In what is probably one of the top 5 most shocking results ever on “American Idol,” early favorite Casey Abrams found himself with the fewest votes tonight and was in a position to miss the tour, which normally takes the top 10.
But the three judges took only a few seconds to decide to use the once-a-year save option. He had barely begun to sing (ironically) “I Don’t Need No Doctor,” when Randy stopped him. They are bringing him back, which means two people will be gone next week.
Casey was so shocked by what happened, it looked like he might keel over. “I can’t breathe!” he said at one point. “I can’t believe it!” He thanks the judges and hugged his parents while the crowd chanted “Casey! Casey!” He appears to curse numerous times.
Then the good news: Ryan Seacrest announced that it was “predetermined” that if the save was used during the top 11 results show, all 11 would go on tour. (And the tour means a big payday for the contestants!)
Anyway, let’s review why it wasn’t Stefano Langone, Thia Megia or Haley Reinhart at the bottom of the heap. Those were consensus bottom three and the ones I chose. I picked Haley to go home and she wasn’t even in the bottom three!
Haley clearly has more fans than we expected. I think she’s a good singer but her performances never feel organic. Stefano and Thia also suffered from a lack of connection with the audience. Both deserved to be in the bottom three.
Casey suffered from opening the show, when viewership is 20 to 25 percent less than it is by 10 p.m. He also came off a really bad performance a week earlier, then did a good – but not great – job. His performance was soon overshadowed and relatively forgotten thanks to Jacob Lusk, James Durbin and others. His fans presumably thought he was safe and didn’t vote with enough fervor.
Yet he has built up some ill will among the masses since he began performing live. Is it the growling? The ever-growing beard? Some people say they are getting tired of him.
A vast majority of the Zap2it “Idol” expert panel had Haley going home, as did I. Nobody had Casey going home. Nobody.
Here were other notable moments in a show packed full of them:
- A reasonably fun group sing followed by a surprise Stevie Wonder appearance, followed by him singing “Birthday” to Steven Tyler.
- James Durbin is a wrestling addict and gets some of his buds at the “haunted” mansion (Pia, Stefano and Paul) to do some fake wrestling with a cooking tin.
- Hulk Hogan makes a surprise appearance to tell James and Paul MacDonald that they’re safe, then “knocks” down Ryan Seacrest and rips his shirt in signature fashion.
- When Lauren Alaina is told she’s safe, she curses audibly enough to get bleeped out. And there are plenty of bleeped out moments after Casey is saved.
- Atlanta’s Jennifer Nettles, in green tights reminiscent of what she wore in the video, sings “Stuck Like Glue,” a fun throw-away song which features her rapping.
- Jennifer Hudson promotes her new album by singing “Where You At.”
Group sing (”Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”) and surprise Stevie Wonder appearance: A- 69% B-15% C-8% F-8%
Ford commercial: Fun-33% Lame-20% Just boring-47%
“Stuck Like Glue” A- 43% B-21% C-21% F-14%
The wrestling bit: Amusing-57% Time waster- 43%
Hulk Hogan “slamming” Ryan Seacrest: Amusing -39% You gotta be kidding me! 61%
Casey in the bottom three: Shocking-69% Not a surprise -32%
Jennifer Hudson’s “Where You At”: A-35% B-50% C-15% F-0%
Who should go home between Casey and Stefano: Stefano-71%; Casey-29%
Will Casey be saved (before he was saved): Yes -55% No-45%