American Idol had fun toying with the viewers tonight, divvying up the contestants in yet another unique way to try and throw us off the trail of who was in the bottom three and who was going home. While tonight’s results weren’t as shocking as last season’s American Idol winner Kris Allen and runner-up Adam Lambert being in the bottom 3, the results didn’t go exactly as expected.
American Idol Top 5 Results — Return of the Medley
American Idol host Ryan Seacrest informed us at the top of the hour that 32 million votes had been cast…by 32 texting teenagers. Or something like that. Ryan also let us know that next week’s theme is “Songs of the Cinema” mentored by Jamie Foxx. Yet another opportunity for cheesy, overblown ballads, but on the up side there’s at least a possibility for something written within the last three decades.
The American Idol then had the “pleasure” of yet another medley from our cool-cat Top 5 outfitted in jazzy suits and skinny ties. We also got Crystal and Mike in matching trilby hats, which is a sartorial gift I’d rather return. Once again there was the lip syncing so cleverly masked by each of the American Idol contestants shielding their mouths with their hands and the mics. As if the weird, tinny sounds of their voices weren’t a dead giveaway already. This wasn’t the worst of the medleys, as Crystal almost sounded live and they all seemed to be having a sort of this-is-so-lame-let’s-cheese-it-up bit of fun with it.
American Idol Top 5 Results — Insert Product Placement Here
Another American Idol Results Show, another Ford commercial. This one had a bit of flirtation going on with Lee and Crystal, with the crowd seemed to enjoy immensely. Sadly, Lee was more in love with his car than Crystal, allowing Casey to step in. Mike and Aaron took part in some physical humor in this romantic comedy. Not as good as the vampires, but the Lee/Crystal sexy googly eyes made up for the cheese factor.
American Idol Top 5 Results — Behind the Scenes
We got a little more insight into the American Idol contestants with some behind the scenes footage, and a comparison of their lives before and after American Idol. The stress of the gig was summed up perfectly when Lee said: “Tuesday is now performance night–” and then with a look of sudden uncertainty– “right?” When you don’t even know what day it is, you’ve been working hard.
We also got a peek at the fake judges used as stand-ins during rehearsal, which was hilarious since they actually had look-a-likes filling in and mimicking the judges’ comments. As Casey related with relief, however, the contestants quickly learned that the faux judges were a lot nicer than the real ones.
American Idol Top 5 Results — Inane Question Time
As Ryan marched through the inevitable re-hashing of old themes and dead horse beatings, Mike finally seemed to lose the will to even answer this week’s boring question about dreading Wednesday nights. Never mind that Mike had just talked about it in the video shown; let’s ask him about it again! After Mike finally forced out a half-hearted response that contradicted what he’d said in the video, Ryan moved on to annoy the rest of the American Idol Top 5.
We at least got a laugh from Casey, who when asked about his performance without a guitar, replied: “We saw how well that turned out.” You know Casey’s not going to say he cried himself to sleep last night–he’s all about the “I came to the stage, I played, I left and waited for your votes”. The man doesn’t angst like Lee DeWyze.
American Idol Top 5 Results — Speaking of Angst
When Ryan announced it was time for the American Idol results to begin, there was a distinct “Awwww…” from the audience. Ryan couldn’t help sputtering out a laugh, saying, “You act like there’s a twist here. We always do this part!”
Lee got called to the center of the American Idol stage, and he got plenty of loud screams. Asked how he felt about the judges’ overwhelmingly positive critiques, Lee said he thought about how he could do better. That’s our Lee. Ryan asked if Lee was a bit too hard on himself. He is, but Lee’s response basically summed up that he didn’t want to get a big fat ego and rest on his laurels. If he improves every week, he’ll keep getting those compliments. It’s a good philosophy.
Simon reiterated his comments from the night before, about how mentor Harry Connick Jr. obviously helped Lee find his confidence. “It was the first time you believed in yourself,” Simon said, “and it was like seeing a different person.” Ryan put Lee and us out of our misery quickly, announcing that Lee was safe.
American Idol Top 5 Results — Lady Gaga
No one knows what Lady Gaga has to do with Frank Sinatra, but there she was on the American Idol stage. Actually, she wasn’t there tonight, as her performance had been taped previously. Why they wouldn’t air it on a slightly more genre-appropriate night is beyond us. With a set of black wire trees and a towering, fiery angel, Lady Gaga attempted to bring spectacle and singing together with “Alejandro”.
As Lady Gaga rolled around on the stage in a black lace and fishnet outfit, a veil across her heavily make-upped face, half-naked boys in high-waisted spandex shorts writhing around her, I had a distinct feeling I’d seen this somewhere before. In the 80s. By Madonna. Sadly, Lady Gaga’s performance didn’t live up to the original Material Girl. While her singing was fine, the song seemed like cobbled bits of better songs. The set didn’t really make any sense, and Lady Gaga did nothing that really approached dance–not even Vogue-ing.
While the dance pop mini-diva has created some catchy tunes that won’t leave your head, this was not one of her finer songs or performances. I’m starting to wonder if this season’s American Idol stage sucks the talent out of whomever stands on it. Performers sound great on other shows, in rehearsal, and in concert–but under the American Idol lights it just fades away. A few talented singers like Adam Lambert and the vocalists of Lady Antebellum managed to break the curse, so at least we know it can be done. Just not often enough.
