Lauren Alaina: She’s got her swagger back, America and the judges seem to lover her. As long as she rememebrs her lyrics she has nothign to worry about for at least two more weeks.
6. (8.) (6.) (3.) (9.) — Casey Abrams: It was so-o-o-o nice to see Casey back on track Wednesday night. What was arguably most impressive about Casey’s “Your Song” effort is that he listened to super producer Jimmy Iovine, who told him he was terrible (I’m paraphrasing, but only a little) the previous two weeks. It was time to get back to the Casey who had impressed us all before he decided to make a U-urn with that “Smells Like Teen Spirit” selection two weeks ago.
7. (3.) (3.) (4.) (2.) — Jacob Lusk: I’ve become disenchanted with Jacob. He seems to be spiraling downward — as our rankings reflect. I think he is in danger next week of walking the plank unless he can recapture that Jacob magic we enjoyed eerlier this season. We always want to see growth and the ability to tackle new genres, but I think Jacob is trying to grow too fast with too much.
8. (10-tie.) (8.) (NR) (10.) — Stefano Langone: I’d say I was most shocked that Stefano was neither in the bottom three at the very least, or voted off the show, which I fully expected. But I can’t say that, because as surprised as I am he is still around I and completely dumbfounded that the following contestant is still with us.
9. (10-tie.) (NR) (NR) (NR) — Haley Reinhart: Sometimes the day following the performance show I have second thoughts about how I ranked conestants, especially after hearing the numbers again. I have absolutely no regrets about my opinion of Haley’s “Bennie And The Jets” debacle. She should have been voted off the show. Somewhere in this great nation we live in there is an Idol conspiracy at work. I’m convinced of it.