The Cinco de Idol were whittled down to a mere cuatro on this Cinco de Mayo results show. Their fates were decided by no less than 60 million votes, the highest of the season. So who would be celebrating with (virgin) margaritas after the show? A teasing Ryan cautioned, “You might be surprised.”
¡Santa Cachucha, Seacrest!
The Idols kicked off the show with the Turtles’ “So Happy Together,” a song that must fall into the “from way back when” category of this week’s ambiguous “now and then” theme. Scotty tried out a brand new voice that matched his 9-year-old mug and Jacob swished across the stage like a contestant on “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”
Intricate harmonies are what makes the original such a hit … and what made the “Idol” version such a disaster. The octave seemed too low for the can-hardly-hear-them guys but too high for the girls, who sounded like they were screaming in comparison. That trend continued throughout the chorus, when the girls’ harmonies overpowered the melody. The effect was so weird that it almost sounded like there was a part missing.
Could it have been the one belonging to Casey Abrams? Just sayin’.
Synergy was the name of the game tonight, with Steven Tyler promoting his new book "Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?" and Jennifer Lopez performing her hit “On the Floor.” Ryan joked that Randy was there to promote his bake sale in Tarzana. Maybe that’s why he was dressed like a leather-clad Cookie Monster.
Stopping by as this week’s superfluous unrelated-to-singing-in-any-way mentor was Chef Gordon Ramsey, who is to Fox what risotto is to an episode of “Hell’s Kitchen” — a staple. Synergy! He trained the contestants in standing the heat and staying in the kitchen … or something. Anyway, it involved omelets.
Judging the Idols’ creations, an unusually congenial Ramsey entertained with nary a curse word. He still found a way to sprinkle in a few of his patented barbs, though. Calling Haley’s concoction “a little pitchy,” he promptly pitched it into the trash before likening Jacob’s handiwork to a “plate of vomit.” Guess it didn’t meet his eggspectations. (Sorry.)
Despite its vomity appearance, Jacob’s lobster, tomato and asparagus omelet was second only to Lauren’s, which meant — what else? — blind taste test! Lauren failed on “beef,” while Jacob couldn’t identify the taste of a hot dog in his mouth. (No comment.) While both were sickened by the taste of tofu, Lauren actually identified it — strange, since you don’t often hear about “Southern fried tofu.”
Appeasing the Scotty and Lauren crowd, Lady Antebellum performed “Just a Kiss.” This must’ve been quite the coup for frontwoman Hillary Scott, who had allegedly auditioned and been rejected by “American Idol” back in the day. A man of many disguises, Atlanta-bred Ryan went into his country mode after the trio’s performance: “Thank ya’ll for bein’ here.”
After a thinly-veiled advertisement for Bing featured the Idols discussing the hardships of song and wardrobe selection, it was time to get down to the results. Not only did Ryan give us a recap of the judges’ comments from the previous night, but we got to hear Jimmy’s take on them as well. This could be because his criticism seems to be a little harsher and more honest than, say, J. Lo’s comments that “there’s nothing to judge.”
James was first up. Jimmy liked that his 30 Seconds to Mars song showed his potential for the future but to be great he needs to be able to control his emotions. He’s been going back and forth between a 9 and a 10 for weeks, but Wednesday’s performance was only an 8 in Jimmy’s eyes.
Ryan sent James to the far side of the stage.
A visibly emotional Lauren was up next. Jimmy thought that “Flat on the Floor” was great but was disappointed that she got scared and pulled back on the high note in “Unchained Melody.” “I believe that because of Lauren’s performance of ‘Unchained Melody,’ she will be in the Bottom Two tonight,” Jimmy predicted. Ryan sent her to the opposite side of the stage.
This turn of events really got Lauren’s waterworks going. I must find out what brand of mascara she uses!
In a sense, he is right. We were all waiting for that big note and wondered where it was, as she is completely capable of hitting it. She did the right thing in the moment; if she hadn’t hit it perfectly, she would’ve been raked over the coals. As it stood, it was hard to tell whether it was intentional or not and the remainder of the tune was “a beautiful song sung beautifully,” as Lopez so eloquently put it. Lauren’s mistake wasn’t in the performance; it was in choosing a song that she wasn’t completely confident with in the first place.
Jennifer Lopez and Pit Bull appeared in a pre-taped performance of “On the Floor,” a number-one hit in 18 countries. Being an “Idol” judge has its perks, as she has obviously been taking notes on the contestants’ and guests’ performances.
Let’s see, she had the electric costume, á là Katy Perry; pyrotechnics in honor of James Durbin; and a dance breakdown worthy of Naima. She even lifted the Esther Williams-style overhead camera angle from will.i.am and Jamie Foxx’s “Rio” number. The wind machine, though? That was 100% J. Lo. (Even if the glittery pants were 90% M.C. Hammer.)
Back to the results!! Jacob was up next. Jimmy thinks that his nerves are getting the best of him and that both songs were slightly off. (Slightly?) Jimmy gave him a 6 and Ryan sent him to stand beside Lauren, who was about to really lose it at this point.
Jimmy critiqued Haley next. In his opinion, she was running 4th or 5th in the competition and he felt that she had to do something dangerous to pull ahead. That is why he suggested the unreleased Gaga song. When Lopez gave Haley a hard time for singing it and said that she had gotten bad advice, Jimmy felt like she was also giving him a hard time. Uh oh. For Wedneday’s performances, he gave Haley a 10 and said that if she continues with confidence, she’s a lock for the finale.
Ryan sent Haley over to stand beside James.
As for Howdy Scooty — er, Scotty — Jimmy thought that he did a stellar job and really showed who he’ll be as an artist. Though “Always on My Mind” came up a bit short, he’s still a great talent and he has no doubt that he’ll have an amazing career. Nor do we.
“The truth is, you’ve never been in the Bottom Two,” affirmed Ryan. “And tonight, I can tell you that it’s no different. You are safe.” Yeehaw!
Then Ryan pulled his favorite horrendously awkward trick on Scotty. “I want you to go stand with the group that you think is also safe tonight,” he instructed. Ever the classy Southern gentleman, Scotty protested, saying, “Don’t do that to me. I’m not doing that, dude.” Ryan then grabbed Scotty and led him over to Haley and James.
A shocked Haley looked at Scotty and said, “Did you actually do that?” Scotty replied, “No, he pushed me.” Ryan declared that all three were safe, which sent Lauren into near hysterics as Jacob put his arm around her to comfort her.
“It all comes down to this,” said Ryan, before reiterating that one still has a shot at the finale, while the other’s journey will end. In the millisecond before the announcement a group of girls yelled out “We love you, Lauren!”
“After 60 million votes, the person going home tonight is … Jacob,” said Ryan. “Lauren, you are safe.”
He must’ve known it was coming but to his credit, Jacob held it together as he talked about the feel-good R&B album he wanted to put out. In his typical less-than-humble fashion, he mentioned, “I think America has fallen in love with me.”
He got a little misty when reprising Luther’s “A House Is Not a Home” but as remaining contestants surrounded him, he killed it with the ad libs at the end. In fact, I think he was still ad-libbing through the first 15 minutes of “Bones.”
His flamboyant style and outlandishly cocky statements will be missed but now he can go on to be that Luther-Chris Brown hybrid that he’s dreamed of becoming. After all, he said it best: “The one thing I want everyone to remember is that dreams do come true and I’m a living witness.”