Casey Abrams and Scotty McCreery
There was more than the usual amount of padding in this results show, with the first results not coming until halfway through the program. First was a taped segment in honor of the royal wedding. The Idols were at the British consulate. Among the guests were Eric Idle of "Monty Python" fan. Scotty did a pretty good imitation of a British accent. [British consulate party ]
Then the Top 6 did a medley of Carole King hits. The medley was fun (even with some pitch problems), including a section where Scotty sang in the audience, surrounded by girls. [Carole King medley]
In this week's Ford music video, they drew a Space Age dream home that came to life to the Madness song "Our House." [Ford video]
Season nine runner-up Crystal Bowersox performed "Ridin' with the Radio" with a band including a slide guitarist and harmonica player. I missed her quirky touches: her special microphone stand and the Persian rug to make it seem like home. The lyrics were a bit ironic, talking about "whatever happened to just singing a song?" She greeted the Top 6, who all took turns to give her hugs or shake her hand. [Crystal's performance]
The Top 6 answered some questions from Twitter as other messages flashed on the screen. Casey said he wanted to do a duet with jazz pianist Oscar Peterson. Lauren gave a shout-out to those affected by the tornadoes in the south. Scotty admitted to working in a tanning salon. Asked who she liked in past "Idol" seasons, Haley mentioned Adam Lambert, Siobhan Magnus, Kelly Clarkson, Lee Dewyze and Crystal Bowersox. "No Taylor Hicks?" Ryan asked. She said, "Oh, I like him, too." Way to put her on the spot! [Twitter interview]
Ryan announced he was calling each contestant in random order as it came time for the results. First was Haley Reinhart. Ryan showed a package that gave highlights from the last night and comments from Jimmy Iovine. But in the last few seconds, she said something that had to be bleeped, and his final words were silenced. "Watch your mouth," Ryan told her.
Apparently, she argued because Jimmy had told her she didn't know who she was. Ryan told her, "I can tell you what kind of contestant you are. That is safe."
Then it was Scotty McCreery's turn. Jimmy said that he hopes Scotty's subtlety is not overlooked. When it came time to give Scotty his results, Ryan told him, "I'll have you hang tight for a second" and sent him back to the couches. [Results for Haley and Scotty]
Next was Lauren Alaina. Jimmy said that when she's confident, she has a voice to rival any. He predicated she's here for the long run. She was also sent back to the couch.
Casey Abrams got the treatment next. Jimmy was disappointed because he was on, "but he felt that he had to growl. Casey's got to realize the family dog does not vote on this show." Ryan asked him about it, and Casey said "Maybe I have all this pent-up aggression." But added it was primarily about passion for the music. Ryan sent him back to the couch to wait. [Results for Lauren and Casey]
After a commercial, James Durbin stood for his video summary and critique. Jimmy thought that, if James picks the right songs, he could win this thing. Ryan almost psyched out James and then told him he was safe.
Jacob Lusk came forward then. Jimmy thought that Jacob's outfit should have been in "Dancing with the Stars" and that Jacob could go home: "He's on banana peel status."
Ryan brought Casey, Lauren and Scotty back forward. He told them that Lauren was safe. [Results for James, Jacob, Casey, Lauren and Scotty]
After the commercial break, Bruno Mars performed. It was a very bouncy, catchy song, and Bruno rocked his trademark fedora. [Bruno Mars performance]
Then Jacob, Casey and Scotty faced their results (although remember: Ryan said these were called in random order and never declared them the bottom three). Much to his surprise, Jacob was declared safe. The guy who's leaving the competition? Casey Abrams, who seemed to expect the news.
A shot of judge Randy Jackson showed him looking upset about the results right before the good-bye montage aired. Ryan pointed to him and said, "This is what talent looks like, ladies and gentlemen."
For his last song, Casey did, "I Put a Spell on You." He gave the judges hugs as he sang and then went out into the audience and gave kisses to some of the girls in the first row before hugging his family and friends. [Casey's results and swan song]
Why was Casey cut... again? While his elimination shouldn't be a surprise, given that he was first eliminated several weeks ago, many fans are wondering why he was cut permanently this time.
Casey was one of the most musically talented people on the program, with not just vocal talent but the ability to play several instruments, including a stand-up bass. He was unique, which is important in a field of contestants, and he turned in several performances that brought the audience to their feet.
So what was it about Casey that cost him votes? His trademark growl was one of the problems: a vocal tick that could be distracting from his performance. While Haley has a similar habit, hers is less pronounced. Worse for Casey is that he tends to make scary, angry-looking faces while performing, which probably turned off viewers.
But ultimately, his style of music was probably just not mainstream enough. After all, this is a show about choosing the next pop star, and Casey lives in the blues/jazz wheelhouse. I have no doubt that he'll do well in that field and maybe even score a duet with Oscar Peterson. In the meantime, though, I'm sad to see him go.
Mainstream appeal is important with a national call-in show.