"We all have an Idol. But what does it take to become one? You must be strong. You must shine. You must be fearless. But one dream ends tonight." Ah, these cold openings always give me chills! THIS...is American Idol.
As the judges and Ryan entered the studio, the roaring audience seemed louder than ever. Ryan shared impressive news that in just one night, 30 million votes were cast. Someone would be leaving by the end of the night, unless the judges saved them. Yes, the judges' "Save" is back. For those of you new to the show, the judges have the opportunity to save ONE person this season. The save can only be used once, and it becomes void towards the last few weeks of the competition. Whoever has the fewest votes gets a chance to sing for the "Save," and the judges will deliberate and reveal their verdict.
Ryan introduced the Top 13--but wait--I only counted 12. Apparently, Casey Abrams is in the hospital. That poor guy has had a rough few weeks. Ashthon Jones channeled Sanjaya Malakar with her ponyhawk. We saw footage of the Idols living the good life as they moved into their L.A. mansion. There appeared to be many breakable objects in the palatial home, but the finalists saw being away from their parents as an opportunity to play ball in the house. All the girls share a bedroom, and the guys share a bedroom, but I was envious of their closet space. I hope we get to see more footage from the mansion this season.
The first group performance of Season 10 was the finalists performing a medley of Michael Jackson songs. Thia Megia must've been excited about this. They sang "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'," "Rock With You," "Black or White," and "Man In The Mirror." I think this season has some of the better dancers we've seen on American Idol. All their voices are so unique too.
We also saw the first Ford music video of the season. Then, we watched footage from when the Top 13 walked the red carpet at the Red Riding Hood premiere earlier this week. The Idols were star-struck as they bumped into movie stars, but some of the movie stars were just as excited to run into the Idols.
Dim the lights, here we go. I wonder how un-dramatic the results would be with lights that weren't dimmed. Jacob Lusk, Karen Rodriguez, and Stefano Langone were up first. Karen's feather earrings looked like something out of Steven Tyler's jewelry box. Ryan recapped each of the three contestants' performances from the previous night, and said, "You all escaped elimination last week, and you all escaped it again. Except Karen."
The first guest performer of Season 10 was none other than Adam Lambert, Season 8's runner-up for those who have been living under a rock. He performed his song, "Aftermath," unplugged. Even his band members wear black nail polish. Adam's rendition was beautiful, and it was more raw than glam. When he finished, Ryan mocked his "The Thinker" finishing pose. The old friends caught up and the conversation quickly turned to dancing "The Dougie." Both Adam and I were unfamiliar with this choreography, but Jennifer Lopez promised to teach him after the show. The cameras cut to the couch where all 12 contestants "dougied." I bet Casey was even dougying from his hospital bed. Not knowing how to dougie makes me feel old.
Ryan called Lauren Alaina, Ashthon Jones, and Haley Reinhart down to the stage. Lauren watched her performance last night and admitted that it wasn't her best. When Ryan told her she's safe, the tears flowed. Ryan recapped Haley and Ashthon's performances, and Jennifer said that Haley looked a little like Stevie Nicks, and Randy said Haley should think about singing some Stevie Nicks songs if she sticks around. Ryan announced, "Ashthon, you are in the bottom three tonight, along with Haley." Wow, just like that! That meant that everyone on the couches was safe. Lauren's mouth was ajar, and Ryan went over to the couch to remind them that they're safe and he encouraged them to celebrate.
As Karen, Ashthon, and Haley sweated it out, Diddy with Dirty Money and Skylar Grey performed the beautiful song "Coming Home." It was much tamer than Diddy-Dirty Money's performance last year that had very harsh strobe lights. Steven Tyler was immersed in the performance and gave them a standing ovation. Mogul Diddy gave some advice to the finalists, but even this powerful mogul couldn't change the results of America's votes.
With four minutes left in the live show, we found out that Karen Rodriguez will be back to sing again next week. Ultimately, Haley was safe and Ashthon Jones received the fewest votes. Typically, the judges don't use the save this early on in the season, and the judges already saved Ashthon with one of their wild cards last week. Ashthon decided to sing the Diana Ross song that put her in the bottom. After her emotional performance, she broke down. Jennifer looked near tears as she revealed the unanimous decision that it's the end of the road for Ashthon. In the words of Cat Deeley, "I hate Thursdays!"
Ashthon watched her goodbye package set to Season 7 winner David Cook's "Don't You (Forget About Me)." After hearing David, I changed my mind. I won't hate Thursdays if it means a serenade from David!
The group of finalists huddled around Ashthon and shared positive affirmations. The camera cut out. It's too bad Ashthon is gone, but I won't miss the extra 'h' in her name.
Do you agree with America's votes? Would you have used the save on Ashthon? Tell us in the Idol forums!
'Til the Top 12, Insider out!