America spoke, and the judges intervened. That's right: The one-time-only judges' save was used. Ryan Seacrest promised some shocking results at the top of the show, and the promise was mostly fulfilled. So, who got a second chance? Let's find out.
First, some performances, and some thoughts:
Group Number, Lennon-McCartney Medley
The audio track was so overproduced that nearly every singer on the stage sounded alike. The medley included such songs as "Got to Get you into My Life," "She Loves You," and "The End," and even though I love them all, I just can't tolerate these group performances anymore.
Jason Derulo, "Whaatcha Say" and "In My Head"
I have to admit: I had no idea who this guy was when Ryan introduced him. But if you've turned on any Top-40 station in the last few months, his two songs have been inescapable. Interestingly, Kara DioGuardi signed Derulo. So she was a big fan of his performance, as was Simon, who called it "really great." While it was a rousing performance, Derulo was sometimes more focused on his dance moves than the melody. Come on, Simon — you can keep it real with the pros, too.
David Archuleta, "Imagine"
Even though I loved Archie's version of the song both times he sang it during Season 7, it seemed a boring choice to have him sing it yet again. He sang the whole song this time around and even played the piano, but most of the arrangement was identical. (In truth, I'd love to be watching Season 7 again rather than some of this season's performances.)
Rihanna, "Rock Star 101"
Clad in a patent-leather cat suit with shoulder pads, Rihanna debuted her new song. The performance had it all: writhing on the stage, pyro, and even Rihanna playing a matching black guitar. The song itself didn't blow me away, and I find the refrain "I'm a rock star," to be kind of laughable coming from Rihanna. But hey, she's going for her new R-rated personality.
Ryan gave the results this week by grouping singers together, a convention usually saved for the top 7 results show. Anyhow, Ryan immediately groups Katie, Siobhan and Crystal in the center of the stage only to reveal that they are all safe. So, for the first time this season, a guy is in jeopardy.
After grouping the guys similarly, the bottom three is revealed to be:
Back-to-back boring performances have done him no favors, but he'll get the chance to do something up-tempo next week, as Ryan sends him immediately back to safety.
Andrew got back on track last week, but it might have been too little, too late. His artistic style hasn't grown or morphed, making him seem like a one-trick pony. However, he was not the lowest vote-getter and remains safe.
So, Big Mike is the big shock. Honestly, his song last night rubbed me the wrong way, but he is much better than many people sitting on the comfy couches of safety. (I''m staring a hole through you, Tim Urban ... and the people still voting for him.) He seems shaken by the news, but he also seems extraordinarily confident (cocky?) going into his final performance, another reason I think he landed in the bottom.
Judges' Save: Michael sings "This Woman's Work" again, knowing how the judges' swooned over the performance the first time around. The cameras cut to Michael's sobbing wife several times, which considering the song, is actually appropriate. Simon tried to make it sound like bad news, telling Michael that if he had performed as well the night before he wouldn't be singing for his life. But, by unanimous vote, Michael will fight another week.
The celebration is raucous, which again makes me question Mike's humility. He took his bows like he just changed the world by saving himself. In truth, he has to work doubly hard to win America back over.
So, were you shocked by the results? Are you glad the judges' used the save? Next week, Adam Lambert mentors the singers and two contestants go home. Who's going to win it all? Vote in our poll and share all your thoughts below.
America spoke, and the judges intervened. That's right: The one-time-only judges' save was used. Ryan Seacrest promised some shocking results at the top of the show, and the promise was mostly fulfilled. So, who got a second chance? Let's find out...