Amber and Devin took a trip over to the silver stools of doom in the Bottom 3, but it was Paul Jolley, who performed a vanilla version of "Eleanor Rigby" the night before, that was ultimately sent home. The judges didn't even bother conferring about whether they would save him after an unconvincing rendition of "Alone." (In case anyone forgot, this is how you sing “Eleanor Rigby” and this is how you sing “Alone” on Idol.)
Paul was never going to go far in this competition. Guys that succeed on this show — I'm talking Kris Allen, Phillip Phillips, Adam Lambert, and, yes, even Taylor Hicks — have a swagger about them. They know who they are and what music they want to make. Paul, with his timid demeanor and unclear musical identity (let's all agree to forget about the "male Taylor Swift" comments), came across as insecure, and that does not get Idol fans voting.
The producers were no doubt overjoyed when Paul got the boot. For the first time in six years, a white guy will not win American Idol! In all likelihood, a guy won't win at all (Lazaro may be the last man standing thanks to sympathy votes), though one does get the sense that the powers that be may have stacked the deck to assure such an outcome.
What else happened on the results show?
The guys performed "Got to Get You Into My Life," which was as cheesy and dated as it sounds. I got distracted and annoyed when I realized that they each kept doing the pose that Adam Lambert tends to, which requires putting your weight on one hip while doing a diva hand/raptor arm combo.
I mean this:
The girls, meanwhile, each got their own solo on "Here, There, and Everywhere," which sounded lovely.
Casey Abrams, donning a serious set of friendly mutton chops, slapped the bass on a jazzy version of "I Saw Her Standing There" and was laid back and charming. I'm not sure Abrams would have been invited back to the Idol stage if the show still had Ford commercials and tours of the Idol mansion to fill airtime, but they're missing this year. I wonder why...
Idol also welcomed back last year's runner up Jessica Sanchez to remind us how crazy her year has been. She's been on billboards! Billboards everywhere! The pint-sized belter, who has apparently developed an affinity for sparkly high tops and urban harem pants (wonder what Jimmy would have said about this outfit), performed her debut single "Tonight" with Ne-Yo. The dance tune may well take off at mainstream radio, but I'm still warming to it. It's odd seeing Jessica as a club-hopping party girl when I still remember her reserved identity on Idol so vividly. But I've already said my piece about the song, and I do hope she does well.
So let me turn this over to you. How did you feel about Paul's elimination? Were you as into Jimmy's critiques as I was? Are you frustrated with Lazaro's endurance? And, since it's apparently up for debate, how much choice do you think the contestants really have over their songs?
If you feel so inclined (I don't tweet much about Idol):