Twenty-four million votes were cast for the remaining eight finalists last night, but one singer still came up short in tonight’s show. As we near the mid-point of the competition, it’s becoming more and more difficult to determine who will be the one to fall. This unpredictability is complicated by the fact that this year’s field of performers is the strongest we’ve seen yet. An episode like last night’s, where no one singer could be singled out as particularly horrible, makes it even more difficult to determine who’ll be leaving.
Thankfully, the results were kept to 30 minutes tonight, and the only real filler was a stunning performance by Christina Christian, who we last saw back in Season One. While her album won’t be released in the U.S. until late this year, tonight’s appearance gave fans a taste of what to expect.
With only eight contestants this week, the nonsense of last week’s groupings was tabled in favor of the usual Mouseketeer role call we’ve come to know and love.
LaToya, of course, was safe. Fantasia, also, safe. George, safe. Jasmine, safe. Jennifer, safe.
Which left the bottom three at Jon Peter Lewis, Diana DeGarmo, and John Stevens. Of the three, I had predicated last night only that Diana would end up in the loser’s circle tonight. Despite the fact that her performance last night was unquestionably the weakest, she was almost immediately returned the couches. It was down to Jon vs. John.
Jon Peter Lewis was America’s choice in the Wild Card round. His dead-on Elvis impersonation and frantic, flailing dance moves endeared him to America, and, whatever his failings in the choreography department, there’s no question he has been one of the most outright entertaining aspects of the show every week. Last night, he made another stab at taking on The King, hoping he’d have the same luck again.
John Stevens has been an odd duck in this competition. He harkens back to an era of music that, by and large, has not been well represented on American Idol. His unique niche has earned him a loyal fan base, though its been unclear exactly how large this base is. Last night was his night to shine, and he pulled off probably his best performance of the finals. But in order to move on, he’ll have to continue to convert new fans.
As millions of teenaged girls held their collective breath, Ryan Seacrest revealed that Jon Peter Lewis would be leaving the show tonight.
And thus ends the sad, strange saga of JPL. He got further than he or anyone else expected in this competition. Thinking back to his first appearance with greasy hair, white shirt, and ugly tie, the transformation he’s undergone is amazing. While he may or may not have a future in the music industry, Jon Peter went out on a high note tonight, dancing his way through the crowd and singing his heart out.
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