American Idol recap: In It to Spin It

Randy and J. Lo -- who both showed up Wednesday night -- flap their traps wildly in an agonizing attempt to stick to the script
Ep. 32 | Aired May 4, 2011

ONE FOOT ON THE PLATFORM You just can't tell which one it is, due to the deadly fog machine at work during Haley Reinhart's magical 'House of the Rising Sun' rendition.

Frank Micelotta/Fox/PictureGroup

"One thing is certain. This is American Idol." Oh cool, thanks Ryan. That is so good to know. Do you know who will win, too? "Who is it gonna be? One of 'em, that's for sure." Wow, so helpful this week. He wants it, readers, he wants it. RYAN IS IN IT TO WIN IT TONIGHT.

For "Now & Then Night," the top 5 sang one tune from the last few years and one from "back in the day," with an assist from guest mentor and former Michael Jackson backup singer Sheryl Crow. "Everybody on this show is amazing," someone told Sheryl to say, "but the cold hard truth is somebody's going home." Could it be the guy in the baseball cap with a huge skull on it who's trying to eat her alive? Nope.

The fact that the judges have already decided this competition is James Durbin's to lose is annoying enough. Considering his two mediocre, often off-key performances this week, it's downright baffling. I know the judges have a special script (hopefully with fun clip art all over it to keep Steven Tyler awake), but are they really so clueless as to not veer even slightly off of said script after their chosen one fails to assert vocal prowess during a 30 Seconds to Mars song? James' shouty rendition of “Closer to the Edge” was okay, but it was far more impressive in performance quality than it was vocally. I remember his intent high-fiving of most of the people in the front rows of various audience sections, and I remember the six pyro pots that exploded behind him after his final scream. I suppose this is what it means to be the American Idol. I'm alive; I've been watching. I really should have known. Look, ma, no sleeves.

Agggggh! Awkward shot of James and an adolescent!

NEXT: Is 'Durbiny' the new 'pitchy'?


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