Jacob's Jig, Ryan's Flub, and J. Lo's Quick Change: What You Didn't See on Thursday's 'American Idol'
It was an episode chock full of laughs, plugs and performances that ended in an all-out hootenanny.
What began as one of the most jittery nights so far this season -- would Haley Reinhart wind up on the chopping block or not?? -- ended as its most jovial. Of course, Jacob Lusk was all about a big entrance, so it would only make sense that he’d make a dramatic exit. Still, can’t say I expected to see a hoe-down on the American Idol stage Thursday night starring none other than Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson?! More off-script antics in our weekly recap of what you didn’t see on Thursday’s show…
1. The first recognizable face spotted in the crowd: Top 24 hopeful Rachel Zevita, who looked utterly lost while searching for her front row seat in Section F, on Randy’s side of the studio.
2.The signs were out if full force for the top 5 -- I know because two were a constant obstruction in my line of sight, but at least one was funny. It read, “Haley: My girlfriend said we could go out on a date.” And speaking of dating (deny, deny, deny, but I just don’t buy), Cory the warm-up guy pointed out that there was a “we miss Casey” sign in the crowd, as well. Sweet.
3. After the judge’s coke cups are positioned, a stage hand brings over a copy of Steven Tyler’s new memoir, Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?, and places it on the rocker’s side of the table.
4. The show starts with a cold open after which Ryan Seacrest dutifully plugs Tyler’s soon-to-be best-seller (read THR’s review here). Meanwhile, James Durbin and Jacob Lusk form a last-minute huddle while finding their marks.
5. The Turtles’ “Happy Together” didn’t sound so joyful in the studio, but Ryan’s flub of the name Lady Antebellum brought hefty chuckles from Randy Jackson.
6. Still, the judges can’t help singing along to the sixties ditty. Randy even does a little happy hands dance right in his chair.
7. After the group number, the final 5 are shuffled to the couches, where James undergoes a shirt tuck while Jacob and Scotty McCreery get touch-ups of foundation. Back at the judges’ table, Steven applies his own lip balm.
8. During the first video package, there seems to be some confusion among the union guys setting up the stage for Lady A’s performance. The organist even starts practicing at one point while Ryan is talking. He is swiftly shushed.
9. The Gordon Ramsay package goes over great in the studio, where Scotty stands up to get a better view of the hilarity. The crowd erupts when Lauren Alaina is declared winner of the omelette challenge, while Scotty just can’t stop cracking up – both on screen and off.
10. No surprise here: Scotty was feeling Lady A’s “Just a Kiss” and even air-drumming at certain points. Jennifer Lopez seemed to love the country ballad, too, but it was Steven who led the standing ovation for the Grammy winners.
11. Following their performance, Lady A’s Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott headed straight down the stage to meet the judges (amazing that there’s never time for introductions before the show). While the stars chatter, James high-fives a group of girls in the balcony.
12. During the break, Cory brings out a young girl named Kara who says she voted for Haley 90 times on Wednesday night. For that, she gets a hug from her favorite finalist, who ran across the stage in appreciation.
13. The cougars are getting restless and screaming “Steven!” from every corner of the studio. “What?” he yells back, feigning annoyance.
14. After a commercial break, it’s time to get down to business: the results. Ryan’s comment that it “might surprise you” has Lauren keeling over with laughter. That, of course, would not last long.
15. James is ordered to go to the far end of the stage, where he stands with his head down and hands clasped. In short: a bundle of nerves.
16. Ryan asks Lauren to stand in the near part of the stage, which elicits a confused applause.
17. But before we can find out who’s in the bottom two, it’s time for Jennifer’s own Idol performance. She leaves the studio excitedly, holding Nigel Lythgoe’s hand as she carefully navigates the stairs in 7-inch Louboutins. She’s followed by Randy and Steven, who are headed towards the audience.
18. Another commercial break brings out 11-year-old Dawson who made a sign containing pictures of Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown with Jacob’s mug in the middle. The homemade construction cracks everybody up, but especially Jacob.
19. Heading back from the break, Steven and Randy have taken seats in the audience to introduce the “On the Floor” performance. It was pre-taped because, according to Cory, it involved breaking glass and they couldn’t risk anyone being hurt during the live show.
20. Jennifer’s MC Hammer pants are tragic (with a ‘bod like that, why put it in a sack?) but even more so: wondering when, if ever, someone will tell La Lopez that she’s pronouncing Ibiza wrong. Guess she’s not the pop-a-tab-of-ecstasy-and-club-all-night type.
21. Following his co-star’s performance, minders brush popcorn shreds off of Steven’s jacket as the judges await Jennifer’s return. Ryan sits in her seat and explains that she’ll be back after she changes. And by explains, I mean lies -- not only was the performance pre-taped, Jennifer came out in the same smashing outfit she wore before the break. Hey, it’s television -- no one is surprised.
22. Jennifer beamed upon her return to the judges table, where she was welcomed by a big hug from Steven.
23. Back to results… Jimmy’s judgment that Jacob deserved a six for his Wednesday performances elicits boos from the crowd, but with Haley’s perfect 10, the house erupts in applause a minute later, to which she mouths thank you.
24. Finally, a moment of relief as James, Haley and Scotty are told of their good fate. James and Scotty hug it out and the former proceeds to bawl for a minute on the couch.
25. With Lauren and Jacob in the danger zone and another commercial break at hand, Ryan speeds away from the bad vibes in center stage, while Nigel heads over to the couches to congratulate who’s safe.
26. Steven Tyler flips his plastic water bottle much like Mötley Crüe’s Tommy Lee twirls his drumstick, which is to say: like a true rock star.
27. Lauren is struggling to keep it together, prompting Idol stage manager Debbie Williams to remind the studio audience, “This is a hard time for these guys.”
28. Ryan returns with a minute to go and finds his way back to center stage, where Lauren is still wiping away tears.
29. Alas, it is Jacob’s turn to go home after an impressively long run -- something to be proud of, for sure. Ryan pats him on the shoulder, while Lauren runs back to the couches and practically collapses in Scotty’s arms.
30. In another insanely entertaining exit, Jacob takes it to church then the hootenanny as he enlists the judges to join in an onstage jig. Soon enough, the contestants walk over and Jacob’s family members -- including his adorable mom -- are cutting a rug. Nigel and Ryan can only look on with a bemused smirk. The result may have been predictable this week, but you never know what’s going to happen on Idol…