'American Idol' Recap: 13 Become 12
Denied the Judges' Save, Ashthon Jones becomes the first to get the boot
By Carla Patton
With these results, "American Idol" will give us our true Top 12, as the voters have done what Jennifer Lopez couldn't. We'll also get a group number (such trepidation!) and performances from Adam Lambert, and Diddy-plus-whoever-and-whatever he's tacked onto his name now (Diddy-Dirty Money with Skylar Grey).
This week's theme is "Idols" (how inventive!), and if it's not already obvious by now, my personal idol is Ryan Seacrest. You know he goes home after taping an episode of "American Idol" to swim in his giant pool full of gold coins, Scrooge McDuck-style! Tonight in judge fashion, Steven Tyler is wearing a black lace duster, and one of Jennifer Lopez's sleeves is making up for the loss of its mate by being extra puffy. Randy put his outfit on the night before and slept in it because "it saves time in the morning." (He didn't say that. I love Randy.)
30 million votes came in this week, but it was still not enough to save one person. Speaking of saving, the Judges' Save is back in play this season. Oh, cool. And Ryan tells us that Casey Abrams is missing because he's sick in the hospital (again). At least he's better than Christina Christian, who was sick and missed the results show in which she was eliminated.
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The finalists got a video montage of them enjoying their swanky, Season 10 Idol Mansion, and I could watch Jacob Lusk react to things all night long. Well, I'd prefer it to the group lip-sync that followed. At least, I think it was lip-synced, especially because of how some voices sounded, and the way Haley forgot not to mouth the words she wasn't singing. But some of the singers (Lauren Alaina, in particular) did not sound like they had the advantage of studio magic.
The Michael Jackson medley group performance was so delightfully awkward. I wanted it to go on forever. James Durbin didn't even sound like himself and forgot to hold the fake microphone up to his mouth. Ashthon was giving the camera her sexiest faces, and Scotty was relying on his old country charm. It was a hot mess.
As if that wasn't enough, we were then subjected to the Ford music video. They were ripping parts of the city down and turned it into a stage, upon which they sang to an audience full of Ford Focuses.
Hey, Amanda Seyfried, didja like that movie you were in? Spoiler alert: she did! It was "the best experience of her life." But it's not about you, Amanda. The "Red Riding Hood" premiere was all about the "Idol" contestants. The finalists were excited about "Twilight" stars and Lance Bass. Seeing the movie was the best experience of their lives. But Scotty and Lauren fell asleep. It may have been past their bedtime (I had to say it).
Hey, Ryan. How about some real content? Dim the lights, Kieran? Not like people behind the scenes matter as much as Ryan Seacrest. Jacob, Stefano and Karen are the first three called to the center of the stage. Ryan Seacrest asks Jacob, "Can you fly?" because he asks the questions that matter. Then he asked Stefano how good it felt to be shunned by America.
Jacob and Stefano are safe, and Karen Rodriguez is in the bottom three. The way Ryan told her was pretty messed up: "You're all safe ... except ... except for Karen Rodriguez." Ryan should really be better at this by now.
Finally, Adam Lambert performed and the show got 25 times classier. He's singing a remix of "Aftermath" or is it "Aftermath Remix"? Anyway, if you download this song, the proceeds will go to help the Trevor Project. So if you like it, you should actually pay for a copy instead of pirating it. Adam Lambert, I love you and your shiny hair. The long moment of Jennifer Lopez and Ryan Seacrest discussing the "Dougie" was gratuitous.
Guess we're not worried about time! Dime the lights, Kieran! Not you, Karen Rodriguez! You're already in the bottom. Try to relax. Lauren Alaina, Ashthon Jones and Haley Reinhart are called to center stage next. Some of you have been complaining about Lauren Alaina in the comments, and I'm starting to understand why. She is a little too cutesy. Ryan made her cry (or she made herself cry), and so he tells her that she is safe. They love the fake-out on "Idol," don't they?
Ashthon is next. She regrets picking another obscure song. Then, Randy tells Haley that he loves her "husky" tone, and he loved her in that group number. I don't think that was even Haley's voice she was lip-syncing to, Randy. Jennifer Lopez recommends that Haley sing some Stevie Nicks.
In another weird move, Ryan tells Ashthon that she is in the bottom three ... along with Haley. So ... everyone else on the couch is safe! So weird. Karen Rodriguez, Ashthon Jones and Haley Reinhart are in the bottom three, and this leaves plenty of time for banter.
And now a performance from Diddy-Dirty Money with Skylar Grey. If you have not been eagerly anticipating this performance, you could get up and get a snack or something. Or maybe you're like me and you're not sure exactly what Diddy-Dirty Money is (it's P. Diddy and some members of Danity Kane, of "Making the Band" fame?). I just found out about "overstand" and had to look up how to spell the "Dougie," so don't rely on me for up-to-date pop culture information.
Then Ryan Seacrest moved them over to the contestant's couch so that Diddy can tell the contestants never to give up on their dreams. Maybe he should have said something to the bottom three, unless bottom-dwellers are dead to the likes of Diddy-Dirty Money. I don't know his/their/its personal philosophy.
Dim the lights, Kieran! And, as for you, Karen Rodriguez, you are safe. Don't sing a Selena song again. Haley is safe, and Ashthon is singing for the save, which she will almost certainly not get. But who knows? This is her second week singing under pressure, and it worked the last time. I like her hair, because it is both hip and somewhat mystical.
The judges, naturally, are not using the save, and Ashthon will not get to live in the "American Idol" Mansion anymore. That may be the biggest bummer of all. So, Ashthon Jones is going home. Did you see it coming?
Oh, and I would like nothing more than to forget that David Cook covered "Don't You (Forget About Me)." So, let's accept what is and move forward.
What do you think? Did America and the judges get it right?
What did you think of Thursday night's episode? "American Idol" message board
"American Idol" airs Wednesdays and Thursdays this week at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.
I am in agreement with most that Naima should have been in the bottom three, and possibly voted off. She has been off-key almost everytime I have heard her sing. But, Ashton has also been off-key most times I have heard her. I'm sorry, but I believe these two got through in order to keep an African-American balance (yes, I know I won't get points for that.).
Karen chose the wrong song, and I hope she comes back strong, because she is good, and humble.
My surprise for the week was one of my least faves overall: I don't even remember his name (the screamer that sang Paul McCartney) actually showed some talent. He surprised me. And Paul, one of my original faves, needs to step it up, cause he has not impressed me the last couple weeks.
She never should have been picked when the judges had to pick two people to save. They should have picked the red-hair guy (gay) so what, but that kid could sing a hellava lot better than Stephano and this loser that got kicked off ;last night.
My pick for the show are Casey and James. These two are the only ones imo with real talent.
Next week, Naima the Avatar cast-out had better be voted off. It was ridiculous that she wasn't in the bottom three. Karen and even Haley can out-sing her any day - overstand?
Wow, how snarky, Carla. Do you also write guest columns for "Vote For The Worst"?
Ryan, Simon is gone, no need to be cruel to the young contestants like he was.
Karen deserved more respect, that joke was mean, not funny.
Jacob, Pia, Hayley, Naima & Casey are my favorites.
Dirty Money's performance was very good, loved the addition of Skylar, but Sean Combs had "Danity Kane", girls with incredible voices who should have been part of this group, and they had style.