Dragging out the results in the most agonizing way possible Thursday, Ryan Sadist--um, I mean Seacrest
--waited until the very last minute to deliver this week's shocking "American Idol" elimination news. No, it wasn't shocking that frequent bottom-three contestant Jacob Lusk was back on the chopping block. Everyone expected that. Jimmy Iovine himself had predicted that Jacob was on "banana-peel status." But to see the bottom three rounded out by Casey Abrams, who'd seemed to be on a roll since coming back from the brink on that infamous Judges' Save night? And to see Jacob and Casey joined by Scotty McCreery, who'd a) never been in the bottom three before, b) had previously seemed like a shoo-in for the grand finale, and c) gave his best
performance of the season this week? Yep, that
In the end Scotty survived to lock them doors and turn them lights down real low another day. And since Ryan mentioned that the results were being read "randomly," it was unclear if Scotty was ever really
in the bottom two or three at all, or if the producers had just put him there for dramatic effect. But regardless, much more stunningly, also narrowly making the cut was...JACOB.
Yes, it was in fact Casey
who got voted off--technically for the second time this season. "This is what talent looks like," Ryan declared, as the just-eliminated Casey prepared to sing his swan song. Oh, come on, clearly most Americans wouldn't know what talent looked like if it got right up in their faces and growled. Which is pretty much what Casey did every week...but he did it awesomely. Then again, why did I ever think that someone who cites jazz great Oscar Peterson as his dream duet partner actually stood a chance of winning this thing?
I should just be glad that Casey was saved in week 11. Because instead of nearly vomiting and getting carried away by men in white coats like he did that scary evening
, this time Casey took the news in stride and went out in style. Reprising his iconic and super-growly "I Put A Spell On You" performance, Casey truly let it rip, Iovine be damned--and it was a joy to behold. He smooched everyone in that audience (including Steven Tyler!), had a worshipful James Durbin bowing at his feet, serenaded his rumored sweetheart Haley Reinhart, and gave a blood/sweat/tears performance that the remaining top 5 will actually find tough to top next week.
Best. "Idol." Exit. Ever.
But that was just the last five minutes of Thursday's show, of course. Before all that, the top 6 celebrated this week's unavoidable Royal Wedding by attending a soiree at the British Consulate, for some reason, where they scarfed down fish 'n' chips and were threatened to get pushed in the pool by that great English icon, Fred Willard. Seriously? Why didn't the show just make this week's theme Britpop? (No, putting Madness's "Our House" in this week's Ford music video does not count.) Nigel Lythgoe, old chap, your U.K. passport is officially revoked.
Oh, and Scotty McCreery sang surrounded by a gaggle of random fawning girls. Hey, how come Lauren Alaina only got to serenade one
boy Wednesday night, but Scotty got a whole harem? But then poor Scotty was dubbed "Scotty The Body" by Ryan--a nickname that formerly belonged to "American Idol's" most hated, Season 4 Vote For The Worst posterboy Scott Savol--thus effectively snuffing out all of McCreery's heartthrob appeal. (Low blow, Ryan. Almost as low as your Taylor Hicks diss this evening.) Hopefully for Scotty The M's sake, this subliminal Savol association won't land him in the bottom three for real next week.
However, bringing the real
girl power wasn't Scotty's posse, but returning runner-up Crystal Bowersox (with her famous lucky antique mic stand in tow), looking like a real winner as she belted out her ode to a bygone era, "Ridin' With The Radio." As she sang with a twang, "Whatever happened to good old rock 'n' roll? Whatever became of rhythm and blues and soul?"...well, I wondered the same thing myself. It was hard not to, on a disappointing results show like this.
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