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Is Stefano Langone the luckiest bastard on Idol this season or what? Just when I was prepared to say, “I told you so” about tonight’s results, we got a big shocker. Now, I love a big Idol surprise because it’s one less way the show is utterly predictable, but even I had a hard time with tonight’s results. I was almost fake-crying like Jennifer Lopez.

Aside from the results, it wasn’t a very interesting results show, compared to the last few weeks, anyway. The group number was brought back, with a rather clunky medley of “I Love Rock n’ Roll,” “Sweet Home Alabama,” and “The Letter” that had everybody looking like dorks.

Then, a surprise “charisma” coach came by, that famous rock n’ roller, Russell Brand. Now, I actually like Brand, so I will weakly argue that he has sung (in movies) and does have onstage charisma. But basically, this was just a shameless plug for either Hop or Arthur or Katy Perry or all three. The bit wasn’t too funny (except Brand’s observation of the “racial and sexual issues,” of having Jacob pretend to be Randy and Pia pretend to be Jennifer), but it seemed like old Marc Anthony had more practical advice than Brand. I’m not even sure the contestants really knew who he was.


For the first round of elimination, Casey, Stefano, and Lauren were up, and to no one’s surprise, Stefano was the first person sent to the bottom three.  Next, we got a performance of “Unchained Melody” from Constantine Maroulis, who I never liked that much when he was on season four (I didn’t think he was the sexy rock star Paula wanted us to think he was), though I think it’s kinda cool that he’s become a theater guy. The arrangement of the song was interesting, but the singing a little predictably dramatic.

You might think picking out clothes with Gwen Stefani would be fun. But actually, it looks pretty boring. That’s what I learned from the next segment. “Who am I to style anyone’s clothes?” she asked, with false modesty, since she has a clothing line that’s sold to the general public.


In the next round of elimination, Paul, Scotty, and Pia were up, and Pia, in a surprise turn, was sent to the bottom three. She promised to increase her confidence level if she got a second chance, which I thought was a little funny—Pia’s never seemed like a shrinking violet or anything. I think she has just had a hard time selling who she is, especially in a “Hey y’all, I’m fun, just like a girl you know from back home!” way.

The next segment was pretty odious, and thus, I’d like to talk about it as little as possible. The kids went to TMZ headquarters for “media training.” The noteworthy parts of this clip were: a.) People in the audience booed when Ryan threw to the tape. b.) Jacob pretended to ask one of the female staffers if she was single. c.) Both James and Casey got in good jabs at the male members of the staff, James in particular getting points for standing up to some schlub who tried to tell him that he had to gain composure because his reaction to Hulk Hogan was too over the top (that was one of my favorite James moments).  “Look at you!” James retorted, and the staffer said, “You look like you’re in Staind!” and James said “At least I’m in something!” I liked James distinctly more after that.


James, Haley, and Jacob were up next, and Jacob was sent to the stools. Randy looked shocked by this. If I had my choice, though, I would have sent home Stefano and Jacob at the same time tonight at this point, but sadly, the show is not run by me.

Before we got to the results, Iggy Pop performed “Wild Child.” We got some singing and a lot of nicely-combed blonde hair flying around, confused dancing, and a tanned naked torso that had me thinking about what Christ on the cross would look like if he lived to be 60. It was entertaining. Iggy-Popishly-played, as they would say on Go Fug Yourself.


So for the final results, Ryan repeated Jacob’s quote about America’s willingness to look at itself in the mirror, I hope in order to make him feel stupid, before letting him know he was safe. It was between Pia and Stefano, and wouldn’t you know it, but Pia got the boot. I guess we should believe Ryan when he warns us of shocking results.

The drama of this was entertaining, but as a person who has to watch the rest of the season, I was pissed. Stefano and Jacob with no Pia seems like a raw deal.

So why didn’t Pia get the votes? Well, like I mentioned above, I think people respected her but had a hard time falling in love with her. And, maybe like with Casey, the viewers assumed she was safe. I think she deserved the save much more than Casey did, though.


The judges were upset, Jennifer doing that “I’m almost crying” thing again. Pia, clearly, did not think this was going to happen and pushed her way through an “I’ll Stand By You” that was as close to moving as Idol swan songs get. I liked that she forged ahead even while the band was still getting its bearings. You could tell the rest of the contestants were shocked, Stefano in particular looking sad and guilty. He should buy a lottery ticket tonight. After she sang, Pia turned and sobbed on Jacob’s chest as everyone else joined her onstage, once again, with Steven standing on the outside because no one was talking to him.

Stray observations:

  • Two sartorial observations. One: Why do people like wearing knit caps indoors so much? (Casey made me wonder this.) Two: Lauren’s outfit, a mud-brown jumpsuit topped with a white crocheted vest, was one of the worst I’ve ever seen on this show.