Elvis week sent Chris Daughtry home in the most unforgettable results show ever. Would this week be as shocking? The second Top 9 week results show guaranteed that two people would be going home. This week's movie trailer-type opening began with a black and white recap of last week's dramatic save. With no more second chances, it's double elimination time!
Judging by the glittery posters in the audience, there were a lot of Adam Lambert fans in the house. Ryan Seacrest announced that a Season 9 record of over 34 million votes were cast, however two finalists will bid adieu regardless of the record. Randy Jackson was taking the night seriously, judging by his attire: he swapped his usual v-neck cardigan for a collared shirt. Last night, Ryan introduced "Turban" (Tim Urban) and tonight he brought us SiCo (Simon Cowell).
To celebrate Elvis week, the contestants performed a medley of hits, but only three instead of the six they performed last week. When Aaron Kelly sang to Katie Stevens, it was like I was watching some high school musical show for a second.
The results segment of the show started with Casey James and his beautifully blow-dried hair. But before Ryan revealed Casey's fate, he asked Aaron Kelly to stand, who you could hardly see behind Casey. Then, Andrew was asked to rise. All three guys make their way to the center of the stage. Is this another one of those three group trick-a-roos? None of them received the best reviews the night before, but it seems kind of early to already find out the bottom three. All of the sudden, Ryan announced that it's the end of the road for Andrew Garcia. Lee looked more crushed that he was losing his BFF than Andrew looked about leaving the competition. Aaron and Casey were sent to safety, and Andrew sang James Morrison's "Wonderful World" from Top 20 week. I'm surprised he didn't sing "Straight Up," since that's the judges' and America's favorite song he sang. He gave a gracious goodbye speech as his family sobbed in the audience.
And if you weren't already crying during Andrew Garcia's elimination, you probably felt a strange liquid drop roll down your face as we saw footage of Elliott Yamin and Kara DioGuardi's trip to Africa to provide malaria-proof dorms for school children. We saw a different side of Elliott and Kara -- all sweaty and in hard hats and goggles. After the footage, Ryan announced some additional Idol Gives Back performers: Sir Elton John, Joss Stone, Mary J. Blige, and an All-Star Band will perform in addition to The Black Eyed Peas, Carrie Underwood, Jeff Beck, Annie Lennox, and Alicia Keys. The Top 7 will take on the Idol Gives Back theme of "Inspirational Songs," and Alicia Keys will mentor them. So cool!
Next, Season 7 finalist Brooke White performed Elvis Presley's "If I Can Dream" with Justin Gaston, who is currently on the web series with the same name as the song. Their duet was lovely and it was good to see Brooke back on the stage and looking confident. Did you know that Season 9's Alex Lambert is roommates with Justin Gaston? Yep, Alex recently moved into the "If I Can Dream House" in order to pursue his music career in Los Angeles.
It was time for more results, and Ryan told Crystal Bowersox, Siobhan Magnus, and Lee DeWyze (who he sauntered with over to the bleachers) that they were returning next week. Tim Urban, Big Mike Lynche, or Katie Stevens would be leaving this evening.
Season 8's runner-up and this week's mentor, Adam Lambert, took the stage that made him a superstar. With smoke and lasers that gave off an alien abduction vibe, Adam sang "Whataya Want From Me," the song that Ryan begged him to sing. You could only see Adam's silhouette as he slowly sang the first few measures of the song, but then he kicked it into high gear and reminded us of his amazing vocals, versatility, and pizzazz. Ryan hobbled over The Matrix lasers and chatted with Adam, whose microphone was still on echo mode. Adam said that American Idol provided great industry experience and he stated, "I owe this show everything. Thank you." Aww, I love when Idols give back.
When it came time for the second moment of truth, Ryan sent Tim Urban back to safety, and then turned to Mike and Katie and said, "One of you is going home, and the other one was not even in the bottom three this week." Katie was the eliminated Idol. She sang "Let It Be" which is a tough song to sing when you're already emotional. The judges looked very sad and we got our weekly dose of a teary Siobhan. As Katie and Andrew watched their goodbye video, I remembered that these two were front runners in Hollywood and were even in the same Hollywood group. It just goes to show this is still anyone's game. Katie was sobbing and Andrew was smiling, but at least they both have bright futures ahead of them on tour with the Top 10.
Tune in next week for "Inspirational Songs" with mentor Alicia Keys and a special 2-hour Idol Gives Back results show.