“American Idol” Season 10 has had its share of “moments,” not the least being results show shockers that simply make little sense when viewing the show as a talent competition. The Top 4 results show Thursday evening presented “American Idol” audiences with another shocking reveal, one that sent a frontrunner home just one episode short of the finale.
Going in, James Durbin and Scotty McCreery looked to be a lock for the Season 10 finale. Looking at power rankings and oddsmaker lists indicated that the two guys were headed for the season-ending sing-off. And after the Top 4 performances, especially after Lauren Alaina’s unconvincing “evil” performance of Elvis Presley’s “Trouble,” Haley Reinhart getting shot down by the judges for her rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Earth Song,” and Scotty McCreery’s simply godawful goofy karaoke extravaganza with The Coasters’ “Young Blood,” James looked as if the Top 3 was just another step toward the getting into the last one-on-one.
But after a record 72 million votes, with host Ryan Seacrest having already told viewers that Haley and Lauren were safe, James and Scotty stood at center stage, uncertain as to which of the two frontrunners (and they have been the frontrunners since Pia Toscano was eliminated from the Top 9). And then Seacrest told the two (James already tearful, Scotty stoic but obviously nervous) that Scotty McCreery would be the final contestant in the Top 3.
Seacrest asked if he had something to say about his time on “Idol.” James, the emotion simply overflowing in his reply, said, “I’ve done so much stuff that’s never been done on this show before. I did what I came here to do: to give metal a chance.”
And that he did. Even his many of the traditionally soft songs James performed had a hard or metal edge to it. He brought Judas Priest and the Red Rocker Sammy Hagar to the “American Idol” stage for the first time.
But James was the third shocking result in a season that has had a few twists. Back when the Top 10 were to be revealed, judges favorite Casey Abrams was eliminated. He, however, benefitted by the judges using their one and only Season 10 “Save” to keep him in the competition (which would last unitl his elimination in the Top 6 spot). Then, just two shows later, the clear frontrunner in the singing competition, Pia Toscano, was voted off the show.
For his farewell song, James performed Paul McCartney’s “Maybe I’m Amazed.” His emotions got the better of him during the performance and judge Jennifer Lopez was trying her best to ruin her makeup.
Although it is small consolation at the moment, James Durbin can look note that other “Idol” finalists that finished fourth — Season 1’s Tamyra Gray, Season 2’s Josh Gracin, Season Season 7’s Jason Castro, Season 8’s Alison Iraheta — have gone on to do rather well. Fourth was also the position in which Chris Daughtry completed his run, and he, along with his band Daughtry, has gone on to sell over 6 million albums (from two releases) just in the U. S. alone. James Durbin will no doubt take his place among those stories of success in the coming years.
Fans of “American Idol” can follow the remaining Top 3 contestants on Fox Television each week. Followers of the show in the Myrtle Beach area can catch episodes on WFXB Fox TV.