Typically, it is easy to blame the producers since it is their song choice and direction that almost invariably results in a corny, over-the-top rendition of songs that were hits way before the contestants were even a gleam in their fathers' eyes. While this week stayed true to that dismal format, the contestants added insult to injury with their vocals. After repeated playbacks, it is safe to say that not one contestant managed to stay on key throughout, though some (Lauren Alaina and James Durbin) performed better than others (Haley Reinhart and Jacob Lusk.)
Last year's American Idol runnerup, Crystal Bowersox, took to the stage after another forgettable Ford Video to sing "Ridin' with the Radio." It was good to see one of the most talented contestants back on the Idol stage with her familiar microphone stand and folksy style and her not so familiar smile. While she may have been totally robbed of the title of American Idol, Crystal Bowersox like Eliot Yemin before her, she has managed to score a more "star-worthy" set of pearly whites as a consolation prize. Crystal sounded great, per usual. Might "Riding with the Radio," be the second single released for her debut "Farmer's Daughter" album?
This summer's American Idol tour tickets will go on sale May 13, and the tour cities were announced,
During a question and answer session with the contestants, the "mean Ryan" reappeared. You might remember host Ryan Seacrest from an earlier stint where he ridiculed Stefano Langone's mother's cooking. Thursday night, when Lauren had finished naming some of her favorite past contestants, Ryan replied, "No Taylor Hicks? I mean, come on." OK, while jokes about 2006 Idol winner Taylor Hicks are sometimes perfectly acceptable (like when tastefully inserted into the creative styling of an American Idol blogger) it seems cruel for the host of the show to poke fun at a previous contestant.
Perhaps Ryan was just blowing off steam, preparing himself for another wrongful termination of a Season 10 hopeful.
As predicted, both Jacob Lusk and Casey Abrams, found themselves in the bottom three. As fate would have it, Haley managed to avoid the bottom three and somehow, Scotty McCreery found himself facing elimination instead. Normally, the addition of Jimmy Iovine doesn't add a lot to the show (perhaps his mentoring of the contestants is more successful, assuming they listen to him, of course) but he had his single greatest moment Thursday night when he talkedg about Scotty's glorious subtlety and made a great point, "If you had Johnny Cash on this show, you wouldn't say to him, 'Hey, spread your wings.'" Scotty is a country singer and shouldn't have to apologize for that, especially since other contestants select a variety of genres and are told they don't know who they are as an artist.
Viewers were given a reprieve from the injustice of it all as Bruno Mars crooned his hit, "The Lazy Song." Bruno Mars, like Jack Johnson, could inspire legions of people to quit the rat-race and head for the carefree promise of the Hawaiian Islands. His laid back style, complete with a sofa and a cute pooch, almost helped one to forget the impending doom.
But all too soon it was over, and the disappointment came rushing back.
That disappointment turned to outrage when Ryan sent Jacob to safety, leaving Scotty and Casey as the bottom two. In the end, Casey Abrams couldn't avoid elimination a second time. Ultimately every contestant but one has to go, but somehow it seems such a shame to lose one with so much creativity.
Are you shocked? Should Jacob have been the one go? Share your thoughts.