A judges' favorite heads home. But wait a minute...I thought that person was in it to win it! Was Randy lying?!

By Annie Barrett
Updated May 13, 2011 at 02:56 AM EDT

James Durbin may not have been vocally consistent as of late, but I don’t think many American Idol fans expected season 10’s only tailed creature to head home on last night’s Final Four results show. I didn’t. The PopWatchers didn’t. Certainly J. Lo didn’t, her glossy pink, puffer fish lips wiggling gently in stunned silence. And the Durbs himself definitely didn’t fancy himself a loser. “God,” said James in disbelief, “I did so much stuff that’s never been done on this show before. In my eyes, in my mind, I did what I came here to do. Gave metal a chance.”

Oh, man, what a night. Everyone was upset.

Well, almost everyone.

No matter what you thought of James’ talent, the fact is it was fun/funny to see someone commit so fully to his blown-out-the-box performances. The Durbs always got so into it, even when he faltered, and I love him for that. As far as acting out the role of a karaoke-competition contestant in it to win it goes, James did very well. He really nailed that character.

I like my reality TV stars to be as desperate as possible — can you tell? Now we’re left with the bold and beleaguered (Haley), the one-trick pony (Scotty), and the giggly scaredy-cat (Lauren). Not the most gumption-y of crowds. One of these beasts will need to ratchet up the emo to keep me on the edge of my seat AND IN IT TO WIN IT AS A VIEWER!

NEXT: “SIT TIGHT. DON’T MISS THIS HUGE. IDOL. MOMENT.” For his final solo, the Durbs emo-spasmed his way through a Paul McCartney song. I think my favorite part of this tear-stricken mess was when he flung his heavy metal jacket into the audience and some dude was like, “Nooooo, no, I don’t want this.”

What do you mean, Shaw Report? Didn’t you hear James? “This was AMAZING. Amazing.” Awww. He did have quite a Journey.

Remember those duets? They happened ages ago, when we were still young and the Women of Idol had yet to dominate the Earth. Scotty and James blended pretty well on “Start a Band.” I liked the Durbs’ vocal more than Scotty’s, and on a country song no less. “Gunpowder and Lead” from the ladies was more memorable for me (for you?). Lauren, fresh off of the best blowout of her life, threw herself into her hairography and was more believably evil (than she was on Wednesday) in the presence of trigger-pullin’ Haley. (Well-played, vocal coaches, assigning Haley all the grownup lines.)

Neither of them seemed to really understand the song at times, but it sounded good. I usually hate when the contestants hover around the judges’ table mid-performance, but this time I think I spotted Haley slipping a mickey into Randy’s Coke cup, so the creepy/awesome ratio evened itself out. Murder on the Dance Floor!

Looks like I’ve preselected Haley’s song for next week’s “Sassy British Pop Princesses from the Current Decade” night. Good luck, Scotty.

Speaking of the dance floor, I was having major “HOLY S—, WHAT DAY IS IT?” anxiety (I’m a clinical case) with all the seemingly Dancing With the Stars-appropriate performances tonight. We had Enrique Iglesias issuing a call for “dirty, dirty dancers,” Jordin Sparks asserting her status as Hip-Action Idol in a sequined and fringed booty-shakin’ sheath, and Steven Tyler expertly wailing his way through a video featuring random disco balls. You guys, if you want to join the DANCMSTR community, just say so. We’re one nation, under Lord Mirrorballus, invisible, with liberty and lust-ice for all.


And here it was. Who was Ryan kidding with this shot, especially under that sign?


Any final insightful, overarching thoughts? Anyone? Shaw?

Totally. And I love how that’s not even their last name. It’s like calling them “Mrs. Lauren.”

See you next week, friends. Are you happy with YOUR TOP 3, AMERICA?

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Episode Recaps

American Idol

Ryan Seacrest hosts as Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan guide aspiring singers on their way to superstardom.

  • TV Show
  • 16
  • 574
  • ABC