Maybe choosing songs with titles like “No Air” and “Love Hurts” was a self-fulfilling prophecy. Maybe last week’s hideous plaid blazer finally caught up to him. Maybe jazzman Casey Abrams put a voodoo hex on him. Whatever the cause, tonight Jacob Lusk’s Idol journey came to an end... much to Lauren Alaina’s relief. But first — this is American Idol!
Judge fashion check! Randy in a turquoise blazer with zippers, Jennifer in a dress with a poofy bronze skirt, Steven in black snakeskin-printed pants. In the audience, a sign with what looked like the Rolling Stones tongue logo in glitter (wrong band, audience member!). Also: Rachel Zevita! Aw, we loved her. And wow, the semifinals seem like a really long time ago.
After Ryan pimped Steven’s forthcoming book, Jen’s musical performance, and Randy’s “bake sale this weekend” (hee!), the Top 5 performed The Turtles’ “Happy Together.” We never noticed how repetitive the lyrics are before. Also, The Durbz’s “tail” was in full effect, if anyone was wondering.
Product placement! Cross promotion! Wee! Here’s how they stacked up. Ford music video: meh. Hell’s Kitchen omelet-making competition with Gordon Ramsey: kind of entertaining. Lauren won, and Jacob came in second, for the record.
Then Lady Antebellum debuted their new single, “Just a Kiss,” a sweet ballad that was almost as pretty as the group’s two lead singers. After that we got some more product placement in a segment with the Idols promoting Bing. Speaking of which: Stop trying to make Bing happen! It’s not going to happen.
Finally, it was time for some results. The Durbz was up first, and we were reminded of his performances last night, which were not his best. Jimmy Iovine: “James has been going back and forth between a nine and ten for me over the last five weeks... I felt last night was an eight.”
James was sent to the far side of the stage to start a group. At this point, we groaned, because we knew what was coming. The Idol producers love doing these setups where they divide the contestants up and make one poor sap pick which of his/her follow contestants are safe. It’s always awkward for everyone.
Lauren was next to get her results. Jimmy called her out for skipping the big note (“I neeeeed your love”) in “Unchained Melody” last night. “I believe, because of Lauren’s performance of ‘Unchained Melody,’ that she will be in the bottom three tonight,” he said. A teary-eyed Lauren was sent to stand on the opposite side of the stage from James, which she should have known -— and maybe did know — meant she was in trouble.
Before we could get any more results, we had to get through a follow-up on the Hell’s Kitchen cross-promotion, with Jacob and Lauren taking a blind taste test, and then a performance by our very own J.Lo.
So here’s the story: For what it was, Jennifer’s performance was fabulous. She looked incredible, the song is catchy, the dancing was outstanding... she even had an actual wind machine so that her hair rippled gently when she rose up from the stage on a podium. It’s just ironic that she’s a judge on a singing show. Imagine for a moment if one of the contestants chose to sing a song like that one — or, God forbid, her next single, of which we got a preview after the commercial break. Would the judges think it was an appropriate choice to show off their talent? We’re guessing not so much. But props to her for not lip syncing (we think). We’ll give her that.
Anyway! Moving on from Jen, next it was Jacob’s turn to get results, and his performance of “No Air” is just as excruciating in recap form as it was in long-form last night. Jimmy Iovine says: “I feel that last night Jacob was a six.” Ouch! Also: true. Or possibly generous. Jacob was sent to stand with Lauren, obviously.
Haley was next, and Jimmy was full of praise. “No question in my mind, on all points, Haley gets a ten, she won the night. If Haley’s comeback continues, she’s a lock for the finale,” he said. While we’re not convinced she’s destined for the finale, she definitely did win the night last night, and was sent to stand with James. (Not a reward for winning the night, as far as we know.)
Last to hear his results was Scotty. The recap reminds us that he did very well last night, and Jimmy Iovine reminds us that winning Idol no longer actually matters. “I have no doubt that Scotty will have an extraordinary recording career whether he wins the show or not,” he said. And Scotty, of course, was safe.
Then came the awkward moment, when Ryan told Scotty to go join the group he thought contained the other safe contestants. It was blatantly obvious which group was safe, but Scotty, as happens every season, didn’t want to choose. “I’m not doing that, dude, don’t do that, don’t do that to me,” he kept repeating to Ryan, who eventually took pity on him and tugged him toward Haley and The Durbz, prompting this amusing muttered exchange:
Haley: “Did you do that?”
Scotty: “No, he pushed me.”
So Scotty, Haley, and James were all safe, and The Durbz fell to his knees in shock (or “shock”). Meanwhile, Lauren looked utterly stricken to find herself in danger, and Seacrest tried to help her keep it together as we headed into the last commercial break.
When we returned, we got the news, about five seconds before Lauren actually died of nerves: Jacob was out! Lauren hightailed it back to the safety of the couches while Jacob talked to Ryan about how America has fallen in love with him and he can’t wait to put out an album.
For his singout, Jacob chose “A House Is Not a Home,” which was a bummer, because we would’ve preferred “You’re All I Need to Get By.” But then again, Jacob hasn’t much been in the business of pleasing us lately. Regardless, his singout is fine, if wobbly at the beginning, but by the end he devolves into some takin’-it-to-church riffing that seemed pretty lighthearted.
So, that was the show. Did the right person go home? Did you enjoy Jennifer’s performance? Can Lauren survive the stress of this show for much longer? Let us know what you think in the comments!