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The first all-female top five in American Idol history took on divas and songs from their birth years for this week’s themes. Did you watch the show at home on Wednesday night? Then, here are 11 things you didn’t see.
1. It’s a two-hour show, so after enjoying an iced latte in the Green Room, THR always makes a pit stop before entering the Idol dome. That can lead to the occasional celebrity sighting, as it did on this night. The guy washing his hands at the next sink over? None other than season 10 finalist James Durbin. But he wasn’t the only alum back at his alma mater. Later, former finalist Casey Abrams tweeted a photo of the two 2011 competitors on a “date with Idol.”
2. We know where Durbin went next — as we found him hanging out near the “elephant doors” (called that because they can literally accommodate an elephant’s entrance) that lead to Stage 36 with senior supervising producer Patrick Lynn, comparing tattoos. Durbin has a lot of them, but so does Star Wars fanboy Lynn, whose tats come from somewhere near Tatooine.
3. Warm-up comedian Cory Almeida, back after a week’s absence, asked the audience to react to Jimmy Iovine. The Interscope Records head opens each act after a commercial break with a backstage critique, sometimes agreeing with the judges, sometimes not. Almeida encouraged all to applaud, or boo if we disagreed (“we like the tension,” he explained).
4. On the next commercial break, Almeida found Renee from Redondo Beach in the audience and her sign that said, “Randy, I want a hug, dawg!” Randy waved at her from his judge’s chair, then walked into the audience to grant her wish.
5. When Amber Holcomb sang “Without You,” a Badfinger song covered by Harry Nilsson and later remade by Mariah Carey, sharp-eyed members of the audience noticed Carey waving at Holcomb. Only Carey wasn’t waving at the top five finalist, she was trying to wave away the smoke that was blanketing the stage and smothering the judges.
6. The Idol finalists from season 10 managed to stay hidden for the first few acts, but after Holcomb performed, Almeida revealed that Durbin and Abrams were in the audience and walked over to talk to them.
7. After a few three-judge standing ovations, Candice Glover received the first four-judge standing O of the night, after she performed “When You Believe,” originally a hit for Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey.
8. In the commercial break after Glover’s performance, Almeida admonishes the audience members in the mosh pit area, though with a very light touch. He tells them to keep their energy up — stopping short of “or else.”
9. Another audience member gets to touch a judge, thanks to Almeida. He finds a mother of six and brings her down to get a hug from Keith Urban. As she returns to her seat, Almeida suggests the hug may lead to her seventh child.
10. Angie Miller gets the second four-judge standing ovation of the night, though Carey joins the other three at the last moment. Still, four judges standing and clapping is four judges standing and clapping.
11. Amber Holcomb gets the third four-judge standing ovation of the night. This time, the judges all rise as one.
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Robert De Niro