After 30 million votes, America has determined their top ten and leaves Casey Abrams behind. But the judges say 'not so fast' and turn our top ten into an American Idol eleven.
On Thursday night's results show, viewers were informed that Jennifer Lopez's husband, Marc Anthony, "stopped by" to assist the contestants this week. Marc took it upon himself to address the audio concerns that the contestants have been experiencing with their in-ear devices, which are used to help musicians isolate sounds.
The contestants were apparently given the devices with no instructions on how to use them and subsequently struggled through the previous week's performance. I guess it is a good thing that he happened to be in the area and willing to lend an all-knowing hand to the producers and crew of American Idol, who obviously didn't do reference checks on the audio techs that they hired. But, lest we fear that Mr. Anthony wasted a trip, he stayed on to critique the judges' critiques. Yes, Marc didn't agree with his wife's assessment of Pia's performance and was quite vocal about it. I wonder how Jennifer is feeling about the situation. (Note to editor: Publication of any negative feedback from my husband will result in immediate termination of our contract.)
After Idol reminded us who wears the pants in the Lopez household, the contestants performed a group number of, "Aint No Mountain High Enough." They all looked great, the men in black suits and the ladies all in shimmery white dresses. As they finished their performance, viewers were treated to a surprise performance of "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" by Stevie Wonder himself. But the big surprise was on the birthday boy, Steven Tyler, when Mr. Wonder sang happy birthday to him and the contestants presented him with a cake.
Ryan then called Lauren, Pia and Scotty to the center of the stage and announced that they all made it into Season's 10's top 10, promising to get on with it after Sugarland performed "Stuck Like Glue." The song was forgettable but forgivable, which is more than I can say for the lead singer's outfit. How horrible could it be? Two words: teal pants. Enough said.
Viewers were then given a glimpse into life back in the mansion, which is apparently dominated by James Durbin's love of wrestling. The video showed the contestants staging their own wrestling matches, with Paul and James being the most avid participants. Upon completion of the video, James and Paul, were called to the stage where Ryan announced that neither one of them were safe this week. Okay, so after countless contrived fake outs by Ryan and various Idol judges, this had to be the first truly successful one. Paul and James nearly staggered at the news until Hulk Hogan appeared on stage to announce that they were both really safe. He then knocked Ryan into the audience . . . even though it was fake, there was a certain perverse satisfaction seeing Ryan get pummeled after tricking Paul.
Jacob, Thia and Stefano then took to the stage. And Jacob was quickly told he was safe, leaving Stefano and Thia, who Ryan announced were both in the bottom three! Naima, Haley and Casey were then called to the stage and Idol turned my predictions, nay my world, upside down when Ryan announced that of the three on stage, Casey was in the bottom three. Casey in the bottom three? How could it be?
Fast forward to the performance by Jennifer Hudson, who's always on Weight Watchers commercials singing anyway. Besides, she contradicts everything that the judges tell the contestants about needing to connect to the audience. It's not Hudson's strong suit when performing and she still has an Oscar!
Then, Ryan did the unthinkable. He announced that Thia and Stefano were safe, meaning Casey was the contestant with the lowest number of votes. The next five minutes of American Idol had to be the best of their ten seasons. A shaken Casey began singing for his life when Randy abruptly stopped the performance, stating that the judges knew who Casey was and didn't need to hear him perform anymore. Steven then announced that they were using their only save of the season for Casey Abrams.
Casey's reaction will go down in history as one of Idol's best moments. At one point, Casey blanched and it was all but certain that he was going to collapse from the shock. Ryan, looking a little concerned, kept his arm around Casey's waist as he trembled and started to hyperventilate. He then broke free of Ryan and ran to the judges to thank them as the entire audience chanted, "Casey, Casey, Casey!" Some hugs from his mother and father and Casey was back on stage trying to articulate his shock, how he was certain that the judges would never use the save on the night of the top ten and vowing to make them proud.
The judges then offered some sage advice for Mr. Abrams. Jennifer told him that he deserved to be there and, going forward, Casey needed to really show who the musician that he is without any more antics. Randy mirrored that statement, saying that Casey doesn't need to growl anymore.
With a top 11, Ryan announced that two people will be going home next week, but that all 11 will be going on tour this year.
Okay, so the predictions were horribly off. Only Stefano being in the bottom three right was right, but did anyone really anticipate this?