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I should have known. The first week I decide not to vote for my favorite, and he gets voted home. Although somehow I think my vote wouldn’t have made the difference.

It was a straightforward elimination night on Idol, with no big surprises or crazy cameos. The producers needed to fill time so badly they not only gave us the small group musical numbers but a behind-the-scenes look at the Ford music video that was longer than the video itself.


Lauren and Scotty kicked things off singing “American Honey” by Lady Antebellum. They were pretty bland separately but sweet when they sang together, and they actually interacted with each other, especially Scotty. Lauren seemed to lack a little energy, maybe because she was tired from wearing earrings the size of ping-pong paddles.

Casey and Haley took on “Moanin',” and I finally figured out what it is you guys like so much about Haley (the boobs, right?). She held her own next to Casey on the jazzy front, and, in fact, I liked her more, because in the battle of the musical idiosyncrasies, her growls were preferable to his. There was more scatting going on than I’m usually comfortable with, but they made a good duo, although Casey looked deathly pale next to her. After their performance, we got the first elimination news of the night, which was that Haley was in the bottom three, while Casey, Lauren, and Scotty were all safe.


Once again it was time for “Useless information from a person who has something to plug,” this time from Rob Reiner who didn’t say much to the contestants other than that they all might have a shot at making it in the movies, but I liked his closing quote, “Thanks for listening to an old fat Jew, because sometimes they say half-decent things.”

Then Kelly Clarkson performed “Don’t You Wanna Stay?” with Jason Aldean, which I liked in a Lady Antebellum "Need You Now" kind of way. It’s funny to think back about how much the talent has improved on Idol since season one, yet the first winner is still one of the best. I like Kelly a lot and not because she got in a good zinger on Ryan when he said, “I gotta get right to it,” and she said, “Just like a man.” She still sings the pants off most people on Idol and makes it look fun and easy while she does it.


Jacob, Paul, Stefano, and James all sang “The Sound of Silence” and “Mrs. Robinson,” and I love harmony, so I enjoyed it. Jacob looked like he was having more fun during this performance than he’s had in the last several weeks. I thought that if Paul makes it another week, he should definitely sing Paul Simon. With the next round of results, we found that Paul was in the bottom three, along with Stefano.

Before we got to the big news, Rihanna sang “California King Bed,” a song I found forgettable that will probably be played every 15 minutes on Top 40 stations. I think Rihanna’s OK, but I was more intrigued by her backup dancers, who played around with long sheets hung from the ceiling. I kept hoping that they’d twist them around their bodies and somehow spiral up in the air like Cirque du Soleil dancers, but you can’t always get what you want.


Ryan tried to trick us into believing that Haley was going to be yet another girl going home, but she was safe, so it was down to Stefano and Paul. It must be hard on Stefano’s confidence to always be in this position. Once again, he was safe, while the person next to him, my knight in white teeth, was sent home. (Someone near a mic was cursing about this, but I have no idea who.)

I think it was pretty much time for Paul to go, although he had one of the classiest exits in a while. Jennifer requested that he reprise “Maggie May,” and he seemed content and relaxed and even high-fived the other contestants and judges as he sang. When he finished, the other kids bum-rushed the stage to give him a group hug (Jacob petting his beard), so it was clear that he was one of their favorites.


Now I’m going to have to find a new Idol boyfriend. I hear Jacob is single…

Stray observations:

  • Ryan is never happier than when he’s in the company of African-American women of a certain age.
  • Not one but two From Justin to Kelly jokes tonight!