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

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American Idol

“1 Voted Off”

Season 11, Episode 18

I should give credit where credit is due: I felt legitimate tension tonight as I waited for Idol’s results. It was a negative type of anticipation: It’s not that I so much wanted one person to be safe but if the other person didn’t get sent home, it would set the tone that the entire season would already be Complete Bullshit.

Before we got to the news, we returned to the trials and tribulations that make up the Idol results show. To wit:

The group number: The Top 13 sang the fabulous Stevie Wonder song “As.” As “actual” performances go, it was a bit of a disjointed mess, with each contestant picking up a different line and lots of lyric-mumbling. However, we’ve seen much worse to these numbers: Everyone actually sang with their own live voices and I didn’t even mind the guys’ cute side-to-side dance.

The Ford music video: Peter Gabriel’s “Big Time” was sung as giant versions of the Top 13 (except for Jermaine, who was just regular-sized) strode through L.A. I’ve seen better masking done by the Phantom of the Opera but it was fairly inoffensive. It wasn’t as embarrassing as seeing the kids play vampires or zombies or zombie-vampires. After the commercial for the Ford Escape, Ryan said “There’s no escaping the results!” and then a producer gave him a biscuit.

The guest performances: Lauren Alaina returned, complete with the obligatory post-Idol makeover (thinner, tanner, blonder, sassier). Her song “Georgia Peaches” was pretty forgettable (why include so many “Whoooahs” in a song’s chorus when you could easily put in actual words?) but I had forgotten that Lauren was a cute, legitimately good singer, so it was nice seeing her again.

Mary J. Blige sang her song “Why.” I’m more a fan of her than I am of her music (I just don’t listen to a lot of R&B), but she’s a good singer, has awesome style, seems like her own grown-ass person and most importantly was an engaged, useful mentor last night, so I like her.

The results: There were very few surprises tonight, and Jimmy Iovine echoed many of my same concerns from last night: Stevie Wonder showed off HeeJun’s weaknesses, Jermaine was thinking too much (although I have started to wonder whether it’s thinking too much or just not having a lot of personality beyond “the nice big guy”), Jeremy didn’t deliver at all, and so on.

In the end, the bottom two girls were Shannon and Elise while the two guys were Jermaine and Jeremy, with Elise and Jeremy ultimately ending up on the chopping block.

To my surprise, when Steven was asked which of the two should go home, he said, with no hedging, “Jeremy.” Ryan then helpfully asked Jeremy how it felt to be standing where he was. “It stinks,” Jeremy said, but he should have said “How do you think it feels, Ryan? Or are you incapable of feeling anymore?”

Elise definitely had a rough night Wednesday night but it seemed so absolutely clear to me that weak Elise was still better than regular Jeremy. If the judges chose to save Jeremy, then I’d be hating this season of Idol very early on, which I don’t want to do. Finally, Ryan asked Jennifer what she thought, and after about five hours of dithering, she finally gave the right answer: They were saving Elise.

Sorry Jeremy, if you’re out there somewhere. You seemed like a nice guy, but the possibility of you staying in the show just would have encapsulated everything that drives me crazy about Idol (IE, that America is stupid and makes bad decisions.) The funny thing is, I think that had America had its choice, he’d be safe tonight and Elise would be going home, so maybe for once having the judges interfere with the show isn’t such a bad thing.

Stray observations:

  • I realized tonight that Shannon reminds me of Jennifer Carpenter.
  • Ryan’s pompadour is reaching threat level Bruno Mars.
  • Phillip Phillips apparently had gallstone issues today, for those inquiring about his health.
  • ”It’s the old ladies!” Erika said to Elise when she was sent down with her to the bottom three.

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