Turning on American Idol to find Haley Reinhart, David Cook and Jordin Sparks was, for this Idoloonie, like walking down to the corner pharmacy and spotting a unicorn in the shampoo aisle. Adding Chris Daughtry, Kellie Pickler and even Constantine Maroulis to the All-Star mix, and it was like I’d found that unicorn tossing a bottle of Pantene Pro-V back and forth with a pegasus.
You could take from the above paragraph that I spend altogether too much time with visions of mystical four-legged creatures galloping around in my head. But it’s also my way of saying that it would’ve been damn near impossible to spoil my Idol buzz at the end of Thursday’s two-hour telecast.
Sadly, though, it wasn’t for lack of trying on the part of the show’s judges and producers!
First, we had to endure J.Lo’s revisionist history about how back in Season 10, she and her fellow judges were certain Haley Reinhart would win — even though Jenny From the Block did everything short of throwing eye of newt into a bubbling cauldron during every results show in an effort to thwart the eventual third-place finisher’s chances. (Also, remember when Randy said his favorite performer of the night was… everyone except for Haley!? Good times!)
The bigger problem, however, was the fact that for the second straight week, viewers were left with our hands tied behind our backs, while the judges were given total control of cutting five of this week’s 12 performers.
Bafflingly, three of the contestants who struggled the most with pitch during their solo and duet rounds — Tristan McIntosh, Jenn Blosil and Lee Jean — advanced, while vocalists who clearly outperformed them (Shelbie Z, Amelia Eishenhauer) were unceremoniously dumped just so producers could continue the narratives in which they’d invested way back in the audition rounds.
Hey, never let actual musical performances get in the way of a good story arc, right?
Anyhow, I have to skedaddle to recap How to Get Away With Murder, so let me offer my letter grades for the episode’s duets — then get to the business of results.
Letter Grades (for Contestants — Not All-Stars)
Amelia Eisenhauer (with All-Star Kellie Pickler), “Suds in the Bucket” — Grade: B+
Kory Wheeler (with All-Star Haley Reinhart), “Bennie and the Jets” — Grade: B+
Lee Jean (with All-Star Chris Daughtry), “Home” — Grade: C+
CJ Johnson (with All-Star David Cook), “The World I Know” — Grade: C+
Manny Torres (with All-Star Jordin Sparks), “No Air” — Grade: B-
Jenn Blosil (with All-Star Constantine Maroulis), “My Funny Valentine” — Grade: B-
Tristan McIntosh (with All-Star Kellie Pickler), “Best Days of Your Life” — Grade: C+
Olivia Rox (with All-Star David Cook), “Light On” — Grade: B+
Adam Lasher (with All-Star Haley Reinhart), “Can’t Help Falling in Love” — Grade: B
Dalton Rapattoni (with All-Star Chris Daughtry) “Higher Ground” — Grade: B
Trent Harmon (with All-Star Jordin Sparks), “To Love Somebody” — Grade: B+
Shelbie Z (with All-Star Constantine Maroulis), “Bohemian Rhapsody” — Grade: A-
Advancing to the Top 14 (By Judges’ Decision Alone)
Tristan over Shelbie
Runner-Up for Biggest Outrage
Lee over Amelia