Thursday night’s American Idol results show could have gone one of two ways. It seems that every other week, America’s final vote is either very conventional or very shocking. But judging by the pattern for Season 12, the results were due to stun everyone again right about now. That is indeed what happened Thursday, as the favorite to be eliminated stayed alive, while one of the favorites to win was sent home.
Warning: Spoilers follow
James Durbin had emerged as a favorite to be the new American Idol over the last several weeks. As such, he looked safe to advance into the final three this week, while Haley Reinhart’s time appeared to be up. When Lauren Alaina was declared safe right away, it seemed clear that Reinhart would be the odd one out against Durbin and Scotty McCreery.
However, when Ryan Seacrest went on about the attention centered on the male singers, and then declared Reinhart to be safe, it shook up the show once again. Presumed favorites McCreery and Durbin were left in the bottom two, with Durbin the one to ultimately get voted off.
Every few weeks or so in Season 12, a singer who was been projected as a favorite has been voted out anyway. It started when Casey Abrams was voted out and then spared by a judges’ save, then continued when Pia Toscano was sent home to everyone’s surprise, and then when Abrams was taken out for good.
Therefore, since things were getting predictable again, after Jacob Lusk was eliminated last week, it was about time to shake the field up again. This leaves Alaina, McCreery and Reinhart left over in a rather even final three.
For the moment, it appears that McCreery is the favorite, although that isn’t the safe place to be right now. But in truth, the stage may be setting up for an all women’s-finale between Alaina and Reinhart, which would be the most fitting outcome imaginable.
Through much of Season 12, the show was accused of sexism; women were the only ones getting eliminated to start the finals. Yet, lately, only the men have been eliminated by America, culminating in Durbin’s surprising loss.
Perhaps the audience rallied around Reinhart after Randy Jackson and Jennifer Lopez singled her out for criticism Wednesday. Although Reinhart has been among the most vulnerable contestants all season, enough people have supported her to put her in the top three. As such, perhaps it may not be a stretch that she can actually win and silence the judges once and for all.
There are now only two results shows left to go in Season 12, and no American Idol fans should be writing their predictions in ink right now. The next-to-last week begins Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.
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