Welcome to elimination night. Grab your hankies and tissue boxes because you just know the producers will do all in their power to get you to CRY. Over 40 million votes were cast this week. During the next few weeks, two of the contestants from each group (men, women) will be eliminated based on the lowest number of called-in votes, thus leaving the top twelve.
Ryan starts by spending some time talking to the judges about the previous two nights of music. Randy says they’ve not seen enough originality and that the contestants have been playing it safe. Paula comments that picking the right song is crucial and is a big part of winning. The song should provoke the emotion of listener.
Ryan asks Simon if he has been tougher on the men. Simon admits he has been tougher because his expectations are higher and that they have hyped up the group of men as being the best ever. Simon adds that he knows America will vote as he sees it.
The eliminations alter between the women and men, going one at a time. Up first are the women. Sitting in two rows, Ryan chats with them. He mentions to Sarah that he thought she was crying after her performance last night. She admits she was and says she was upset. She says the competition is very emotional. When Ryan speaks to Janay, she says her nerves got to her a bit last night and she is a little worried she might be going home. I say, the worry is well-warranted.
We learn, one by one, who did not get the lowest number of votes. Aloha, Jessica, Vonzell, Amanda, Sarah, Celina, Carrie, Mikalah, Lindsey and Nadia are all safe. The tension builds as we are left with Melinda and Janay. After seeing Janay’s performance last night, I was certain she would have the lowest number of votes. But, Ryan tells Janay she is safe, leaving Melinda (and me) with a stunned and disbelieving look that she is going home.
I’m not sure if Melinda was fighting tears, anger or both as she tries to respond to Ryan’s questions. She says she felt she didn’t get as much exposure as some of the others and that it wasn’t fair. Randy comments that she had a poor choice of song last night. Simon emphasizes that at this point, the singers must give the people a reason to vote for them.
For Melinda’s last song, she does “I’m Your Lady” which ends with lots of hugs and tears.
Now, to the men. Ryan chats with them briefly before beginning the tension-filled drama. Bo says he has a bit more experience than the other contestants which he feels might give him an edge but not much since the talent is phenomenal. Anwar says you just never know how America will vote as it is so diversified.
The tension begins. Ryan announces the following as safe: Anwar, Joseph, David, Bo, Mario, Scott, Anthony, Judd, Nikko, Constantine and Travis. This leaves Jared as the next one to be on his way home. Randy tells Jared that he needs to “leave it all on the stage” and show your personality and that it didn’t show up the other night. Simon and Paula have little else to add. Appropriately, Jared’s farewell song is “How Could I Say Good Bye”, ending with a wiping of a tear from his cheek.
Ohhhh…where is that tissue box??
Now, we are back to the women. One by one, as the tension builds, we learn which ones will not be voted out. Carrie, Mikalah, Janay (what???), Nadia, Lindsey, Aloha, Jessica, Celina,Vonzell and Amanda are all safe. Sarah, who doesn’t seem all that surprised, has received the lowest votes. Paula comments to her that she is a beautiful performer but her song choice was wrong. Simon echoes that, adding that she would have done well in the earlier seasons of American Idol. It appears she is trying not to cry as she sings her farewell song (“Get Ready”). She drops the lyrics more than once and finally gave in to her emotions at the end with all the surviving contestants hugging her tight. Everyone is crying, including me!
One last return to the men. What Ryan does now, in my opinion, is beyond suspenseful and crosses over into downright cruel. He leads one row of men to believe they are safe. Did he actually say that? In this row are Anthony, Constantine, Judd, Nikko and Travis. He calls the other row of six men down and has them form two lines, one by one telling them that they are safe. Mario, safe. Scott and Bo, safe. David is safe. Now we are down to the last two. One of those two (Anwar and Joseph) must be going home. But Ryan announces they are both safe.
Ryan then turns back to the seated men and tells Judd he is going home. Geeze! *grumble* *grumble* *grumble* What a cruel way to do that!
Paula tells Judd that all the guys are so strong and there really is no reason for him to be going home. Simon says he’s not surprised Judd was voted out because he did a novelty song. Judd is da man! No tears on his face. He rocks us a good bye song (“Playing In a Traveling Band”) and as usual, has everyone up clapping and dancing and – uh crying. At the end of the song the girls all rush in to hug him and he really didn’t look too disappointed at having a dozen women hanging off of him. Judd is smiling!
Too bad Judd had to go. He was fun.
I can’t believe Janay made it through. Oh well. Until next time…