Practically every second of American Idol provides juicy fodder for conspiracy theorists, paranoid superfans and hardcore cynics on their second glasses of sauvignon blanc.
Take, for example, the Season 12 Top 8 results telecast: As the five remaining ladies and three surviving guys teamed up for a performance of Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock and Roll,” I wondered to myself, who’s going to be stuck with the line, “say I’m old-fashioned, say I’m over the hill”? And will that be the tipoff as to who’s walking the plank and joining the “Eighth-Place Club” alongside Jon Peter Lewis, Michael Johns, Nadia Turner and Haley Scarnato. (Three out of four ain’t bad!)
Even though we had Jimmy Iovine predicting the end of the road for underperforming Lazaro “two songs in one week is one song too many” Arbos, it was, alas, Devin Velez who got the dreaded lyric in question. Would it spell his d-e-m-i-s-e? Let’s cut to the critical shenanigans. Before we do, however, an update: Top 7 Week theme will be “Classic Rock, No Ballads.” Dare I say I’m intrigued and optimistic???
SENT TO SAFETY (in no particular order)
(WHO RUN THIS MOTHER?!)
CORRECT! (Based on overall body of work, anyhow.)
FIRST ONE SENT BACK TO SAFETY
NEXT ONE SENT BACK TO SAFETY
SINGING FOR HIS LIFE
Devin Velez: Perry Como’s “It’s Impossible” | I can’t say I was rooting for the judges to use their save —
Lazaro* Devin has never really performed like a potential winner, and probably needs a good five years before his depth of feeling matches his pitch perfection — but this was a pretty flashy vocal without any technical flaws whatsoever. (* See how my subconscious takes over when it’s angry about results? Oy!)
And yet, it was not enough. “It is not unanimous,” said Randy Jackson. “We’re not gonna use [The Save].” Not surprising, really. The Season 12 save actually has this symbol carved into its visage. (Also, Nicki’s seated position as her fellow judges offered a standing ovation for “It’s Impossible” was a pretty good indicator of how it was gonna all play out.)
Sure, it should have been Lazaro who walked the plank — he was clearly No. 9 out of the Top 9, and clearly No. 8 of the Top 8 — but fluttering eyelashes, good hair and the threat of tears can carry you pretty far in this competition. (Probably not past seventh place, though.)
A few other notes on the telecast:
* True confession: I miss the “Ford Music Video” segment. But that package about the Top 8 mentoring grade school kids on how to sing Phillip Phillips’ “Home” made me a little misty-eyed. (Yes, okay, I’m a softie!)
* I have to say, Jimmy’s unwavering enthusiasm for the awesomeness of Candice Glover has improved my opinion of him in a major way. Also: Let’s hope he makes good on that promise to include “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” on Janelle Arthur’s debut disc.
* Then again, what’s up with Jimmy insisting how much help Angie Miller needs? I mean, dude, you’re her frickin’ mentor! If you’re not down with her song choices, arrangements, and staging — then maybe you ought to verbalize it!
* I’m gonna need a few more listens to figure out if I dig Colton Dixon’s “Love Has Come for Me,” but he was in great voice — and he’s got stage presence out the wazoo. Nice to see him succeeding while staying true to his authentic self!
* I had similar feelings about the One Republic**
Direction-Katharine McPhee duet, “If I Lose Myself,” especially because of the weird way Ryan Tedder held Kat’s mic. I dunno. She’s the Idol alum. I feel like her voice should’ve been more front and center through the performance, right? (**It’s all the same…only the names’ll change…)
* Keith Urban: Incredible! Mariah’s “#1 Keith Fan” placard: “Hashtag: Nyet.”
* After Kree’s off-screen faceplant (while celebrating Janelle’s run to safety) I have to ask: Why are the Idol stylists so hellbent on putting female contestants in literal killer heels? We can’t get a female winner if the Season 12 ladies are all sidelined with sprained ankles!
With that, it’s your turn. What did you think of Season 12 Top 8 results night? Did the right person go home? How’d Lazaro survive (again)? And did you dig Katharine McPhee and/or Colton Freakin Dixon? Sound off in the comments, and for all my Idol-related news, recaps, interviews and videos, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!