Elimination Day!! It’s down to the Top 7 and I’m more than thrilled to say there’s no chaff left in this group: we are full of wheat and talent at this point. The past few weeks have seen the demise of some how-are-they-still-there singers and we’re down to wire where any mistake can send a kid home and there’s no more resting on laurels. Everything counts and tonight’s results could very well prove that, as dark horse Elise Testone might survive (god I hope so!) due to a great performance last night and we might see a frequent judge favourite take a bow. I’ve called this a year for the boys thinking that it will be the “two cute ones” (Colton Dixon and Phil Phils) making it to the final stage as their twitter followers are out of control and likely so is the voting for them. That said, we’ve seen week after week of brilliance from Jessica Sanchez who I say will take the show. BUT, nothing’s for sure so let’s get to tonight!
The Top 7 performed: “Song From This Decade” yesterday and finally gave us what we’ve been demanding and offered up current hits and recent classics for the kids to attempt. It was a damn good night with little for me to gripe on for once and led to some pretty heated discussions in the comments section afterwards- always a good sign! I questioned the “amazingness” of Joshua Ledet’s over-the-top and less recognizable performance of Bruno Mars in spite of the judges overwhelming accolades and predictable Standing O, and cast some doubt on the fate of Hollie Cavanagh as she continues to not connect with her youthfulness and the audience. Still, I’m no music expert and I can only call it how I see it having watched how Idol works for years and I think no matter what, me might finally see the use of the “Save” this week as I truly believe that none of the contestants left are bad and one mistake is all it takes. Let’s see what happens!!
Once again, I’ve included last night’ recap to remind us of some of the lesser-discussed singers like Skylar and Colton who put on some damn great shows! I still have the country girl as a predicted possible “to go home” but only because I don’t think she’s as memorable or as google-able as the bigger names like Phil or Jessica who seem to be on everyone’s tongue these days. No matter what, that country girl is gonna sell some records when this is over, I just think that following last year and watching how the judges push the kids, this ain’t the year of the South. Tonight we go into the episode wondering just how exciting this Thursday will be given that Nigel Lythgoe, Ryan Seacrest AND TMZ have all reported this ep to be a “Real Shocker” but of course, haven’t we all heard that before? In fact, there’s been a release statement from the gossip reporters that… well, just read it here:
There will be a stunning turn of events on “American Idol” tonight, because TMZ has learned one of the absolute favorites to win the competition will be eliminated.
Sources connected with the show tell TMZ … producers are scrambling to persuade the judges to use their “save” on the contestant.
We’re told producers actually thought 2 of the 3 contestants in the bottom tonight were strong candidates to win the entire competition.
Typically, I don’t follow online leaks and stories as they either ruin things for me or are completely unfounded, however the fact that TMZ is reporting that the show is attempting to force the judges into keeping a major contender around is too “soooo Idol” as we see just how contrived and manipulated this “reality” show really is. I say, let’s just quit the conjecture and get to the nitty gritty! First up, is another GOD-AWFUL group performance. “Singing” Pink’s “Raise Your Glass”, the kids are forced into unmatched pairings of offsetting ranges and tones and the whole thing comes off as desperate. The only thing I’m happy about is the amount of solos Elise gets as we need to get her some face time to get those kids voting for her! Oh, and please watch this video at least for the last ten seconds to realize this entire show is a commercial for Coca Cola as Seacrest jumps on the screen oh-so-casually sporting a perfect product placement for their biggest sponsor. I’m only taking the time to even discuss this mess because it so perfectly encapsulates what this show has become: a machine to advertise and sell Coke. At the cost of talent and true performances (ie. the crap we just listened to), we get products shoved at us as this show turns into a two-hour long ad. Okay, rant over; who’s going home?!
Oh wait, no, there’s ANOTHER commercial and this time for Ford. I’m not even wasting a breath on that crap though I feel like my point has more than been made. First up are Hollie Cavanagh and Jessica Sanchez. We find out that Hollie is Right Side and Jessica is Left Side. WTF you ask? Well, if you didn’t watch last year, this is that thing that the show does when there’s too few contestants to fill an hour and a half and start creating bullshit ways to pull the show out as long as it can be to sell more Coke and cars. UGH. For now, I’m more inclined to believe that Hollie is the side of those going to the Bottom Three, but honestly, with all this talk of upset and shocking results, I can’t say for sure at this point!
