The Top 8 results show began with a movie reel of clips from the previous night's performance show. The stage doors parted and Ryan Seacrest, Randy Jackson, Steven Tyler, and Jennifer Lopez yanked each other onto the stage. In the spirit of Movie Week, Jennifer looks like Princess Leia meets Gladiator.
Taking a break from the white dress shirts, Ryan wore a powder blue dress shirt as he announced that an impressive 53 million votes were cast. Back by popular demand, the Idols paired off and sang together. First up, the country teens--Lauren Alaina and Scotty McCreery--performed "American Honey" by Sugarland. Lauren was in a sunshiny yellow dress and wore earrings that were the size of her head. These two twangy teens sounded great together again. They'd make a cute little country couple, but their moms would have to chaperone their date. Instead of finding out the results after their performance, they got to sit back down and sweat it out in the bleachers.
After a "Thriller" of a Ford music video, we got a jazzy duet from another cute duo, Casey Abrams and Haley Reinhart. They performed "Moanin'" by Lambert, Hendricks & Ross. Casey was in his element and Haley looked and sounded fantastic in the jazz genre. These judges were loving jazz this week--they jumped to their feet and gave Casey and Haley a standing ovation...Casey's second in two nights!
It was time for the first part of the results. The first four performers were brought back to join Ryan on the stage. The country kids, Scotty and Lauren, were one step closer to achieving their dreams. Partners were parted as Casey was sent to the safety of the couches and Haley was sent to the cold, lonely stools.
In the spirit of movie week, the Top 8 were visited by hilarious film director Rob Reiner. He gave them tips about having a career in entertainment, and talked about Idol movie stars Jennifer Hudson, Carrie Underwood, and the gem that started it all, "From Justin to Kelly."
That was a great segue into the next performance of the night, a duet from America's first Idol, Kelly Clarkson, and Jason Aldean to his song, "Don't You Wanna Stay." At least I think it was Jason...he remained faceless under the shadow of his cowboy hat. Kelly watches American Idol each week and tweets about some of the finalists, so I wonder if they'll get to meet each other after the show. Ryan interviewed Kelly, who was very quick-witted and funny. I think Ryan found his new co-host! She could be the Kelly to his Regis.
The Season 10 Idol finalist band swapped Casey for Jacob, and the four men sang two Simon & Garfunkel songs: the beautifully haunting "Sound of Silence" and The Graduate's "Mrs. Robinson." In two days, Jacob has performed 3 Simon & Garfunkel songs. Paul, Stefano, James, and Jacob have very different voices from one another. They sounded fine together, and I like the idea of them performing together, but they seem more in their element as individuals. I literally cooed "awww" as I saw Pia Toscano and Naima Adedapo in the audience together. Can they perform a duet, please? Ryan greeted Paul, Jacob, James, and Stefano with more results. Two of these guys would be in the bottom. It was not James; he was safe. America liked the "crescendos and innuendos" of Jacob's "Bridge Over Troubled Water," which meant that Paul and Stefano had to join Haley in the bottom.
The night wasn't over yet. Chaka Khan and Anita Baker helped Ryan introduce Rihanna. The pop superstar performed "California King Bed" as dancers twirled with hanging bed sheets and over clouds behind her. My description doesn't do the performance justice--it was really something special. Rihanna gave a tour secret, which she said she wasn't supposed to share, to Ryan. Don't worry RiRi; only 30 million people watch this #1 show.
It was time for the results. In a drawn out, round-a-bout sentence, Ryan said that the streak of eliminated females has ended because Haley's safe. Ryan's writers give me an ulcer with their tension-filled results. It's gotten to the point where the Idols can't even celebrate because they're not quite sure if Ryan is saying that they're safe or not. It came down to buddies Stefano Langone and Paul McDonald. The first male eliminated from the finals is...Paul McDonald. The judges gave him a standing ovation, and the quirky singer sang "Maggie May" one last time. He has performed "Maggie May" almost as many times as he's worn a suit covered in roses. Randy and Jennifer stood up and clapped along to Paul. I'll miss his spirit, his shout outs to the audience, his wild wardrobe, and his teeth!
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