- So if you watched last night you know that fan favorite Paul McDonald
(26) of the distinctive voice and beautiful smile, came dangerously close to being sent home. He looked a bit surprised that he was sent to the bottom three, and was gracious enough to not overdo his relief when he was sent back to become one of the remaining nine.
Not so lucky were Thia Megia
(the youngest competitor at 15), and Naima Adedapo
(25) - both were voted off last evening, as the judges used their one season save for Casey Abrams
. With a record number of 55 million viewers having placed their votes according to host Ryan Seacrest
, the remaining nine are now at six boys and three girls.
There are now just nine contestants vying to be the next "American Idol." (Courtesy Photo: FOX Television)
The star-studded show consisted of live performances by the contestants, who usually perform as a group, but last night included a lovely duet by Scotty McCreery
(16) and Lauren Alaina
(also just 16); Haley Reinhart
(20), Pia Toscano
(21), and Megia who performed Katy Perry's
"Teenage Dream;" a rather disappointing duet with Jacob Lusk
(23) and Adedapo proved that perhaps trying too hard is always obvious, as both seemed to struggle with a Ashford & Simpson
classic "Solid As A Rock," and the four lads who formed their own house band, McDonald, Abrams (20), Stefano Longone
(22), and James Durbin
(21) played their own instruments for a cover of "Band on the Run," all proving their musical talents extend beyond just vocals.
Celebrity talent included a visually stimulating, vocally disappointing performance by Jamie Foxx
singing "Hot Wings" from the new film "Rio." Idol third season winner Fantastia
also performed with a new single "Collard Greens & Cornbread" off her new album "Back to Me." Seacrest asked her to give the contestants some advice, and she immediately offered an insightful "The first love is the music for me, because if you love music, you can do it." She ended her performance with a "Steven - I love you" directed at judge Steven Tyler
, who appeared equally flattered and surprised at the recognition.
A review of the exhausting schedule maintained by the contestants confirmed that if you want to 'make it' you'd better be up early, rehearse late and stay focused, focused, focused.
The Remaining Nine Include
• Scotty McCreery
: A consistent performer; it was nice to see him pull off a terrific duet with a female vocalist that was good enough for any stage.
• Stefano Longone
: Probably internally overjoyed his head wasn't on the chopping block this week - proved his keyboard talents last night.
• Haley Reinhart
: Again, probably relieved as well, as she's been to the chopping block too, but had an outstanding performance on Wednesday's show with a cover of Sir Elton John's
"Bennie and the Jets
• Lauren Alaina
: Toned it down a bit and held her own with McCreery for a charming duet.
• Paul McDonald
: A great smile is not everything and this talented contestant has to keep his vocals loud and strong.
• Casey Abrams
: Displayed more poise and maturity than has been seen so far, plus a haircut and beard trim give him a much more refreshing appearance. Having had the flames of defeat licking at his feet, he is proving that he does deserve to be there.
• Pia Toscano
: Again, this young lady has it all, voice, style and poise. Needs to still shake it up a bit - Katy Perry cover wasn't the best choice for her.
• James Durbin
: He has developed a well deserved fan base. Someone sent him a wrestler belt which he showed off. If he can keep his energy in control he could go all the way.
• Jacob Lusk
: Just love this young man's voice and hope he gets to let it soar again soon. The restraint he is imposing on his vocals is becoming evident. Hope he heeds judge Randy Jackson's
advice "Don't shy away from the Jacob moment."
Who is my Choice? Who is Your Choice? Who is America's Choice? Stay tuned to Hamptons.com for weekly Idol updates.
Eileen Casey spent many years working in the television and music industries in New York City on the "ABC In Concert" weekly series, as well as several prime time network and cable television specials. An award-winning journalist, editor, and artist, and former Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com, she enjoys staying warm in Charleston and cool in the Hamptons.