Last night we said good-bye to another American Idol finalist.
Since this week's theme was songs from the year the finalists were born, host Ryan Seacrest had a special surprise for judge Simon Cowell.
He started out by showing a goofy PhotoShopped photo supposedly showing Simon and judge Paula Abdul together as babies. Then, he led into a video showing the song that was on the top of the charts when Simon Cowell was born, "Venus" by Frankie Avalon. The video trails out, and a live voice picks up. Surprise! It's Frankie Avalon doing "Venus," looking as young as Simon. In case you wondered, that year is 1959. Ryan promised, "We have a 50th celebration coming up soon." Simon, true to form, claimed he'd been born in 1969.
The group song this week was from 2002, the year that American Idol was born. The song was "Can't Get You Out of My Head." At one point, Adam sang a solo with the line, "There's a dark secret in me." (Sounding beautiful, by the way.) A deliberate hint at his not-so-secret secret? Apparently, even Bill O'Reilly has found out now.
Side note: I've noticed the group seems to be doing lots more moving around the stage, no longer worried about choreographing around Scott, who apparently has managed to convince the choreographers he can handle it. This is promising for their summer tour.
Then came a behind-the-scenes video of the top 8 shooting this week's Ford video, followed by the commercial, which was to the Britney Spears song, "Circus." My favorite line from the behind-the-scenes part was Scott MacIntyre to the wardrobe person: "None of this is pink, right?" (A reference to the week when they dressed him in pink pants and a matching pink paisley shirt.) The commercial itself was fun, and I have to say, that pseudo-Goth look is exactly the kind of outfit Allison should wear.
Afterwards, Ryan spoke to Adam Lambert, since the previous night's show had run over and there hadn't been time for him to react to the standing ovation from Simon on behalf of the judges. Adam said, "I was extremely honored. I really appreciate that gesture... I've never seen that before. I've been watching the show for eight years. I'm very flattered. Thank you."
Also, the mayor of Kalamazoo, where Matt Giraud lives, was in the audience. Everyone from Kalamazoo was impressed.
Ryan told Adam and Kris to stand up, along with Anoop. Going down the line, he proclaimed Adam and then Kris safe, and Anoop in the bottom three (video).
Then Flo-rida performed. He has the No. 1 single this week, which shows just how out of touch I am. Really, it was a changed-up cover of "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)," with some rap riffs added. It was energetic and entertaining, but someone should tell Mr. Flo-rida not to strip down to his wife beater during his shows. Do. Not. Want. (The wife beater, which is a pet peeve of mine; his muscles were OK.) Is it just me or did his female background singer look like a Maya Rudolph character? Some ribbon confetti fell from the ceiling at the end, and comically, Flo-rida was tangled in it for the duration of his interview with Ryan about his upcoming tour.
Back to the eliminations. Danny was declared safe. Then Ryan toyed with Matt, pointing out that he'd been in the bottom three before: "You're going to have to deal with the stress... of staying in the competition." Scott, however, wasn't so lucky. He was in the bottom three.
Then, Ryan had Allison Iraheta and Lil Rounds stand. Again, he acknowledged that Allison had been in the bottom three the previous week: "Allison, you are back... next week in the competition." Lil was in the bottom three. Looking at the bottom three of Anoop, Lil and Scott, Simon said that this was the first week where the judges would consider saving someone. Lil was declared safe (video).
Kellie Pickler performed her song, "The Best Days of Your Life," reminding me why I never voted for her, with her harsh, often tuneless performance. In high heels and a tight, sparkly dress, she toddled down to the judges' table and sang to Simon, who had once called her "a little minx." He, of course, was all smiles.
Then, it was judgment time. Ryan prefaced the results by revealing that only 30,000 votes separated the two of them. Scott, it turned out, had the lowest number of votes. As he performed one more time, the judges were clearly discussing something. After the song, Simon announced that "Two people think you should stay; two people think you should go." However, the rule of the judges' save is that it has to be unanimous, so it wasn't a surprise when Simon said, "It's the end of the competition." The other finalists ran out on stage to hug Scott and watch the good-bye video with him.
Before the credits rolled, Paula delivered a rambling but heartfelt message to Scott, "You've been an inspiration to the entire world through your commitment, through your talent. We all watch American Idol so that we, as an audience, get to witness unique and gifted artists, as Scott realized a dream that almost seemed near impossible. You know what? You are one classy gentleman. God bless you. We love you."
The judges weren't alone in liking Scott; he's one of the most likable contestants in the current season. So why was it his time to go?
Personality was definitely one of Scott's strengths. He was witty and good-natured. No doubt, his personal story also attracted some voters, as he is visually impaired and has never let that slow him down. Many thousands of viewers likely found his story inspiring.
If only his vocals could have matched his personal appeal, Scott would have made it far further. Compared to some of his competitors, he has a more limited singing range. He also tended to pick songs that could be categorized as "adult contemporary," which does not appeal to many of the young viewers who tend to vote faithfully for their favorites.
Last week, Scott gave his best performance, of a Billy Joel song. But this week, as he stepped away from the comfort zone of his piano and tried a rock song, he reminded viewers once again that his voice has its limits. While some would argue that at least he's been more consistent than Anoop Desai, it's also true that Anoop has a loyal group of fans who saved him.
Still, it's been a good run, and Scott should be proud of what he's achieved. I'm sure he'll have a great time on the summer tour, as long as he remembers to ask the wardrobe people if his outfits are pink.
All video clips come from mjsbigblog.
Personality is important, but vocals matter more.