Almost immediately upon introduction of the Top 13, host Ryan Seacrest pointed out that Casey was missing. Apparently, Casey has been admitted to the hospital a second time; reports suggest he has been diagnosed with a stomach ulcer. You may recall that this is the second hospitalization for Casey; who was also admitted following Hollywood week and Idol announced then that he would be disqualified if he was not well enough to perform during the men's taping.
Casey was eventually released, just hours before the show was taped and performed beautifully. Let's hope that Casey has a speedy recovery.
Thursday's show quickly got underway with the dreaded group number. Surely, when the powers that be sat down and reviewed ways to improve Idol, this ridiculous group performance came up in the conversation?! Who was the person who said, "We can go on without Kara, Ellen, and Simon, but we can't do away with the group number?"
Perhaps more troubling was the person who responded, "No, but we can make it better by having them perform back to back Michael Jackson songs, with the most recent being 20 years old!" It is utterly perplexing that a show as successful as American Idol cannot put together group performances that are relevant and entertaining, especially since the same network produces "Glee."
As soon as the promos (Ford Music Video and "The Little Red Riding Hood" premier) were over, Ryan moved on to the results. He called Stefano Langone (who is a dead ringer for a young Tony Danza, just as goofy too), Jacob Lusk, and Karen Rodriguez to the stage. After recapping their performances Ryan played a dirty trick by saying, "You are all safe," then after a pause during which everyone was filled with relief, "Except, except, except, Karen, who is in the bottom three." She was a good sport, smiling and saying it was OK. While Karen went to take a seat in one of those really uncomfortable looking stools, viewers were treated to a performance of "Aftermath," by Adam Lambert, who opted for his clean cut look this evening.
Ryan then called Lauren Alaina, Ashthon Jones, and Haley Reinhart to the stage and after Lauren apologized for her bad performance the night before and broke America's heart with her tears, Ryan announced that she was safe and that it was Ashthon and Haley who were both in the bottom three.
The remaining contestants on the couch seemed to take a minute to process that they were all safe. It was a rather anticlimactic announcement, although if it is in the interest in speeding things up, no complaints here. Of course, it was only speeding up to a performance by Diddy-Dirty Money, who (in case you were wondering) is also known as P. Diddy, Sean Combs, Sean Puffy Combs, and Sean John. Apparently none of those names were accurately capturing this complex character so he made up another one. After sharing some advice with the contestants about keeping their dreams alive and never giving up, blah blah blah . . . we were finally ready to move on to the results.
Ashthon Jones, who looked disturbingly similar to Sanjaya Malakar with her faux-hawk, turned out to be the first victim of the Top 13. The judges though they had a save, announced they would not save Ashthon after they heard her sing Diana Ross off-key again. Of course, Lopez was crying before Ashthon was even done with the song, so it doesn't seem like their decision to not save her came as a surprise to anyone . . . except maybe to Steven Tyler who seemed to have been in a haze throughout the show.
So, though our predictions only had one out of the bottom three correct, she was the one to go home. That counts for something, right?
Take a trip down memory lane with one of Ashthon's better performances in the video below and tune in next Wednesday for the Top 12 performances.