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American Idol: And Then There Were Three

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This week on American Idol, James Durbin was eliminated from the competition. Shocking? Eh, not really.

Personally, I never saw James getting past the Top 5. But, I figured Randy Jackson had probably pissed off every Haley Reinhart fan Wednesday night to the point where they probably voted until their thumbs were numb.

I figured when it came down to it, we were going to see either Lauren Alaina or James head home. Yesterday when Ryan Secrest tweeted, Tonight will be a VERY interesting #americanidol. Good luck @LAlainaAI10, @JDurbinAI10, AMERICAN IDOL: Haley Reinhart advances to the next round on AMERICAN IDOL airing Thursday, May 12 (8:00-9:00- PM ET/PT) on FOX. L-R: James Durbin, Scotty McCreery, Haley Reinhart and Ryan Seacrest. CR: Michael Becker / FOX.  @SMcCreeryAI10 & @HReinhartAI10,” I knew Haley had to be safe and that there was going to be a “shocking” elimination.

I felt for James, because as soon as Haley was declared safe last night and it was between him and Scotty McCreery going home, you could just tell that he knew his time was up. However, I do think it was time for him to head home.

The thing with James, and season 8 contestant Allison Iraheta kind of touched on in her guest blog on The Hollywood Reporter website yesterday was that we never truly saw a James Durbin performance. We saw a lot of knock-off Adam Lambert performances.

“With James, as far as song choice is concerned, it was hard for me to hear it because we had to sing “Don’t Stop Believin’” on the season 8 tour so many times – it was a group number. And to hear Adam Lambert sing that same song night after night… well, it’s hard not to compare the two,” Iraheta said in her blog.

“What I want to see out of James is something truly different — what makes James, James? Because we have an Adam and he’s amazing. I’m a fan, don’t get me wrong, but we’ve seen this already.”

I think James tried to make his performances kind of these huge spectacles week after week, and I think people maybe started to see through all the smoke and mirrors and realized that his vocals, at best, were just okay.

Next week, the Top 3 will be singing three songs a piece. Each will have a song chosen by one of the judges, a song chosen by Jimmy Iovine, and a song of their own choosing.

What did you think of this week’s elimination? What do you think the judges and Jimmy Iovine are going to pick for the contestants to sing?

Photo credit: Michael Becker / FOX

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About Kirsten Coachman

Kirsten Coachman is a writer and editor from the San Francisco Bay Area. Visit her long-running music blog, Wait...WHAT, at waitwhatmusic.net. Follow Kirsten Coachman on Twitter: @KirsCoachman
  • BR

    Adam sang pop/pop-rock/rock on Idol. Adam’s album has pop/pop-rock/rock. On his worldwide tour he sang pop/pop-rock/rock. Eveything he did on Idol he has done post Idol. Haley was really good. James was just okay. Don’t know where he will fit post Idol.

  • I though Haley really knocked it out of the park Wednesday night. I loved her singing. I’ve been listening to her since she was 16 and singing with my kid in their high school vocal jazz ensemble. I hope she goes all the way to the top.

  • MaiTaiSoo

    Since I’m a construction worker, I wouldn’t mind if one of McCreery’s songs is “Hard Hat and a Hammer” by Alan Jackson. Wouldn’t be outside of his comfort zone but I sure would like to hear him sing it.

  • Mikep

    I’m sure the judges pics for all of them will be interesting. I tend to agree Jimmy will pick current, I don’t think Scotty much cares what they pick for him he gives me the impression that if he wins cool if he doesn’t it won’t kill him LOL

  • MaiTaiSoo

    I agree with Kirsten.

    Mikep, nice choices but like Kirsten says, McCreery needs to be pushed further outside his comfort zone… the other 2 have the range to sing just about anything.

    Scotty has to see this as his opportunity to lock up the championship AND not fear it… he should already have the correct instincts about this as he plays in competitive sports… prep baseball AND as the pitcher no less… we know that the pressure is enormous at that position.

  • Mike – Those are interesting picks. A lot of them have been done before on the show, and I hope the judges keep that in mind.

    I think Jimmy Iovine is going to pick very current songs for them, so they can prove that they can be an artist in today’s music world.

  • I do hope that they push Scotty out of his box some, but I don’t think they’ll do anything too drastic.

    I would like to see them hand him a pop song with a great melody that could be transformed, so Scotty could own it and have a moment with it.

  • Mikep

    Order Contestant Song (original artist) Result
    1 Scotty McCreery “What Hurts the Most” (Rascal Flatts)
    2 Haley Reinhart “Feeling Good” (Cy Grant)
    3 Lauren Alaina “Give Me One Reason” (Tracy Chapman)
    4 Haley Reinhart “A Change Is Gonna Come” (Sam Cooke)
    5 Scotty McCreery “You’ll Think of Me” (Keith Urban)
    6 Lauren Alaina “How Do I Live” (LeAnn Rimes)
    7 Scotty McCreery “Can’t Help Falling in Love” (Elvis Presley)
    8 Lauren Alaina “Jesus Take The Wheel” (Carrie Underwood)
    9 Haley Reinhart “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” (Eurythmics)

  • Sherry

    I was glad James ended up being the one to go home. I didn’t like Randy’s reaction. I guess he wanted Scotty to go. I don’t really understand that, because James was not that great. He is a good performer, but he is not original in any way, and I’m not even comparing him to Adam Lambert.

    Here’s the thing, Adam is a pop singer, he planned on being a pop singer, and he did pop songs after the show. James wants to be a hard rock/metal singer. Those are the voices he emulated and he did a decent job of it, however it was not all that original. If he really wanted to be taken seriously as a hard rock singer he shouldn’t have done the Journey song as his personal choice. I can’t believe the judges didn’t call him out on it. No one thinks of Journey as a hard rock band. If Journey had been the theme, fine, but they could pick anything they wanted.

    I thought Haley made a poor choice on her first song, but I’m glad she stayed. Her second song was a bit of a cheat since Leiber and Stoller didn’t actually write it. Lucky for her it was a good performance.

    I thought Lauren was the best of the night and she probably saved herself from going home. Scotty was ok, but nothing special from him on Wednesday. He needs to pick it up next week.

  • MaiTaiSoo

    McCreery will have the biggest opportunity because you know what Jimmy and the judges will choose for him to sing… it will no doubt be something outside of his vocal range… a huge challenge so-to-speak. If he does above average or good with those 2 songs then he is a LOCK to win it all.