American Idol Episodes

2002, TV Show

American Idol Episode: "1 of 4 Voted Off"

Season 10, Episode 35
Episode Synopsis: One of the four singers is cut from the contest. Season 6 winner Jordin Sparks performs. Also: Steven Tyler premieres his solo video, "(It) Feels So Good."
Original Air Date: May 12, 2011

American Idol Episode Recap: The Top 3 Revealed Season 10, Episode 35

A record-setting 72 million votes were cast to determine which three American Idol singers would be become hometown heroes and which singer would, in the immortal words of Ryan Seacrest, "just be going home." But that poor, non-heroic person was a bit of a shock. So, who is headed home as the shame of his or her hometown? (Seriously, producers, let's not pretend that all of these kids aren't famous, OK? ) Let's find out...

But first, the Idols sell Ford cars and Windows 7 products. (I'll admit, James video chatting with his baby was super cute. I had kind of lost sight as to why he has been popular with voters, and after this segment, I am convinced more than ever that it's because his story touched them. We also got the debut of Steven Tyler's music video and performances from the Top 4, Enrique Iglesias and Jordin Sparks. Oh, and Lady Gaga also "performs,"  according to Ryan, but it was really just a replay of a song from her HBO special.  Before we get to the shocking results, some quick thoughts on all the musical numbers.

James Durbin and Scotty McCreery, "Start a Band"
Put the kids to bed! This harmless, country-fried duet, while well-sung featured such non-Idol-family-audience lyrics as "never pay for a beer again," and "no need to study." That's right kids, drop out of school and just be a rock star! Also, making the message all the more confusing, there was a gaggle of little girls (like 7-year-olds) sitting on the stage behind the judges during the song.

Haley Reinhart and Lauren Alaina, "Gunpowder and Lead"
The second duet was also countrified, and was perhaps as equally non-kid friendly. This song endorses smoking cigarettes and shooting people with shotguns. Of course, they're talking about women-beaters, so... In any case, Lauren and Haley sound great.

Lady Gaga, "You and I"
If the producers were just going to play a portion of Gaga's HBO special, I wish it hadn't been the song that Haley sang just one week ago. Gaga sounded great, but the song isn't all that special, in my opinion. Plus there's something weird about watching the Idol wannabes watching Gaga on their big screen.

Enrique Iglesias, "Dirty Dancer" and "I Like It"
Lasers! Balloons! Oh yeah, a couple of songs happened, too. I was too distracted by the fact that Enrique kind of looked drunk. That, or he hasn't showered in a couple days. "I Like It" is catchy, but that song has had it's moment, no?

Jordin Sparks, "I Am Woman"
She is woman indeed. Jordin's coming-of-age song reminds us just how far she's come since she won the Idol crown at age 17. She strips off her trenchcoat to reveal a sexy dress and her sleek new figure. (She showed it off on Twitter last week.) The track is an upbeat number that doesn't show off Jordin's big voice as well, but she was rocking the performance. I dug it.

Steven Tyler, "It Feels So Good"
Don't be fooled: This solo Steven Tyler track is a far cry from Aerosmith. Naked ladies abound between shots of an elephant and Steven dueting with Nicole Scherzinger. (Oh no! She's and X Factor host. Shut it down, Idol!) The song is mediocre at best, but at least Steven is using Idol  to bring his music to the masses, just like J. Lo last week. Your move, Randy!

The Results

Early in the show, Ryan reveals that Lauren is the first member of the Final 3. After mentioning how strong the guys have been this season, Ryan reveals that there will be two girls in the finale, as Haley is also safe.

Considering how popular both guys have been with voters all season, this one is a shocker either way. Based on the previous night's performances, I think Scotty should be the one to go home, but it isn't so. Ryan reveals that Scotty will also be a "hometown hero" and James is this season's latest victim.

James was predictably emotional, but he proudly declares that he has done "so much stuff that's never been done on this show before. I did what I came here to do: to give metal a chance." There's no denying any of those comments. Although I often tired of James' often unnecessary wailing, he was definitely one of the most consistent performers. His final performance of "Maybe I'm Amazed" brings both he and The Most Beautiful Woman in the World to tears, but he ends his song by thanking all the fans for his amazing experience.

Was James the right choice to go home? Who do you think will win? Vote for your favorite in our poll and share all your comments below.

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A record-setting 72 million votes were cast to determine which three American Idol singers would be become hometown heroes and which singer would, in the immortal words of Ryan Seacrest, "just be going home." But that poor, non-heroic person was a bit of a shock. So, who is headed home as the shame of his or her hometown? (Seriously, producers, let's not pretend that all of these kids aren't famous, OK? ) Let's find out... read more

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Premiered: June 11, 2002, on FOX
Rating: TV-PG
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Premise: The smash reality series showcases wannabe pop stars competing for a record deal by crooning for a panel of judges, including, most entertainingly, the acid-tongued Simon Cowell, who departed the show in 2010 after serving for nine seasons. The judges review a performer's talent (or lack thereof), and at-home viewers then vote for their favorite potential star. The show helped launch the careers of such artists as Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson and Adam Lambert.

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