American Idol Top 5 Results — Thank You, I’ll Be Here All Week
One of the treats of the night was the American Idol backstage video of Harry Connick Jr. and his crazy sense of humor. Harry jokingly lamented about being mistaken for Chris Isaak, told Casey’s mom that her son was “ugly”, and had a stare-off contest with Lee. He jabbed at Crystal for losing focus, only to find out she was getting messages from her insulin pump. “Great, I just made a joke about the insulin pump–awkwaaaard!” Harry chastised himself.
Harry repeatedly told the cameras to focus on him, as he was the star. He told Mike “enough with the baby thing”, and set out on a crusade to stop the American Idol judges using the word “pitchy”. We saw footage of him telling contestants when notes were sharp or flat. “It’s not pitchy,” Harry told the American Idol cameras. “We say ‘out of tune’.” You tell ’em, Harry. And yes, we’re sick of the whole baby thing, too!
American Idol Top 5 Results — Harry Connick Jr. Performance
Harry Connick Jr. is an incredible singer, a good-looking guy, and a great performer. Tonight’s rendition of “And I Love Her” on the American Idol stage was a little bit odd, however. Anyone who’s accused Big Mike of being the Big Cheese would have to say the same about Harry tonight. While he sounded great, the arrangement of the song and the slurry, almost bemused way he performed it was a bit more Bill Murray as SNL lounge singer than crooner extraordinaire Harry Connick Jr. Of course the Rat Pack used to crack wise and sing with drinks in their hands, so maybe he’s not so far off the mark.
Considering how much fun Harry’s been on American Idol this week, we’re willing to forgive him a bit of cheese. We can’t forgive the hired help in the audience, however, with their swaying hands on high speed–which had nothing whatsoever to do with the mood or tempo of the song.
American Idol Top 5 Results — The Connick Medley
The American Idol Top 5 got together for another medley, this time of Harry Connick Jr.’s songs. If they’d actually been singing live, I think this might have been pretty enjoyable. The Top 5 might have done better last night tackling Harry’s own songs, which have a bit of a modern twist that the judges would also have appreciated. Maybe next year.
American Idol Top 5 Results — Ryan’s Evil Twin Returns
After sleep-deprived Ryan talked about Katie’s “blossoming” and Adam Lambert’s tongue in previous American Idol episodes, he seemed to chill out for a week or two. Tonight the king of double entendre returned during a bit of banter between American Idol judge Ellen and mentor Harry Connick Jr. Pretending to keep their “rivalry” alive, Harry told Ellen to keep her eyes off of him. “That’s right,” Ryan added, “keep your eyes away from his organ.” Of course Ellen started this organ business last night during the judging of the performances, so Ryan can’t be completely blamed, and it’s one of those throwaway lines that little kids won’t understand anyway. Just keeping things interesting for the American Idol viewers once again.
American Idol Top 5 Results — Sinatra the Ladies’ Man
Continuing his reign as star of American Idol, Harry Connick Jr. shared his story of performing for Frank Sinatra at his birthday party. A confident guy of 22 years, Harry nonetheless completely froze and forgot the words to his song, being forced to start over. Embarrassed, Harry hoped to explain himself in the elevator later. In lieu of sage advice about stage fright, Frank told Harry’s future wife that she was beautiful and planted a big kiss on her lips. That’s when you know you’ve hit the big time–when you can kiss a guy’s girlfriend right in front of him and not get punched out.
American Idol Top 5 Results — The Bottom 2
With Lee sitting pretty through the whole American Idol results show, the remaining four contestants finally learned their fate. Ryan put Crystal and Casey together on one side of the American Idol stage, and Aaron and Mike on the other. Lee wisely kept himself out of the guessing game about who was in the bottom 2.
While it wasn’t a huge surprise to see Aaron and Mike as the bottom 2, it was interesting to see that recent bottom 3 resident Casey James was totally safe after his worst American Idol performance to date. Obviously his fans power-voted to make sure he didn’t get the boot after his battle with Sinatra week.
American Idol Top 5 Results — Aaron Kelly Goes Home
Ryan shared the news that Aaron Kelly’s American Idol journey was over. Mike enveloped him in a giant hug, offering several whispered words of wisdom that finally resulted in a big brave smile from Aaron. “I had a blast,” he told Ryan, before lining up for his final song. Strangely, though the contestants this year had their choice of any song, Aaron chose to sing the number that got him voted off: “Fly Me to the Moon”.
As has been the case for many American Idol contestants, Aaron put in a better performance tonight than he did last time, putting a lot of gusto into the song and selling it a lot more convincingly. This kid needs a couple years to mature and get his nerves under control, and he’s definitely got some good talent and potential to work with.
American Idol Top 5 Results — The Verdict
Lee DeWyze, Crystal Bowersox, Casey James, and Michael Lynche are your final four American Idol hopefuls. Since he was the second best performer last night, Mike definitely didn’t deserve his bottom 2 status. It’s coming down to personality now, however. With so few contestants, the American Idol voters will be calling in for their favorites–whether that favorite does well or not. At this stage, most people have their minds made up who they want to win.
Best guess is that the judges will have their way and end up with a Lee DeWyze/Crystal Bowersox final 2. Of course, many folks thought Siobhan Magnus would be fighting it out in the top 3 or 4, and that didn’t happen. American Idol can’t always be predicted, and with such an inconsistent group this year, the favorites shift from week to week. Who knows how loyalties will stand after next week’s potentially tricky movie songs theme.
Watch American Idol every Tuesday and Wednesday on FOX. Check local listings for times, as they can vary.