American Idol down to three as rocker James Durbin exits

American Idol has had more than its share of elimination drama this year. Thursday night James Durbin was added to the list of surprise American Idol eliminations.

Josh Thompson/Cal Sport Media
2007 American Idol champion Jordin Sparks sings the National Anthem during the Major League Baseball game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, April 1, 2011. Jordin returned to the Idol stage on Thursday night rocking a new single and a new figure.

It has never been a surprise that the real winners of American Idol are the judges and, of course, Ryan Seacrest who recently tripled his salary from $5 million to $15 million per year. With the addition of Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler to Season 10's judging panel, it would seem that American Idol is not just a launching pad for emerging artists but a relaunch pad for established ones.

Jennifer Lopez has already premiered two new videos and performed live this season, while Steven Tyler is plugging his new autobiography. Thursday night, Steven also debuted his new video, "It Feels so Good."

The video was a bizarre montage of buzzards, Steven Tyler, Nicole Sherzinger, and a really happy half-naked girl, young enough to be Steven's, well, grand-daughter, actually. These images were set to a relentless loop of the lyrics, "It Feels so Good." Unfortunately, it didn't sound nearly as good. At what point will Steven Tyler, now 63, say enough is enough? Maybe he never will; Steven does not seem to be of the same mindset as the makers of the shows Lost or Mad Men, who opted to end their shows at the peak of their popularity, rather than risk sacrificing the quality.

The good news for Steven and JLo is that Thursday night, American Idol, at the ripe age of ten, received the highest number of votes (72 million) for a Top Four Finalists show, ever. It would appear that the symbiotic relationship is flourishing.

In addition to the Steven's video premiere, viewers were also treated to a live performance by Enrique Iglesias and a pre-recorded one of Lady Gaga. Enrique performed, "Dirty Dancer," while Lady Gaga performed dirty piano player. Actually she sang, "You and I" but who was really listening to the lyrics? Personally I was riveted by her fearlessness - a leather bikini and climbing on a piano bench is stilettos?

Finally, 2007 American Idol winner Jordin Sparks, not to be outdone by Jennifer Hudson, returned to the Idol stage with a downsized figure and performed her single, "I am Woman."

What about the results you ask? Ah yes, the results were also part of the show, albeit a rather short segment. In a moment of compassion, Ryan announced that Lauren Alaina – who appeared on the verge of a nervous breakdown – was the first person safe. Later we learned that despite all the focus the men have received this season - the Final Three would be comprised of two females, Lauren and Haley Reinhart! Now, before moving on to the final results, it must be said that despite this blogger's comments on Haley's singing, it is remarkable that a contestant who repeatedly found herself in the bottom three, had the gumption to keep fighting week after week. Her tenacity is inspiring.

Then there were two: Scotty McCreery and James Durbin. Country versus Rock.

In this blog previously, readers were asked if anyone else was getting tired of the close up of James's shrieking. Well, America answered loud and clear when James Durbin, the judge's favorite son, was sent packing.

His swan song only verified the righteousness of results and Jennifer Lopez sobbed throughout the performance. In the end, James like so many of this season's prescient contestants, claimed he "had a feeling" he would be going home.

What about you? Did anyone else suspect James would get booted?

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