James Durbin of Idol season 10 fame takes the stage to perform his song: “Higher Than Heaven“. He was a super sweet contestant from last year who placed 4th and gave possibly the best and truest metal performances the show has ever seen. He didn’t really blast into the charts as some predicted he might but he’s going on a tour this year starting at the Viper Room so we certainly wish him the best of luck. His song tonight is a blast of vocals and volume as per and it’s very frenetic and though it’s not my cut of tea, I do think this kid will do well especially as he gains some years as his style is more of an aged rocker style.
Back to the results! Well, the “pretend this means something” results. Phil Phillips is called up alongside his singing partner Elise Testone and I’m suddenly convinced that no matter what side Phil ends up on, that’s the safe one… who could send that cute puppy dog face home?? Again they’re split and Phil is Right Side with Hollie and Elise is Left Side with Jessica. Now, here’s where things get interesting (again, in a “stretching time to sell” kind of way): Jessica and Phil are frontrunners and likely finalist competitors for this show so how could they be split? That said, I remember seeing a year where they did this exact same thing and Seacrest says: “Just kidding, you should have been on this side the whole time” at the end of it, so I’m not too worried about this ploy as is and would prefer to fast forward to the last 3 minutes right now!
Next up is major Idol success (though not show winner!) Jennifer Hudson and Ne-Yo here to perform: “Think Like a Man“. DAMN. I have got to give this girl credit: her name has been ALL over the news recently as the trial against the accused killer of Hudson’s mother, brother and nephew in 2008 has been going through elaborate jury selection due to the interfering fame of the Idol singer. She has got great strength of character to put on a brave face and take up this commitment to sing despite her current personal life! The break out star and weight loss icon looks amazing on stage with a brand new hair style and slams it hard out there! Accompanied halfway through by Ne-Yo, the two of them rock it out and completely show up the previous performance by Durban (sorry kid) and demonstrate what maturity and poise can add to a show.
BACK TO RESULTS! Bringing up the remaining boys, there’s Colton Dixon and Joshua Ledet. Now, if they put Colt on Phil’s side you just KNOW that’s the good one… it’s: Joshua is Left Side with Jessica and Elise; Colton is Right Side with Hollie and Phil. BAM!! And instantly I’m thinking this could be the night that Jessica takes a huge fall as perhaps her voters have become lazy and complacent with her constant wins to the safe group!
To throw a “dramatic” wrench into the whole show, lonely Skylar Laine is brought centre stage and told that Skylar stays so she must choose a side to align herself with. Refusing to say which she believes is the stronger of the two (she should really read my articles haha), Seacrest takes over and throws her to the right side: Hollie stays; Phil stays; Colton stays; Elise is Bottom Three; Joshua is Bottom Three; Jessica is Bottom Three. Well, this definitely was a shocker.
Not only was judge-favourite and consummate standing ovation-earner Joshua taken down, but overall online top choice Jessica was missed on the save group this week. But, that doesn’t mean she’s the bottom of the bottom does it? I mean, long-shot (I love her) Elise is standing next to her! BAM AGAIN! Joshua Stays; Elise Stays; Jessica is Sent Home! The crowd, the viewers, the judges and I are completely blown away. How could someone with such brilliant and near-perfect performances (including a strong one the night before) go from top drawer to eliminated in one foul swoop? I’m calling it as I did a second ago: complacency. This show which allows for constant and frequent voting as many times as you can for as many contestants as you like is completely at the whim of voters who feel like they don’t have to protect the stronger contenders and watch out for weaker, lesser favourites. So, where someone who many like such as Hollie may have not had the best night last night, her fans (who very well also could be Jessica fans) might have doubled, tripled, quadrupled the Holl votes and forgot to put in as much effort for “always safe” Jessica! DANGEROUS!! You ALWAYS have to be begging for voters to call for you on this one!
As per, the eliminated contestant is allowed to swan song for their life in the hopes of earning the one reprise/”Save” of the season and Jessica starts into hers only for a moment before crazy J Lo storms the stage to stop the girl and announces they’re absolutely saving her. Soooooo now I’m left wondering: was this truly a demonstration of how awry a reality show can go, or was this all staged and faked to get viewers excited and calling in more? I truly, truly wish I could wholeheartedly believe the former of the options but given that this show is run by evil gay-nemesis and aged puppet-master Nigel Lythgoe, and that it’s basically a singing billboard for Coke and Ford, I’m forced to wonder. I think Jessica might have been a bit the victim of staging by the show’s producers as they attempt anything they can to save their failing numbers and viewership and I don’t really believe this was all on the up and up.
Still, it was one hell of a shocker no matter what you believe and will definitely get more kids voting and watching so mission accomplished I suppose! What do you think?!?!