A surprise ... and a rant.
(Summary: Pia is out. Bottom three were Stefano, Pia and Jacob.
Reaction: She wasn't my favorite, but she was a terrific pure vocalist who just needed to find some emotional honesty. Sort of like what she had tonight. Stefano was still looking shocked minutes after the announcement; he knows he's not the same singer she is. Of course, Paul and Haley should have gone before Pia, too. And what's appalling about this result is that the show deserves a big chunk of blame, because the judges refused to draw real distinctions between the performances on Wednesday, praising everyone pretty uniformly and so suggesting there was no significant difference between Pia and Paul. Sure, there could have been some backlash to strong criticism. But the absence of that criticism was even more damaging in this case -- especially if younger viewers assume all the singers are vocally equal and therefore vote for the one they think is cute.
Besides, the judges' damn job is to judge.)
Here are my in-progress notes:
Skipped about half the show to catch up on Tuesday's "Good Wife." Arrived in time to hear Constantine Maroulis's misguided version of "Unchained Melody."
I also apparently arrived in time to see an extended hype for Gwen Stefani's clothing line. (See previous post below.) It does not appear that the segment treats all the contestants equally.
Results: Paul, Scotty and Pia are summoned. (Stefano is already over on the chairs of doom.) Much chatter with the contestants.
Scotty is safe. Paul is safe. Pia is bottom three. Audio drop. Someone complained vigorously! I would not have put her in the bottom three but have heard/read a lot today about her plasticity.
After a commercial, "Idol" kisses up to TMZ with a segment where the TMZ-ers give the contestants media advice. Gee, what great folks they are at TMZ.
James, Haley, Jacob. Anyone other than Haley in B3 is a mistake. Jacob is bottom three. Unbelievable. Not that he's great, but Haley was much worse. Wondering if the judges are about to regret not having their save anymore. Of that three, Stefano deserves to go.
Iggy performs. Not at his best. And these days Iggy is best heard but not seen anyway. But how about an Iggy-themed week? Oops, he's dropping some colorful phrases judging from the audio deletions. But this is still too ... articulated? Doesn't feel dangerous. Iggy Lite. Judges, contestants tepid/confused/amused?
Jacob gets a cruel tease from Ryan before being told he is safe.
Stefano is safe, and stunned. Pia is out. Boos. Randy screaming "Nooooo!" Jennifer stunned. Ryan queries. Jennifer says she is shocked and angry. Randy echoes, and argues again that "you've got to vote for whoever you loved." Steven: "I dunno, America, man. ... Lack of passion is unforgivable." By America or by Pia, dude?
And will the judges share any of the blame for going easy on bad contestants, leaving the door open for a good one to leave?