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1. At the very beginning of the show, fans are excited to see last week’s eliminated contestant Pia Toscano walk in and sit in the audience to enjoy the show. I am not sure that 13-year-old girls are deciding the results each week, but I do think people want entertainers as well as great vocals. That being said, the talent this year is amazing, and in another season, Pia could have surely taken the title (like last year, for example. Ahem, Lee Dewyze).
2. It must be mentioned that the entire evening is marked with Jennifer Lopez’s fans yelling out that they love herm and she always turns and gives them a smile and a wave. People Magazine’s most beautiful woman looked incredible tonight, wearing a stunning gold Gucci mini dress, sleek high braid and red lipstick. Her hair and makeup people descend on her at each commercial break, but honestly, the woman is perfection. There, I said it.
3. The viewer saw this, but you didn’t feel the room when Casey Abrams and Haley Reinhart nailed an amazing jazzy scatty performance that made the judges give yet another standing ovation, this one well-deserved. Did I mention Casey is my favorite! I miss his beard, though. It has been slowly disappearing, and at this rate he’s going to be completely bald by next week. I am starting a Save Casey’s Beard campaign tomorrow.
4. After Casey’s duet with Haley, the first person in the bottom three is revealed, and it is Haley, who is no stranger to the bottom. Jennifer has said that she doesn’t want anymore girls going home, and after Haley’s soulful duet with Casey, the judges and the fans definitely want more of her sexy sultry voice. Randy Jackson throws out his catchphrase of the season, when he likes something, “That’s the way you do it!”
5. Ryan Seacrest announces that Grammy Award-winning singers Anita Baker and Chaka Khan are in the audience, but what you didn’t see is contestant Jacob Lusk crossing the stage during commercial break to literally bow down on the ground at their feet and pose for pictures with them.
6. American Idol and Rob Reiner? That’s what I thought too, but he was funny, and he gets big laughs from the audience, especially when he says From Justin to Kelly was overlooked for an Academy Award because of politics. Anyone remember Season 1 runner-up Justin Guarini? Let’s just say, America got it right long before conspiracy theories about rigged results.
7. Next up, Kelly Clarkson and Jason Aldean perform their No. 1 country hit” Don’t You Wanna Stay.” Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina sing along on the sidelines, and we get a glimpse of two idols who will head down the country path along with Season 4 winner and country superstar Carrie Underwood.
8. Next, Ryan and Kelly have a little on-air playful spat about him “rephrasing her tweets” about Casey where reportedly she has a crush on Casey. Casey makes a heart-pumping move with his hand, and Ryan heads off backstage without talking to Kelly again.
9. Kelly seems fine. though. and heads over to judge’s table to hug Randy, Jennifer and Steven Tyler. Producer Nigel Lythgoe also comes over for a hug. and Kelly seems to hold court as the Idol who started it all and continues to put out hit records.
10. At the next break, Haley seems to keep up her spirits, although she is in the bottom three again. Save the girls! Save Casey’s beard! I’ve got posters to make for next week.
11. Next the other bottom two are announced. It’s Paul McDonald and Stefano Langone, so no surprises here. I am predicting that Stefano will go home tonight because although he is a great singer he is a little self-indulgent (as Simon would have said if there was any criticism this year.) Casey hugs everyone who returns safely back to the couches while Lauren and Scotty offer fist pumps.
12. The bottom three (Paul looks especially nervous) mingles with the five safe contestants shortly before Rihanna takes the stage with her hit single “California King Bed.” (That’s the size that fits me, my husband, my 4-year-old daughter and the cat, right?)
13. Rihanna belts out the power ballad about the king-sized, bed but we miss Pia in this moment. After a standing ovation from the judges and the audience (standing O’s are the new black, I guess), Randy jumps on stage to give her a hug, and then she proceeds to give a hug to all eight contestants. Lauren seems particularly excited to meet the superstar, and Paul’s nerves are getting to him as he barely hugs her back.
14. Then Nigel jumps onstage, shakes Rihanna’s hand and says something to her which I believe is, “Go say hi to J.Lo,” because she changes her course and walks over to judges table and hugs J.Lo over the table and then walks around the table to hug Steven. As she descends the stairs, she trips on her dress twice before exiting the room.
15. Finally, results are announced, and Paul is sent home. The audience is sadly unmoved about it. I guess since the past few weeks have been tumultuous with vocal virtuoso Pia being sent home last week, and the judges needing to use the save on their favorite, Casey three weeks ago, this seemed like the normal progression of things. I don’t think anyone thought Paul would go to final three, but he sure is cute, and I think he can do more than just sell toothpaste, something Jimmy Iovine once quipped. (Where were the 13-year-old girls’ votes this week?) Paul tells us not to be sad and sings Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May” at J.Lo’s request, though the music comes up before it leaves her mouth. After the performance, all of the contestants and judges hug Paul, and we are asked to stay in our seats, and the most beautiful person in the world exits the room.
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