‘American Idol’ Top 9 Results: Got To Get You Out Of My Life

Early in Thursday’s “American Idol” top nine results show, Ryan Seacrest presented contestant Paul Jolley with a framed certificate declaring March 16 “Paul Jolley Day” in Paul’s hometown of Palmersville, Tennessee–right before ruining Paul’s current day by informing him that he was in the bottom three. Poor Paul then had to drag that plaque all the way to his stool of shame. This wasn’t quite as cruel a bait-and-switch as the one Ryan pulled on Chris Daughtry or Michael Johns the nights those contestants went home, but still, it wasn’t very nice.

And now Paul’s going to have to haul that heavy wall-hanging all the way back to Palmersville, because he was eliminated in ninth place this week. However, he took the news admirably well, declaring, “Hey, I have my own day! I think that’s pretty great, right?” So Jolley stayed jolly till the very end. Good for him.

 

Given the negative critiques that Paul’s Lennon & McCartney Night “Eleanor Rigby” performance garnered this week–compounded by his season-long identity crisis, as he repeatedly insisted that he wanted to be a country singer while one of country’s biggest superstars, Keith Urban, insisted that Paul wasn’t country at all–his elimination was not a shock. Nor was it an injustice. But the way the rest of the top three panned out kind of was.

This week’s bottom threeJoining Paul in the bottom three were Devin Velez and Amber Holcomb, two very excellent vocalists–but not Lazaro Arbos, this season’s far-and-away weakest singer, who gave what Randy Jackson called his “worst performance ever” on Wednesday and received even harsher criticism from Jimmy Iovine on Thursday. The audience boos that resounded when Amber (who Jimmy said should’ve been in the topthree) and Devin were sent to the bottom-three stools must have made Lazaro feel pretty lousy. And if this keeps happening, week after week, he’s going to feel lousier, as he quickly morphs from sob-story sweetheart to Sanjaya-style punching bag and Vote For The Worst posterboy. Lazaro, who seems to be a little thin-skinned and has dealt with enough bullying in his life already, needs to leave “Idol” before that happens–for his own sake, as well as the show’s.

Anyway, midway through the episode, Season 10’s sixth-place jazzbo Casey Abrams and his bassy made a very welcome return to the “Idol” stage, to perform a scatty version of the Beatles’ “I Saw Her Standing There.” And it was some of the most fun I’d witnessed all season. Casey’s wild performance was a sad reminder that while some of this year’s contestants are stupendous singers, none of them are as interesting or entertaining as the kids from Casey’s cast, when the show had big talents with big personalities like Casey, Haley Reinhart, James Durbin, Paul McDonald, and Naima Adedapo. Those were some good times.

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