American Idol: “1 Of 7 Voted Off”
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American Idol: “1 Of 7 Voted Off”

B+

American Idol

“1 Of 7 Voted Off”

Season 11, Episode 28

Well, I felt quite smug for the first three-quarters of Idol when I figured I had not only predicted the bottom three, but I had called a rather long-shot bottom three. Turns out I was way off: Only one prediction I made last night came true, and that was regarding the save.

Prior to the very interesting results, we endure the typical time-killing. The group number has not been 86’ed for good, as the kids sing Pink’s “Raise Your Glass.” It’s funny to hear the contestants on Idol singing about being “dirty little freaks,” but it’s a cute group number. The duets have actually honed the singers’ skill when it comes to singing together. Phillip sounds surprisingly good on the tune, and Elise confirms that everyone is singing live when she comes in on her part too early. At the end, Ryan jumps to raise his Coke cup. Adorable.

I have a theory about tonight’s Ford video, and it was that the singers weren’t asked to do much for it due to the Easter weekend. To “Great Escape,” still pictures of the contestants’ heads are used in notebook doodles. That’s it. Nice work if you can get it.

I’d rather hear Ryan talking about his grooming routine than watch the segment that comes next, as the contestants go through their fan mail. Colton and Hollie are invited to the prom. (I’ve never thought about whether Colton is straight or gay, but his “Oh snap” to his prom invitation makes me think he may be the kind of guy a dad can really trust with his daughter.) Then Elise has to go show Steven, who is wearing an unflattering half-ponytail and the feather hair extensions she received in the mail. I’m sure if you missed the episode, you’re kicking yourself right now.  

Two Idol alums performed tonight. First, James Durbin, looking a bit like a tall Deryck Whibley, brings metal back to the Idol stage, much to the boredom of the current contestants. James always looks like he’s having fun onstage, and aside from a new rockin’ band, he doesn’t seem very different from what we saw of him last season. It’s sweet to hear that Idol alums from his season were in attendance at his wedding.

Then, Jennifer Hudson performs “Think Like A Man” with NeYo, featuring hair that is Janelle Monae in the front and Avatar in the back. It’s not a terribly memorable song, but the performance is a bit more Beyonce than we usually see from Jennifer, featuring backup dancers and acting/choreography from our Dream Girl.

If I ran this show (and I might as well), I think it’d be fun to see current contestants perform duets with past ones. And since I’m running the show in this scenario, I’d sing one duet with Kris Allen and one with Adam Lambert.  Or maybe one where I’m sitting in between the two of them.

On to the results. Ryan does that thing where he divides the contestants up into two groups without telling them who is safe and who is in danger. Hollie, Phillip and Colton end up on one end of the stage, and Elise, Joshua and Jessica on another, leaving Skylar alone on the couch.

“You’re safe,” Ryan tells her, and Skylar goes over to Colton, Phillip and Hollie to tell them how much she loves them. It’s clear that, like me, she thinks they’re the group that’s in danger (mostly because of Hollie’s presence). Ryan then instructs her to pick which group she thinks is safe, and she refuses (even though it’s clear she’s already inferred which it is.)

However, both Skylar and I are wrong: it’s Jessica, Joshua and Elise who are the bottom three. Elise is no surprise, since I don’t think she’ll ever get the young vote, but Joshua and Jessica…well, the only good explanation I can come up with is that, um, they’re not white. I hate that explanation, but if you happen to have a better one, let me know.

The judges express shock at the bottom three, and Steven rather spoils everything when he says “We’re gonna use our card tonight,” which at least validates my prediction last night that the save would be used on anyone but Hollie.

“Elise, hang tight for a second, because Joshua, you are safe,” Ryan says inexplicably. I figure that between Jessica and Elise, Elise has to sing for her life, but in an even bigger shocker, Pia, I mean Jessica, is the one in danger of going home. The look of horror on Jennifer’s face is worthy of a screengrab (so who has one?).

Jessica begins to sing but is interrupted as the judges come onstage and, just as Steven promised, throw down the save card. Jessica humbly claims that she wasn’t surprised by the results, which makes me like her a bit more.

After tonight’s results, nobody should be surprised by anything, basically. It’s clear that the judges’ input at this point has very little bearing on how America votes, which is a little confusing and a little refreshing.

Stray observations:

  •  Jimmy didn’t say anything very surprising or enlightening about the contestants, except that he finally called Phillip out on sounding a bit too much like Dave Matthews.
  • Also, his use of the term “singer-songwriter” at times seemed questionable.

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