'Idol' sets final two on results night
Note: Lisa de Moraes is in New York covering the broadcast network upfronts, and will return next week. In the meantime, WaPo Team TV's Emily Yahr recaps the Top 3 Results Night.
After a performance night in which the Judge's Choice tunes gave Casey James a dreary John Mayer song, Crystal Bowersox a so-so Paul McCartney song, and Lee DeWyze the hauntingly beautiful "Hallelujah" with a background choir, smoke machine, and light show, it's awfully hard to build suspense on results night.
But it's 'Idol,' so they sure do try! Only 55 minutes to kill before Ryan Seacrest tells us who's making it to next week's finale.
Ryan tells us first that OMG, JUSTIN BIEBER, will be performing, and then to calm the audience down and possibly put them to sleep, conducts an Oprah-type chat as he gathers the final three contestants on a couch, asking them about their 'Idol' journey.
"Is it -- surreal?" Seacrest poses his question thoughtfully, tilting his head to the side for effect.
"Yeah," sighs Casey.
It's going to be a very long hour.
Seacrest grills Crystal on just how hard it is to be an 'Idol' contestant, and Crystal and Lee patiently explain that even though the rest of the country only sees them performing once a week, no one realizes quite how time-consuming it is, what with the pesky members of the media asking all kinds of questions, not to mention rehearsals, Ford commercial music videos, and shilling for the fill-in-the-blank corporate sponsor of the week.
We learn many other facts during the seemingly endless discussion. Crystal would prefer winning the competition. Lee also thinks winning would be lovely. Casey seems to have his blue shirt unbuttoned to dangerously low Simon Cowell levels. You could hear a pin drop in the theater during most of this chat.
It starts to get interesting when Lee and Crystal heap praise on the judges for all their super-helpful comments -- but Casey shakes his head. "Not everything you've said has been helpful," he smirks, probably flashing back to the time Kara DioGuardi told him that he was not only eye candy, but ear candy. And wouldn't you know it? The show cuts to commercial.
After the Ford music video of the week (creepier than usual, as the contestants morph into spray-painted pictures of themselves), we see footage of Casey's trip home to Cool, Tex., where he signs everything from a small dog to someone's chest. But things take a somber turn when he goes to a hospital to visit the doctors who saved him after a bad accident. After shots of Casey in a full body cast and his mom crying, Ryan tries to goad him into shedding a few tears on stage -- but it doesn't work.
And for no reason whatsoever, blogger Perez Hilton appears to plug a singer named Travis Garland who's about to perform his single "Believe" on the 'Idol' stage -- and if you rely on Perez Hilton for trend-spotting, is apparently the Next Big Thing. Suddenly, Travis Garland descends a staircase and does a seductive dance across the stage surrounded by writhing backup dancers. We cannot for the life of us understand a word he's singing, but a screen suddenly appears on stage that helpfully reminds everyone his name is "TRAVIS GARLAND" and the song was called "BELIEVE," as if trying to burn it into the audience's brains.
Back to the Idolettes, Crystal heads home to Toledo, Ohio, where the mayor grants her a key to the city, she sees her adorable baby son, and sings an original song called "Holy Toledo." She breaks down in tears after seeing the video. Lee also gets teary-eyed during his visit home to Chicago, as he throws out the first pitch at a Cubs game and visits his old paint store. Naturally Ryan tries to make the tears flow -- "What does it feel like to make your father so proud?" he probes, as Dad's eyes water in the audience.
But enough tears -- it's Justin Bieber time! Tim Urban's pettable hair is a distant memory as teen hair/singing sensation Bieber takes the stage, singing "U Smile" and "Baby," and basks in the shrieking tween girls everywhere.
Finally, finally, it's time for the results. Ryan recaps comments from the judges (who have been strangely silent this whole episode) before telling Lee that he's safe. And the person joining him is...Crystal. People start screaming and music starts playing but Crystal's confused. "I'm safe? Am I safe?" she asks.
Yes, Crystal's safe. Casey's out. She joins Lee in a hug as Casey launches into a performance of John Mayer's "Daughters," the song that got him eliminated from the competition. But such is the cruel world of "American Idol."
Never miss another "American Idol" after-show analysis. Text "IDOL" to 98999 to have a link to Lisa de Moraes's blog post sent directly to your phone.
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