This is our last Thursday “American Idol” Results Spectacular of the season. Yup. In case you haven’t been paying attention, next week’s “Idol” episodes are Tuesday and Wednesday, rather than Wednesday and Thursday, because the May Sweeps period (and The Official 2010-2011 TV Season) ends next Wednesday and FOX doesn’t want to waste its “Idol” finale on a Thursday that effectively doesn’t count. Thus, we can expect several helpful reminders from Ryan Seacrest during tonight’s episode. And we can expect to send either Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina or Haley Reinhart home. But let’s be serious: We’re not sending Scotty McCreery home, are we?
Click through for Thursday’s (May 19) results…
8:00 p.m. Oh right. This is the episode where we see which FOX affiliates and AT&T stores our finalists visited on their trips home. Goodie.
8:01 p.m. “I have a very clear prediction for the finale. There’s gonna be a guy in it,” Jimmy Iovine says before the credits roll. That was my prediction as well, so I guess I can’t mock him.
8:02 p.m. Formal shorts for Jennifer Lopez tonight. And the crowd appears to be half-filled with booted “Idol” Finalists. Hi Karen! Hi Naima! Hi Casey, Paul and Stefano.
8:03 p.m. I already got a press release about this: More than 95 million votes were cast last night. That’s a lot.
8:04 p.m. Oh yay. A commercial for “Super 8.” Last week, the Top 4 got to go meet J.J. Abrams at the Bad Robot office. Abrams, who the Finalists seem entirely unimpressed by (or unaware of), explains why he made “Super 8” and then screens them some scenes from his upcoming movie. They’re left wanting more. Or at least Haley is. The other three don’t seem to care. J.J. presents the Top 4 with Super 8 cameras of their own.
8:08 p.m. Elle Fanning in the house. Elle has followed in sister Dakota’s footsteps of actually growing up. It sounds like an obvious thing, but I’m still disturbed every time I see Dakota. Pretty obviously, Elle doesn’t watch “Idol,” but after some endearingly spastic giggling, she reveals that her six-year-old cousin loves Scotty, a confession that Haley appears to be mocking.
8:12 p.m. Homeward bound!
8:12 p.m. Haley went back to Chicago. She gets to travel in a huge, gas-guzzling “American Idol” limo. It’s a horribly rainy day and there’s little doubt it’s reduced the crowd. Did the mayor of Wheeling mispronounce her last name, too? This is a mighty anticlimactic home visit so far. Haley sees her family and cries. She rides in a parade in the rain in a convertible. She goes back to her high school and cries again. She goes to a rainy racetrack and, again, has to greet her admirers in the drizzle. But… wait. Did she not go to a FOX affiliate? Or an AT&T story? Aaron the Gigantic Bodyguard is the star of the bit. Haley’s a snarky afterthought. That’s not a good sign.
8:22 p.m. Tiny girl appears ready to take Ryan’s job.
8:22 p.m. This week’s Ford commercial finds the Top 3 heading to the beach. Those hoping for gratuitous Haley bikini footage are left sadly wanting.
8:23 p.m. Time for a performance by Il Volo. Simon Cowell “discovered” these guys, right? But Simon Cowell doesn’t have anything to do with “American Idol” anymore, does he? No? Then why the heck is this happening? Wow. Talk about a perfect time to check in on the Bruins. It’s like Clay Aiken, Jaycee Badeaux and some random Jonas Brother have banded together to sing corny Italian restaurant opera. Oy, solo mio.
8:31 p.m. Homeward bound…
8:31 p.m. It’s off to North Carolina with Scotty and the tone is rather different from Haley’s visit. To begin with there’s a lot more squealing. They’re happy to see Scotty at home and at his high school. Scotty’s touched, though he waits til he gets back into the limo to cry into the crook of his arm. Yeah. Haley’s visit was presented as drizzly drudgery for all involved. Scotty’s visit is a crowded coronation. He even gets a celebrity visit from Josh Turner. This is why next Wednesday’s finale is entirely superfluous. Scotty McCreery is pretty much unbeatable. I’m not sure why they sent anybody else home.
8:36 p.m. It’s “X Factor” host Nicole Scherzinger! It’s a rather sexual (and awful) song and a rather sexy performance. All three members of Il Volo just went through puberty backstage. The Pussycat Doll is joined by Vitamin Water mogul 50 Cent. And nobody even mentioned “X Factor.”
8:43 p.m. Homeward bound…
8:44 p.m. Lauren Alaina’s already crying before her flight even hits the ground. She gets a police escort and the visit to the AT&T store that we saw on last night’s show. Is it just me, or does Lauren’s fanbase seem to be very young. Like she’s huge with toddlers? In case you were curious who “Idol” wants in the finale with Scotty, Lauren got to go visit the site of the recent tornados. Her tears and horror aren’t forced. She meets with families displaced by the storms and, again, the tears are natural and carefully captured. Does anybody even remember what Haley did on her visit? Joked with the bodyguard? Lauren describes this as the best day of her life.
8:48 p.m. “Peaches” Seacrest also gives a shout-out to Georgia.
8:49 p.m. Oh right. Results. The lights are dimmed. But the results won’t come until after a commercial break. I thought for sure that we were going to announce the first person in the finale.
8:52 p.m. Let’s try this again. The first person in the finale is… DUH. Scotty McCreery.
8:53 p.m. The person being sacrificed opposite Scotty is… in case you didn’t guess from the clip package… Lauren Alaina.
8:53 p.m. I don’t mind Haley’s look of pure annoyance, surprise and disgust. I share your frustration. She was the only chance of bringing any drama to next week’s finale. Lauren Alaina is physically incapable of offering any competition to the Scotty Juggernaut. Haley couldn’t have beaten him, but she could have given the sort of performance that would have exposed the silliness of Scotty’s unstoppable run.
8:55 p.m. “This is the biggest platform that anybody can ask for and I rocked it out,” Haley says.
8:56 p.m. How funny that Haley decided to do her parseltongue rendition of “Benny and the Jets” for her send-off song. Having gone through this whole journey with her, I think I appreciate this cover more than I did at the time.
8:58 p.m. Geez, America. Haley Reinhart fell on her face for you. What more do you want? You wanted memorable performances? I’d say Haley gave the season’s three best/most-memorable performances and that if I expand to a Top 5, I’d say James Durbin gave the next two. So instead, we’re left with a finale between two singers who haven’t given a performance I’d put in the Top 10 for the season.
8:59 p.m. Don’t forget… Scotty and Lauren… Next Tuesday and Wednesday. If you don’t watch, how will you know that Scotty won?
What’d you think of Thursday’s results?