Nobody really knew what to expect on Thursday evening as the results show began, broadcast live from Hollywood. Would it be a repeat of the previous week’s results show, where one of the frontrunners would be eliminated? Or would “American Idol” revert to normal and send home one of the finalists that really wasn’t expected to get to the finale?
The good news about the Top 8 results show was that the producers went back to the format of letting the contestants sing in duos and groups, instead of having another one of their atrocious group sings, where the entire cast sings and dances(?) and completely butchers a song or medley of tunes. Again, as they did for the Top 11 (the second one) results show, Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina sing a country duet. This time they sing “American Honey” by Lady Antebellum. And again, the do a great job.
They are followed by the unlikely duo of Casey Abrams and Haley Rinehart. Combining their growling jazzy styles, they perform “Moanin'” It is such a good performance, host Ryan Seacrest goes to the judges, who gave the two a standing ovation, to get comments. Although the judges love their performance, Haley’s performance from the night, which the judges panned, place her in the Bottom 3, which is where Ryan sends her after the judges shower her with kudos.
Then Jason Aldean and “American Idol” alum Kelly Clarkson perform their No. 1 Billboard Country Songs hit, “Don’t You Wanna Stay.” After a couple quick questions afterward, Ryan says he doesn’t have much time and must move on and Kelly quips, “Just like a guy.” The crowd roars. Ryan takes it in good stead, mimes taking off his tie, and says, “Good night, everybody.”
After the break, Jacob Lusk, Stefano Langone, Paul McDonald, and James Durbin hit center stage with a Simon and Garfunkel two-fer, “Sounds of Silence” and “Mrs. Robinson.” The first song is truly an amazing display of harmony as the four do justice to the quietly powerful tune. The second part is good, but pales in comparison.
James and Jacob are sent back to the safety of the couch, where they will wait for the final pronouncement of eliminations. Paul and Stefano join Haley on the trio of silver chairs reserved for the uncertain.
Rihanna is on next, singing her latest hit, “California King Bed.” It isn’t a bad song, but Rihanna seems to be a bit nasally in her performance and might be coming down with a cold or something. Her vocals are usually the hallmark of clarity.
Ryan comes back with the Bottom 3. He first sends Haley back to the safety of the couch, leaving Stefano and Paul to await their fate. After drawing it out for a few seconds, Ryan announces that Paul will be the finalist headed home.
Paul was considered a longshot to win the competition and, unlike Pia Toscano, who was predicted to win and even led among oddsmakers, his dismissal will not be seen as shocking. Sad, because he is definitely fun to watch, but not shocking.
Judge Jennifer Lopez requested he sing Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May” for his farewell song. He obliged.
The Top 7 “American Idol” finalists will hit the stage again next week to see who makes the Top 6. Their theme for song choice will be “Songs From the 21st Century.”
“American Idol,” Fox Television
“Top 8: Paul McDonald,” AmericanIdol.com