Kudos to you, “Al,” for actually staying within your allotted 60 minutes last night! How refreshing it was to delete the 10 o’clock news without a second thought. Who needs to know about inconsequential things like crime and politics anyway when the real headline was on “Idol” itself?
No, I’m not talking about the fact that Shakira performed during Country Week (though I am planning to launch an investigation into THAT crime). In yet another “Idol” Shocker, quirky Siobhan Magnus was sent home. (Insert glass-blowing joke here.)
Magnus acted like a true class act (or maybe it was just the Asperger’s) when her fate was announced and performed “Think” by Aretha Franklin as her exit song. When it was done, she made a beeline for her family and hugged them as some comforting relative (Mom?) said, “You’re still our star” right into her microphone. Then, in what could’ve been yet another example of “Awkward Moments With Seacrest,” Ryan prodded her to go give Simon a hug. Simon welcomed it, though, and even told her he’d miss her. *Tear*
We got all this in and still had time for musical performances by Rascal Flatts, Shakira, Lady Antebellum and Sons of Sylvia (whose frontman can sing and play the fiddle at the same time!). But — booo! — no Shania. There was also some sort of promo for “Shrek Forever After,” which features Seacrest in a bit part. Even stars Cameron Diaz and Antonio Banderas came by to announce on national television that Seacrest is “the best host in the world!” Clearly they haven’t been watching this season. (Besides, everyone knows that Diaz is a party girl and who knows what Banderas thought he was saying; English isn’t his first language.)
Siobhan’s elimination is interesting on so many levels. First of all, I honestly expected to see her in the Top 3 this year. She has something (other than screaming) that seems lacking in the other contestants — she actually knows how to work the stage. Aside from Big Mike, she is the only finalist left who has really tried to engage the audience. Heck, last night she even walked through the aisles singing! She (along with Lynche) has embraced the cheese of the group-sings and made the others look wooden by comparison.
Plus, she’s just so … quirky. True, she clearly seems to have some form of Asperger’s. But that’s part of the reason I love her. Whatever social awkwardness she has, she makes up for in artistic expression, whether it’s in her wardrobe choices (is that a fake butterfly on your shoulder?) or her body ink. (Who else could pull off a Hanson tattoo?)
While I have been voting for Siobhan for quite a while, I’ll be the first to admit that I did not like her rendition of “Any Man of Mine” on Tuesday night and it’s clear that others agreed. In contrast, little Aaron Kelly, who has already been in the Bottom 3, blew me away (even if he was singing a love song to his Mom). Still, I figured it was too little too late for him. I couldn’t have been more wrong, as he didn’t even end up in the Bottom 3 this week.
Magnus’ departure also negates Simon’s (and my) theory that this year was going to be dominated by girls. While Crystal Bowersox is still the favorite to win, she is the last woman left standing. No, her music is not really my thing, but one can’t deny that she is talented. If she wins, it can still be the Year of the Girl in a way. After all, it’s really only the top two contestants that matter. I mean, do you remember someone called Ashley Rodriguez? Didn’t think so. (And that was just a couple of months ago!)
Joining Siobhan in the Bottom 3 were Michael Lynche and Casey James. This means nothing on “American Arbitrary,” though. Heck, Lynche’s number was up weeks ago, only to be saved by the judges. (I wish they could’ve used it on Siobhan!) One thing’s for sure. After having my heart broken so many other times this season (Alex, Katelyn, Didi), I will be retiring my voting finger until next year, unless I see a truly moving performance.
As for who will end up in the finale, my best guess is that it will come down to Bowersox and Lee DeWyze. But who knows? To quote yet another “Idol” contestant gone too soon, Lilly Scott, “ I don’t know what America wants to hear.”