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American Idol: lock them doors and turn the lights down low

Season 10 of “American Idol” is in the books. But before we get to the result, let’s talk about how bad the performances on the show were overall, in rapid-fire fashion….

The Top 13 performed Lady GaGa’s “Born This Way,” and we all expected GaGa to come out and join them, but she didn’t. Oh, but the performance was awful, and why do they make them wear all white like the Good Humor Man for these group numbers?

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American Idol: two teens vie for title

So this was it. Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina were competing for all the marbles–the coveted prize of being the next American Idol. They were also, at 17 and 16 respectively, the youngest two contestants ever to reach the finale. They would sing three songs each–the first being their personal favorite from this past season; the second a song chosen by their own idol; and the third being the lead single if they won. In the latter case, that meant a craptastic formulaic country song (apologies to my songwriting pals in Nashville).

So here we go…..

SCOTTY McCREERY
Round 1: “Gone” by Montgomery Gentry. Scotty nailed this one a few weeks back, and that performance vaulted him into contention. Last night it wasn’t as magical, but still very strong and a good way to kick things off.

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American Idol: final two named

We’re finally approaching the final week of the 2011 American Idol season. Last night, after 95 million votes poured in, the results were announced as to who would be in the final two shows next week. But first, a cheesy Italian pop/opera group, Il Vollo performed. Blah. Then a performance by Nicole Scherzinger and 50 Cent. Blah again. The Ford video. Blah again.

But what wasn’t blah was watching Haley, Scotty and Lauren go home last week and getting to see the outpouring of affection for each contestant. That was awesome. Especially when Josh Turner came out on stage to surprise Scotty.

Finally, it was time for the results….the first person in the finale….Scotty McCreery. Okay….down to Lauren and Haley. The other person in the finale…Lauren! So Haley was going home, and he looked mighty pissed for about 30 seconds before gaining her composure and singing “Benny & the Jets” on her way out. See you on the classic rock cover band circuit, Haley. But hey, now we’ve got Lauren and Scotty squaring off in the youngest pairing of an Idol finale yet–with Lauren being 16 and Scotty 17. Yikes. And both are country singers.

So there you have it, America. We’ll see you next week with the final two episodes of the season!

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American Idol: going home but not wanting to go home

Last night’s “American Idol” finalists performed three songs each, and suffice to say that the judges tried to be careful with their critiques–especially after Randy and J-Lo almost sent Haley home last week with some blistering comments after her first song. But then again, there were no dud performances last night, and only two that I saw that were a cut above. Here is how it went down….

First of all, Ryan Seacrest announced that next week the show will move to Tuesday and Wednesday. That’s the absolute dumbest thing I’ve ever heard, what with next week being the final week of the season. Seriously. And now they are going up against the finale of “The Biggest Loser.” Damn you, FOX. Anyway, last night they sang three songs–one of their own choice, one chosen by Jimmy Iovine, and a third by the judges. So here we go…..

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American Idol: and then there were three

Last night’s “American Idol” had everything but one thing–host Ryan Seacrest saying that the result was shocking. Because it sort of was. But he did start by saying that the 72 million votes are helping him keep his job, or something like that. Okay, on to the show…..

James and Scotty did a duet of a country ditty called “Start a Band” that was originally done by Keith Urban and Brad Paisley, and it wasn’t nearly as offensive as a song like that might be. Haley and Lauren then did Miranda Lambert’s “Gunpowder and Lead” and that was pretty good as well. Then after showing each of the finalists chatting with family members, it was time for the first result. There were three gold chairs at the far end of the stage, and it would hold each contestant that next week would be “going home” to have a hero’s welcome in their respective hometowns. And the first one to safety was….Lauren Alaina! Good for her. I have been pimping her since her first audition and she is hanging tough despite almost being eliminated last week.

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American Idol: is it wrong to say that judges are on crack?

We know that Steven Tyler has an infamous history of drug use and living the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle. But it was Randy Jackson and Jennifer Lopez that I thought were on crack last night on “American Idol.” More on that in a moment.

First, the Final Four of James, Scotty, Lauren and Haley had the task of picking two songs each–one that personally inspires them, and another from the great Leiber and Stoller catalog. For the latter, they would be mentored by Lady GaGa. Anyway, here is how it went down and how I saw it:

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American Idol: final four revealed

Last night on “American Idol” it was time to get from the final five to the Final Four. But first, the fluff that typically goes along with a results show. Here is how it went down….

The finalists sang a positively awful version of The Turtles’ “Happy Together.” That was followed by a promo for another FOX show, “Hell’s Kitchen,” in which star Gordon Ramsay tested the cooking abilities of Lauren, Haley, James, Jacob and Scotty. Lauren was the only one who seemed to have an ounce of ability and she won part 1 of their challenge.

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American Idol: second chances abound

Maybe that’s an exaggeration, but a few of last night’s second performances on “American Idol” were far better than the first ones. For those who missed it, the contestants each sang two songs–a current one and one “from the past.” Originally it was supposed to be a song from the ’60′s, but they probably realized that with five very young finalists (Jacob is the elder Idol at 23!), it was best to just make it a “song from the past.” Good move. Also, Sheryl Crow helped Jimmy Iovine mentor the contestants this week. Anyway, here is how it went down in order of performance:

JAMES DURBIN
Take 1: James did 30 Seconds to Mars’ “Closer to the Edge” and while it was very good vocally, it wasn’t his best. James also spent a lot of time high-fiving his fans which took his eye off the ball at times. I thought this was just pretty good. But Steven said James kicked the song’s ass; J-Lo said America is feeling James and it’s his competition to take; and Randy said James has shown what type of artist he can be. Okay.

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American Idol: no save this time

I think with that title, you already know the outcome, but I’m going to recap last night’s “American Idol” results show anyway. Heck, at this stage, every elimination will be sort of shocking, because anyone left can win the whole thing.

The show began a Carole King medley that, well, I forwarded through. Then last season’s runner-up, Crystal Bowersox, sang her new single and it was decent but, to be honest, she would have no business being among this season’s Top 6.

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American Idol: hail to the (Carole) king

Last night’s episode of “American Idol” was a special one, because they were celebrating the songs of the great Carole King, one of the greatest American songwriters of all-time, and easily among the top five living songwriters. Couple that with the fact that Jimmy Iovine brought in Kenneth Babyface Edmunds to mentor the contestants this week, and you have the recipe for some amazing performances.

But then, the awesome has become the status quo this season and anything south of awesome is fodder for elimination. And last night most of the performances were really good, including the duets the remaining six did. Let’s recap, shall we?

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