You know it’s a wacky week on “American Idol” when James Durbin is the one everyone is raving about thanks to a marching-band-assisted cover of Muse and a Mad Max-meets-My Chemical Romance outfit that made musical inspiration Adam Lambert seem like a jeans-and-T-shirt guy by comparison.
But Wednesday night’s “Music of the 21st Century” night was kind of like that. Untouchable Scotty McCreery was kind of flat, people seemed to like Haley Reinhart again and wasted save Casey Abrams was back to his serial killer eyes and stuck-pig rock grunting as if he hasn’t been paying any attention to what the judges and Jimmy Iovine have told him not to do.
So, who is going home? Tough call.
MTV’s own “Idol Party Live” host Jim Cantiello predicted that the next three weeks of elimination are all about Jacob Lusk, Stefano Langone and Reinhart. “The three of them seem to have fanbases significantly smaller than everyone else,” he suggested. “Jacob tossed the dead dad card in the ring [on Wednesday night], so he’s safe. General consensus is that Haley delivered one of, if not THE, strongest vocals of the night, so she won’t be going home just yet.”
That leaves Langone on the outs. While Cantiello said the scrappy singer’s attempt at Ne-Yo’s “Closer” was a valiant effort, but he may have turned off some viewers by laying the Lothario act on so thickly. “Coming off a taped package that talked about his flirty ways, watching him grind and eye-[censored] while singing was a bit much,” Cantiello said, perhaps trying to channel the spirit of F-bomb dropping judge Steven Tyler. “I wouldn’t be surprised if Casey landed on a stool, too. The last time he went straight-up rock, nobody voted for him.”
Saying it was probably just wishful thinking on her part, “Idol” blogger MJ Santilli said she thought it was gospel weeper Lusk who may be punching his card home. “His performance spot was in the middle of the pack, his vocally shaky version of Luther Vandross’ ‘Dance With My Father’ was nothing special,” she said of the tune he dedicated to his own deceased father. Even though fan fave McCreery played in the dreaded first spot and put up one of his least-inspired performances to date, Santilli said his strong following would probably get him through another week.
Though frequent bottom-three visitor Langone had a better performance this week, “learning to ‘dance’ and stare sexily into the camera,” Santilli said she thought he would still land in the danger zone again. Her third pick for the bottom was Abrams, who she thought would end up on the losing end despite his J.Lo-kissing antics after returning to the off-putting “screamy rock” mode that got him eliminated in 11th place before this season’s ill-timed save.
Village Voice music editor Maura Johnston wasn’t into McCreery’s version of LeAnn Rimes’ “Swingin’,” but she thought Abrams’ scat solo probably didn’t do him any favors with voters. “Plus he had the RED LIGHTS OF DOOM behind him. And I’m sure the kiss turned people off,” she said of Adams’ surprise smooch with the most beautiful woman in the world and red-alert stage set.
Me? I think it’s finally Langone’s time to go home. Good will only get you so far and even though he’s super cute, the kid clearly belongs on a Disney cruise and not in the winners’ circle. I believe he’ll be joined by Abrams and Lauren Alaina, who was good, but not great singing an obscure Sara Evans song.
To recap, here’s our prediction for the bottom three. Agree with our picks? Let us know your list in the comments below.
» Gil Kaufman: Stefano Lagone (out), Casey Abrams, Lauren Alaina
» Maura Johnston: Abrams (out)
» Jim Cantiello: Langone (out), Lusk, Reinhart
» MJ Santilli: Lusk (out), Lagone, Abrams
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