20 Things You Didn't See on Thursday's 'American Idol'
Tears, cheers and other off-camera musings from this week's double elimination.
In one week, we went from the most dramatic moment of American Idol season 10 to the most anti-climactic, as Naima Adedapo and Thia Megia were sent home. I say that because, while I hadn’t predicted their elimination, it came as little surprise. Naima’s reggae version of Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing” was far too out there for most Idol viewers to grasp (Siobhan Magnus and I, however, were feeling it!). As for Thia’s “Daniel,” I saw nothing wrong with the performance, which was unassuming and hit that sweet spot, but I’ve always thought that the 15-year-old hopeful was entirely too timid for Idol. I now shift that judgment to Lauren Alaina, who could barely keep it together on the stage Thursday night. More tears, cheers and other off-camera musings from Idol’s double elimination in our weekly recap of what you didn’t see…1) Director Adam Shankman, a regular at Stage 36 on Idol nights, bops around in a pair of crutches. The movie vet who’ll bring Rock of Ages to the silver screen had surgery yesterday, he said after the show, to repair a torn ligament. 2) In an effort to rev up the energy in the room, warm-up guy Corey asks the crowd to simultaneously name their favorite contestant. Would you believe someone yelled out Sanjaya? 3) The positioning of Steven Tyler’s orange straw is a tricky operation, so much so that it requires a stage hand to place it precisely in the correct spot (think: 7:00 on an analog clock). 4) Lots of Idol alums in the crowd, including Andrew Garcia and Katie Stevens, who were sent home in last year’s double elimination, and Kris Allen, who chats with Idol staff photographer Michael Becker (a name I’ve written almost as much as David Cook's). A studio member behind me remarks, “Was that guy a contestant? He looks familiar.” Oy. 5) The Steven Tyler fan club was out in force on Thursday night and the signs said it all, including “Slay me, Steven,” and “Just gimme a kiss!” 6) Haley Reinhart had an uncontrollable case of the giggles for much of the night, which started during Scotty McCreary’s duet with Lauren Alaina and pretty much never stopped. 7) For the first commercial break, Steven stops to catch up with his jewelry, examining the slew of silver necklaces adorning his neck. Also looking to grab his attention: Fox exec Mike Darnell, the make-up team, Steven's manager and exec producer Nigel Lythgoe, who all step up to the table to check in with the star. 8) As Naima and Jacob Lusk deliver a stellar rendition of Ashford and Simpson’s “Solid,” Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson not only sing along, they’re inspired to leap from their seats. 9) After Naima is sent to the stool – salt on the wound following such an effortless performance – and the show breaks for commercial, Ryan Seacrest make a bee-line for her seat and high-fives the brazen contestant. 10) It’s prize giveaway time! In this week’s grab bag: a Casey T-shirt, which he tosses into the crowd, an Idol water bottle, delivered by Scotty to a fan up in the rafters, and a Lauren Alaina gym bag. What, no more copies of the official 10th Anniversary Idol book? We’ll have to remedy that… 11) Fantasia performs in a dress that could’ve come straight out of the Roger Rabbit wardrobe truck. And wouldn’t you know it, Jacob knows all the words to her single “Collard Greens and Cornbread.” Super fan or was he just around during rehearsals? 12) Another Steven Tyler fan declares her love from the bleachers. In return, the Aerosmith frontman feins that he's overheating by fanning his face. 13) Singalong time again! Jennifer Lopez is intimately familiar with Katy Perry’s addictive “Teenage Dream,” and is feeling the version delivered by Thia Megia, Pia Toscano and Haley. 14) As footage of Casey Abrams’s near elimination is shown on the giant video screen, the bearded one, straddling a super sexy Paul McCartney bass, watches intently, but cracks the first of many Thursday night smiles soon enough. 15) You saw the performance of “Band on the Run,” but I have to mention: how awesome was that?! 16) After Casey is told he’ll be returning next week, he lays down the bass on the stage floor and runs to the blue velvet couch, where he squeezed in between Haley and Pia for a double-hug. 17) One of the last commercial breaks allows Idol grads Andrew, Katie and Kris to meet the new judges. Hugs for all, but one has to wonder, does Steven Tyler have any idea who these people are? The three linger a little long and are shooed off the judges’ platform. Meanwhile, on the couch, James Durbin has his friend in safe-ness Stefano Langone in a head lock. 18) Jamie Foxx and Will.I.Am are about to go on and Lauren is crying her eyes out on the blue couch. Jacob tries to stop the tears, but to no avail. Rather, Lauren has to force herself to stand up with the group, and by the end of the performance, she’s worse off than the start and nearing a total breakdown. Even Will.I.Am asks what’s wrong and gives her a supportive pat on the shoulder. 19) America has spoken and Naima and Thia are sent home. There’s not a hint of relief in Naima’s face, Thia’s on the other hand… 20) Both girls hug it out with the judges and their fellow contestants. Casey’s embrace of Thia goes longer than expected and Naima chats up Randy and Ray Chew with conviction, confidence and gusto. Networking already? Attagirl…
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