Just in case viewers needed to be reminded of the atrocities of Wednesday night, American Idol started with a seemingly never ending group performance of Bacharat and David songs. It was all the old-fashioned pageantry you love to hate and to top it all off, viewers were treated to Lazaro Arbos once again forgetting his lyrics. The idols then went on another Ford Fiesta Idol Mission; this weeks mission was to play a game of soccer with their Ford Fiestas. Well, at least they abandoned the whole pretense of doing charitable acts.
Speaking of charitable acts, Kelly Clarkson returned to the Idol stage on Thursday to perform, "People Like Us," off of her "Greatest Hits, Chapter 1," album. Viewers may recall that after being crowned the winner of Season 1 of Idol, Ms. Clarkson went on to sell 20 million albums, win 3 Grammy's, and have eighty #1 songs on the Billboard Charts, but she also had her share of creative differences with Idol producers and music mogul, Clive Owen and largely distanced herself from the American Idol franchise after her win. Why return now? One can only assume it had something to do with Mariah Carey, whom Clarkson idolizes. The two shared a friendly chat on stage after Kelly's performance, with Kelly telling Mariah how much she loved her. Kudos to Nicki Minaj who managed to keep her fake smile frozen the entire time she had to endure someone idolizing Mariah over her.
With Kelly's return, a pop in by Season 10 winner Scotty McCreery didn't feel quite as special but with a platinum selling new album and a Best New Artist title under his belt from the Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards, his success is nothing to sneeze at. McCreery performed his new single, "See You Tonight."
Then it was time for the results. Ryan Seacrest broke the final six into three pairs, Angie Miller and Janelle Arthur, Mr. Arbos and Amber Riley, Kree Harrison and Candice Glover, announcing that each group represented the top two, middle two, and bottom two. While in a just world, the bottom pair would be whichever pair Lazaro was in, viewers and Jimmy Iovine have learned not to underestimate Lazaro's staying power. In his comments, Mr. Iovine said that he would place Lazaro in tenth place after his performance Wednesday night even though there were only six places. Though Lazaro pretended not to care and gave a cynical laugh, it was easy to see him suffering under the mockery of outstaying his welcome on Idol.
It was no big surprise to learn that Ms. Harrison and Ms. Glover were the top two, it would have been a travesty if they hadn't been. To learn that Ms. Miller and Ms. Arthur were the middle two, leaving Ms. Riley and Lazaro in the bottom this week was a relief.
Was it finally time to put Lazaro out of his misery?
Mr. Seacrest then read the long awaited verdict that Lazaro was at risk of elimination. Inexplicably, approximately 60% of Twitter voters urged the judges to use their save. Somehow, that seemed highly unlikely considering that they all but told Lazaro he didn't belong on the stage the night before. And of course when it was all said and done, Lazaro said his overdue goodbyes to the judges and America.
Too bad that, by this point, he was so beat up and jaded by the process that he couldn't quite manage a gracious exit.