You are staring at your television in disbelief. You are brandishing a throw-pillow, or a shoe, or a half-empty wine bottle. There’s a feeling of hot, prickly anger building up in your chest, and it’s at the point where you don’t give a damn how much it’s going to cost to replace your TV set, you just need to make like [insert baseball pitcher of choice here] and hurl something at the screen — as hard and as fast as you can. It’s beyond your control, really. This is a week for maddening results. This…is American Idol.
Alas, fellow Idoloonies, you know the drill. As April showers bring May flowers, shock eliminations — or at the very least, shock bottom threes — become as integral to our favorite show as excruciatingly frequent ad breaks and Ryan Seacrest’s dangerously impeccable grooming. Go back just short of a year and recount Adam Lambert hanging out in the bottom two during season 8’s Rat Pack Week. Or travel back six years to the night when Fantasia Barrino, Jennifer Hudson, and LaToya London waited for the axe to swing while John Stevens sat in safety during season 3’s Barry Manilow Week. (And with J.Hud going home after that epic ”Weekend in New England”!)
Now get yourself back in season 9 mode. When was the last time you were filled with the fury of a thousand Paulas scorned? Probably back on the final night of semifinals, when we lost Alex Lambert, Katelyn Epperly, and Lilly Scott in one vicious swoop, right? So it stands to reason that the outrage wagon is upon us. And after solid (if not totes spectacular) performances from a paint salesman, a high school student, a glassblower, a mother, a father, and a construction worker, there’s no possible bottom-three combination that would shock me — and that won’t leave a good portion of the Idol audience feeling stung. So let’s review tonight’s six performances — in reverse chronological order, just for kicks — and examine why they might (or might not) spell the end of someone’s ”Idol journey.” Because like it or not, in the immortal words of Kelly Clarkson, ”someone’s gotta go.”
Siobhan Magnus: ”Any Man of Mine” As the only contestant who embraced the campy side of the Shania Twain songbook, Siobhan’s performance was kind of like an amusing Jennifer Lopez rom-com at the end of a marathon of dour documentaries: The quality was hardly above reproach, but tonally, it was a refreshing change of pace. Which might explain why four out of four judges heaped on the praise while failing to acknowledge that the opening third of the song was intermittently nasal and slightly under pitch. (Also: Did anyone else notice Siobhan chose the same ditty that doomed Mandisa to a ninth-place finish back in season 5?)
NEXT: Crystal doesn’t quite cut the mustard