Although the scads of television and radio spots leading up to Wednesday night's "American Idol" results episode hinted at yet another bolt-from-the-blue ending, this week's ouster failed to live up to the hype, as the show's faithful bid adieu to surly, stocky Scott Savol.
In stark contrast to last week's ejection of hunky "Idol" favorite Constantine Maroulis, this week's results were by no means unforeseen. Savol, whom cutting judge Simon Cowell had branded the show's "Houdini" for escaping previous eliminations (see " 'American Idol' Recap: Bo Is The One To Beat, Anthony's Time Is Up "), had been on borrowed time for the past few weeks.
Savol's eradication was still noteworthy, coming as it did after turning in what Cowell deemed one of the singer's strongest performances in weeks — of Brian McKnight's "Everytime You Go Away." But for many "Idol" devotees, Savol was the obvious choice to go. Gnawing incessantly on his bottom lip as the traditional, episode-ending "Let's take a look back at the latest reject's 'Idol' journey" video montage rolled along at an uncomfortable pace, it seemed that Savol was embroiled in an internal struggle that pitted his self-control against his emotions.
The otherwise consistently cocksure Savol had to have come into this week's elimination process with a little more buoyancy under his belt. He was excluded from the show's bottom-three vote-getters the previous week, and even pointed to the sky, giving props to some higher power, when cream-suit-sporting "Idol" host Ryan Seacrest asked him to have a seat — typically, a signal to contestants that they're in the clear. Anthony Fedorov, on the other hand, got it. He wasn't fooled by Seacrest's shtick, his function on "American Idol" as the bearer of false hope. One could almost visibly detect that wave of relief that reverberated through his fragile frame when he was ultimately asked to find a chair.
Fedorov's consignment to the show's bottom-two was also a safe bet going into last night's episode. But Fedorov, who coincidentally turned 20 yesterday, was rescued from the perils of television obscurity. Sure, it wasn't the first time he escaped the axe, but it is likely to wind up being the last.
Stacked against the likes of Bo Bice, the rocker with the generous mane who's now considered the televised talent contest's frontrunner, the bubbly blonde Carrie Underwood and the Whitney Houston-esque Vonzell Solomon, Fedorov faces quite a challenge next week.