Despite doubling up on the eliminations thanks to Michael Lynche’s save last week, there were no major upsets on Wednesday night’s (April 14) “American Idol,” as bottom-three regulars Andrew Garcia and Katie Stevens were sent into “AI” purgatory until this summer’s tour. It was a surprisingly dry-eyed goodbye, as the two underperforming singers appeared resigned to their fate as “Idol” footnotes.
The eliminations came after a season-high 34 million votes were cast and, thankfully, the end came quickly for Andrew Garcia. Host Ryan Seacrest brought him out alongside Casey James and Aaron Kelly near the top of the show, and rather than putting him through the usual torture of waiting nearly 55 minutes to learn his fate, Seacrest abruptly said, “Andrew, it’s the end of the road. I’m sorry. America has voted. It’s the last chance tonight on ’Idol.’ ”
That meant James and Kelly advanced, while Garcia — who wowed the judges early on with his oft-cited cover of former judge Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up” but never again brought that kind of thunder — was done in by his Velveeta take on Elvis’ “Hound Dog.” He went out singing James Morrison’s “You Give Me Something” from the semifinals.
“I appreciate everything,” the often-emotional Garcia said. “I’m glad I’m here. I’m glad I’ve been through what I’ve been through. You guys let me experience something that I’ve never experienced.”
The second to go was teen Katie Stevens, whose bluesy, brassy “Baby What Do You Want Me to Do” landed her in the bottom three for the third and final time after Simon Cowell called her performance annoying, shrieky and too loud. Stevens said she’d tell her friends about the amazing people she met and the unbelievable experience she had on the show. Trying to fight back tears, she reprised her cover of the Beatles’ “Let It Be,” her voice cracking at times.
Joining Aaron and Casey in safety were Lee Dewyze, Crystal Bowersox (who tootled a little ditty on her harmonica in celebration), Siobhan Magnus and “Teflon” Tim Urban, who again escaped elimination and was sent to safety as Lynche and Stevens were left awaiting their fate near show’s end.
After serving as this week’s mentor, season-eight runner-up Adam Lambert showed the kids how it’s done with a smoke-and-lasers new-wave blowout of his hit “Whataya Want From Me.” Also performing were season-seven finalist Brooke White and “If I Can Dream” web star — and Miley Cyrus’ ex — Justin Gaston, who teamed up for a schmaltzy cover of, you guessed it, “If I Can Dream.”
The obligatory group lip-synch included an extra cheesy, show-tuney medley of “Burning Love,” “Teddy Bear,” “Return to Sender” and “Viva Las Vegas” that would have had even jumpsuit-wearing fat Elvis waddling for the exits.
Next week’s theme is “inspirational songs,” and the shows will coincide with the “Idol Gives Back” charity event. It has not yet been announced if producers will forego an elimination during the fundraiser, as they did in its inaugural year in 2007; Michael Johns was sent home during the 2008 event.
Among the acts pitching in next week are Jordin Sparks, Carrie Underwood, the Black Eyed Peas, Annie Lennox and Jeff Beck.
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