And then there were seven. With this season's judges' save off the table and the big shock having come and gone, everything feels more business as usual on this American Idol results show. Pia's early ouster did seem to inspire some hefty voting, as the Top 8 singers pulled in 53 million votes Wednesday. But which singer had the fewest? Let's get to it.
We are once again spared the terrible group number, and once again treated to a series of smaller group performances before Ryan hands out the result. Sadly, the first group is a repeat performance of sorts.
Lauren Alaina and Scotty McCreery, "American Honey"
These two did a duet a couple weeks ago, during which Lauren made Scotty look silly with her clearly better voice. Although Scotty sounds much better in this duet, particularly in the harmony sections, he clearly can't keep up with Lauren. But their take on the Lady Antebellum song is harmless enough. And both of these young'ns are safe.
Casey Abrams and Haley Reinhart, "Moanin'"
This jazzy number seems awfully sexy, especially when considering the Internet rumors that suggest Casey and Haley are a bit of an item. The song is the perfect showcase for Haley's growl, and the scat-off in the middle of the song was quite excellent. The performance has everyone — yes, even the judges and the Most Beautiful Woman in the World (her contract stipulates that she now must be referred to by her proper title at least once every show/recap!) — on their feet. The judges are particularly blown away with how Haley stood out. Unfortunately, Haley didn't shine the night before, and she is the first person in the Bottom 3.
Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson, "Don't You Wanna Stay"
Hey kids, it's Scotty and Lauren in 10 years! Kelly Clarkson clearly is the showstopper in this song, but I appreciate Jason Aldean's voice in a way that I do not yet appreciate Scotty's. That is to say that Jason has range. But don't ask me about Jason's eyes — that cowboy hat couldn't get any lower on his face. The song is a platinum hit, and it's easy to see/hear why.
Jacob Lusk, Paul McDonald, Stefano Langone and James Durbin, "Sound of Silence" and "Mrs. Robinson"
For the second time, the all-man band (this week featuring Jacob instead of Casey) is the weakest of these groups. The guy's voices don't necessarily blend well, and when you're singing Simon and Garfunkel, they kind of need to do that. I was glad to hear this one end, honestly. And perhaps fittingly, two of the four are among the lowest vote-getters. Based on the performances the night before, my money is on Paul and Stefano, and it's only a matter of time before Ryan proves me right.
Rihanna, "California King Bed"
I wish I had the bed Rihanna keeps singing about, so I could take a nap. Don't get me wrong, it's nice to hear Rihanna prove that she actually has some vocal chops, since they're usually buried in bass and auto-tune. But this song —even with the dramatic staging — was a little yawn worthy.
Bottom Three: Haley, Paul, Stefano
And the curse has been lifted! Haley is the first singer sent back to safety, meaning that for the first time this season, a guy will be sent home. Stefano has dodged a bullet twice now and....he does so again, as Paul will be the one packing up and heading home.
I think it's the right choice (he was my guess), as Paul'sparticular brand of quirky, fun rock had run its course. He seems a little bit upset at first, but I can't imagine he ever really considered that he would win the competition. And sure enough, as he closes the show with a J. Lo-requested encore of "Maggie May," his pearly whites shine bright as ever. I'm sure he has a long career ahead of him... in toothpaste commercials if not the music industry.
So, did America get it right? Which performance did you like best? Most importantly, who do you think is going to win? Vote in our poll and share all your comments below!
And then there were seven. With this season's judges' save off the table and the big shock having come and gone, everything feels more business as usual on this American Idol results show. Pia's early ouster did seem to inspire some hefty voting, as the Top 8 singers pulled in 53 million votes Wednesday. But which singer had the fewest? Let's get to it...