First off, Reinhart-WHO, and Del Rey ARE-YOU-KIDDING-ME? Yes, real fans of the show know that Haley Reinhart one of last year’s non winners- specifically the one who did the super awkward singalong with Tony Bennett– but commmme onnnnnn Idol, you’ve oh so clearly given up. And a TAPED performance by SNL-failure Lana Del Rich? Honestly, add these “special guests” with last night’s “Songs of Billy Joel” and what do you get? A show that isn’t just resting on its laurels but actively working to ruin a reality talent show institution it essentially founded. While I may sound a bit dramatic, I honestly feel that people this year are seeing the complete breakdown of a once-relevant show. While it’s clearly been going down in innovation, talent and resultant viewership for years now, I find this season to be the pinnacle of its decline.

While I continually bring up my disappointment, it’s only because week after week myself and similarly saddened viewers out there keep hoping against hope that THIS is going to be the week that they get new songs, or have good and critical judging from the panel or hell that a current guest star takes the stage (last weeks have had passe Mary J and the big country girl failure from last year… whoopee…). And still, we trudge on. So far, they’ve been kicking off people who deserve to go so what I’m hoping is that eventually, once idiot singers like DeAndre and Heejun are gone, that the remaining (ACTUAL) talent will pull off some entertaining performances. For now, let’s watch and make sure it’s the flotsam and jetsam who get the boot. So, who went tonight?

Oh god, already with the crap. Some Days of our Lives-esque recap of the recent drama “builds up the tension” of the night as we roll our eyes and desperately hope our PVR can skip forward at least far enough to get past the quintessential “THIS IS THE BIGGEST DECISION EVER” bullshit Idol moment. Of course, once you skip through that you arrive at the Group Performance which in the past few weeks have just been a motley crew disaster of too many voices, too much running around and crap harmonies that make us just want to read a blog for the results rather than endure this disaster. Though, if you did slow down the fast forward enough to watch this part of the night, we need to talk about what they’re doing to poor Erika van Pelt as she darkens, shortens and butches her hair and as her “outfits” get looser and weirder making her completely unapproachable. You’d think her talent should be enough to win her this show but let’s be honest: that is NOT how most of America votes. Stand up for yourself Erika and say no to crack… also, awful styling.

Okay, some horrific car commercial and some boring talk about their new house if they make it to the Top 9 and BAM we finally get to some results!! First up is Hollie Cavanagh, Skylar Laine, and Elise Testone. I really do quite like all these girls- though I haven’t quite connected with Hollie- so I hope they’re all safe but I honestly worry Skylar getting trashed by the judges last night might hurt her, and of course the fact that Elise isn’t 15 doesn’t help though her amazing performance last night hopefully will. The results: Hollie stays, Skylar stays and WOW, Elise stays. I’m surprised and missed the boat on Skylar’s fate but am totally satisfied with the direction this night is taking so far.

Next up was (ugh) Lana Del Rey‘s TAPPED performance of “Video Games“: does she only have one song or what? Honestly, I watch MTV for taped performances: I watch live tv for LIVE performances. Clearly, the dazed and confused blond millionairess didn’t want to risk getting booed for another tragedy a la “Saturday Night Live” and thought this was the best route to take. I love that they tape it exactly where they show it to try and fake some “live” aspect to it: I can only imagine how many takes it actually took. The ketamine-enduced performance was sleepy and odd. While I do appreciate a new type of voice, she’s just so blah and reminds me of Twilight’s Kristen Stewart’s “What, I’m tragic” attitude. The end of the song got pitchy and weird and I’m just not seeing her as anything other than flash in the pan, sorry.

After some random guy named Joe Perry (I’m kidding, it’s the lead guitarist from Aerosmith) sings Steven Tyler happy 80th birthday, we get right back to where we need to be: RESULTS. Pulling up Deandre Brackensick, Joshua Ledet, and Jessica Sanchez, I’m lost wondering who’s going to go considering the latter two where so good and DeAndre is the golden child of idiot voters everywhere. I loved Jessica once again and Joshua- though boring in personality and too religion-ie for me- blasted it last night so what’s up Seacrest? Then we find out: Jessica stays, Joshua stays and DeAndre is Bottom Three. I’m ecstatic and BLOWN away!! Could this be the tide turning? Are the texters and emailers and old school phone callers actually getting this right and sending home those who don’t deserve to be there? Ever the eternal optimist I’m smiling and taking this as a sign things might be getting better for ol’ American Idol. Hell, next you’ll be telling me that exec producer Nigel Lythgoe has been fired. Nah, don’t get greedy Adam! The crowd obviously screams no’s and why’s at the results as 12-year old girls worry they won’t have fantasies of combing DeAndre’s mess of a hairdo anymore and I’m left satisfied.

Haley Reinhart
, the scratchy sexy singer from Idol Season 10 shows her pre-taped (is this like a trend?) performance of “Free“. I’ve always loved this girl and honestly, after she was booted pretty much gave up caring last year. She is sexy as hell (though tonight’s hair was a bit too exaggerated for me) in a slinky red number as she plays, trapped inside a giant cage until it’s airlifted outta there. The whole number was quite the production and maybe if I hated the singer I’d mock it, but as is, she’s sweet and has a great voice so I quite liked it. Good luck Haley.

Back to the good stuff. The final four are brought on stage: Erika Van Pelt, Colton Dixon, Phillip Phillips, and Heejun Han. I’m excited to know that two of these will be Bottom Three as my predictions for failure are within this group. At this point, with “cute” DeAndre in the bottom, it’s basically impossible that my boyfriend Phil Phils didn’t get the girl vote and Colton rocked his “Piano Man” song last night so I’m thinking that my guess that awful Heejun and styling-failure and too-old-to-connect-even-though-she’s-amazing Erika are gonna get thumbs down. Survey says: Colton stays, Erika is Bottom Three, Phil stays and Heejun is Bottom Three. 2 out of 3 ain’t that bad!

So, now it’s down to these three only and I’m praying that America saw that the boys need to get going. HOWEVER, I’m having a deep down worry that with the disastrous makeup, haircut and outfit choices they’ve been pushing on Erika and the too-unknown songs she’s been singing that she ain’t gonna beat out these two idiot guys as she deserves to… And, crap I’m right. We find out that stupid curly hair and idiot humour beat out true talent and experience as Heejun is safe and DeAndre is safe. Left is my girl and true singer: Erika van Pelt.

I hate that they have to re-sing one of the songs that got them in the bottom in the first place but she takes to the stage like a champ in her terrifying grey thing. Her song is slightly off key but who the frig cares as she uses all the manliness she can muster to slay this Billy Joel song and put a TON of emotion into it. During it you can see Elise Testone crying as she worries she’s losing likely the only other “adult” she can related to in this competition. The final notes are perfection and I’m left praying that the judges say she gets the once-a-season save and tells off the idiot voters for not appreciating true talent. CRAP!!! They take about two seconds to think about it and stupid Randy says: “Nope!” Without even much worry behind it.

Fine, I’ll admit that Erika never really stood a chance of taking this whole thing, but people: she is a thousand times the performer and singer that half the remaining kids will ever be. That said, I’m confident that she’ll be picked up no problem by a record label that doesn’t mind singers over 18 and will be just fine and use this exposure to her advantage. I’m happy that America is slowly realizing crap doesn’t belong there but with this final result I’m seeing Idol producers and their need for “must see tv” over actual talent. For now, let’s acknowledge Erika was a looooong shot, put our money behind Elise and hope next week is a better one!

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