We started last week with 13 contestants. Unlucky for some – or particularly one, namely Ashthon Jones. This week the Dirty Dozen took to the stage to perform songs from the year they were born. And after the public had cast their votes we were left with an, er, Electric Eleven as we said adiós to K-Rod – Karen Rodriguez – the girl who just could not stop singing in Spanish.
Here are my top-of-mind reflections from tonight’s results show.
Dead (wo)man walking
As a rule of thumb, the two survivors from the previous week’s bottom three generally find it difficult to escape the next week, particularly if they turn in anything other than a stellar performance. Last week it had been Karen and the yodelling Haley Reinhart who escaped being handed a one-way plane ticket home, and when both disappointed with their song selections this week – Taylor Dayne’s Love Will Lead You Back and Whitney Houston‘s I’m Your Baby Tonight respectively – they were pretty much nailed on for a second week staring into the abyss.
And so it comes to pass. First Ryan Seacrest calls forward Jacob Lusk, Casey Abrams and Lauren Alaina – and predictably sends them back to their seats. Haley versus Paul McDonald, playing his it’s-not-a-big-deal-but-I-did-have-a-cold joker unsurprisingly ends with Haley being ushered over towards the Stools of Doom™.
Next Scotty McCreery, Pia Toscano and James Durbin are told they are all safe. Which leaves two from four. Naima Adedapo versus Stefano Langone is a no-contest. When you’ve been called out by the judges two weeks in a row for being out of tune, you know there’s a stool with your name on it, and Naima is consigned to the bottom three.
And finally Karen and Thia ‘More Wooden than Pinocchio’ Megia. I haven’t had many good words to say about Thia, but she is a vastly superior singer to Karen and her time is a few weeks away for now. So it is no surprise when Karen is asked to join Naima and her fellow serial bottom three occupant Haley on the SoD’s.
Naima is the first to be told she is safe. Fair enough. She may be losing her way vocally, but at least she dares to be different. And then Haley is given another stay of execution – surely next week it’s three strikes and out? – leaving K-Rod to endure the charade of whether or not she will be granted the judges’ save. Shock, horror – she isn’t.
It’s no great loss to the competition. So, having started out with a seven-six advantage, the girls now find themselves outnumbered having lost another from their ranks. Odds on Haley will make it three in a row next week, but I still believe a girl is destined to win this year even though a boy has yet to appear in the bottom three.
Padding, padding and a bit more padding – all for the sake of a few dollars more
I read an article this week that said Idol is the most lucrative TV show in the US in terms of generating advertising dollars. Which is why the results show goes on forever – the music is just filler between lucrative commercial breaks – and we are subjected to horrific padding like the group song. (This week: Steppenwolf‘s Born To Be Wild bizarrely mashed up with Lady Gaga‘s Born This Way, in keeping with the ‘year they were born’ theme, y’see?) And those cheesy Ford videos that we in the UK are no longer subjected to because ITV mercifully edits them out. And the performances by former Idol alumni like last year’s winner Lee DeWyze, the former paint salesman whose first single off his debut album reached the dizzying heights of number 110 in the US. Oh, and the Black Eyed Peas plugging their new single.
Next week’s theme is Motown, which gives the contestants plenty of scope to either find something within their niche or, better still, experiment a bit. Whatever happens, you can be sure Scotty will sing the most country-like song he can get away with, while Thia will turn to something desperately dull and suicide-inducing – Endless Love, perhaps? (Please, God, anything but that.)
As for the others, I have a sneaking suspicion Jacob, Stefano, Paul and Casey will try something like Let’s Get It On, My Girl, Tracks of My Tears and Ain’t Too Proud To Beg respectively, while I fancy Lauren to have a crack at You Keep Me Hangin’ On. And I really don’t care what Haley sings, but it will have to be stellar if she wants to stay in the competition. And even then I suspect she’ll be out.
American Idol posts
Top 12: Performances
Link: American Idol website