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‘Idol’ Top 7 Results Night: A 21st Century Boy Goes Home

Lyndsey Parker
Reality Rocks

Well, after 52 million votes, and about 52 minutes of filler, on Thursday another overlong "American Idol" results show came to an end, along with Stefano Langone's "Idol" run. This was no huge surprise, considering that he was a Wild Card to begin with, and had been in the bottom two the last couple of weeks, although I must say he did give his best performance of the season this week with Ne-Yo's "Closer." But Stefano took the bad news in stride, exhibiting the same class and sportsmanship he always has on difficult results nights, and pointing out that as someone who almost didn't make the top 13 at all (and once nearly died in an accident), he was lucky to have made it this far.

Honestly, it was Stefano's roommate, James Durbin, who seemed way more upset. The moment Ryan Seacrest announced that it was Stefano--and not the other contestant in the bottom two, Jacob Lusk--who was getting the boot, Stefano's BFF lost it, openly breaking into sobs with his face in his lap. And at the end of Stefano's goodbye performance, of Stevie Wonder's "Lately," James rushed up, hugged Stefano from behind, and swung him around in the air. Aw. It was truly sad to see this bromance break up...but also sad to see Jacob so blatantly ostracized.

Really, as the contestants said their goodbyes over the end credits, Jacob seemed like the odd man out, hovering on the sidelines exchanging icy handshakes. It appeared that James, and possibly some other contestants, would have preferred that Jacob go instead. The poor guy must have felt awful--kind of like that night when Stefano got booed after he stayed over Pia Toscano.

As for the last spot in the bottom three, that came down to Haley Reinhart and Scotty McCreery. It seemed that Scotty might finally find out what it's like to feel the cold molded steel of those bottom-three stools (his performance this week was unanimously panned, plus he went first in the kiss-of-death slot, while Haley did Adele proud). But of course, the invincible Scotty was safe yet again. However, at least Haley, who was also undeservedly in the bottom three last week, didn't have to sweat too much, as she'd barely had a chance to settle into her stool before Ryan whisked her back to the comforting couch, stage-whispering in her ear, "You're safe!"

For now, that is. But if Haley keeps landing in the bottom three after dynamite performances like this week's, how much longer can she survive? Apparently America prefers female singers who try to ape Lady Gaga--like tonight's guest performer Katy Perry, who sang "E.T." in some sort of bizarre, LCD-enhanced, queen-of-the-sea-monkeys outfit. What happened to Katy's cute little '40s pin-up onesies and original rocker-chick style? Or her old "Adam Lambert" Vegas cape?

And finally, speaking of guest performers, Season 7 champ David Cook, "someone who never felt the sting of rejection" as Ryan put it, was a bright spot, triumphantly returning to the show to sing his fun and Foos-y new anthem, "The Last Goodbye." (What a fitting title for a results show, huh?) In terms of showmanship and onstage professionalism, Cookie totally showed the top 7 (who'd just slaughtered Train and Coldplay in two typically corny group numbers) how it's done. But audio-wise, David's performance lamentably seemed a little off, as if he couldn't hear himself properly. Did the same sound techs who botched Jacob Lusk's performance Wednesday night work on David's too? Well, at least David's mom seemed happy, since she was mainly there to meet Steven Tyler. Mama Cook got her wish, hugged Steven a little too snugly (David cocked an eyebrow and mock-sternly told Tyler, "We're gonna have to have a talk once the cameras are off"), and even flashed the metal horns. Now I see where her rocker son gets it from.

Parker out!

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