American Idol recap: St. Petersburg's Michael Lynche rebounds out of bottom three; Andrew and Katie gone in his place
With longtime frontrunner Michael Lynche saved from ejection last week, fans got the ultimate in suspense leading into this week -- arguments about singing style, stage presence, race and tween voting built as viewer wondered if Lynche's save by the judges last week was just a temporary reprieve.
Turns out, after 34-million votes -- as host Ryan Seacrest was quick to remind us all before announcing the final results -- Lynche didn't even land in the bottom three this week. Instead, continually struggling Andrew Garcia and young wunderkind Katie Stevens took the long walk, undone by the odd roll of the dice which has become Idol's voting results.
Garcia's ejection was the most understandable. After peaking early in the contest with a stirring acoustic version of Paula Abdul's hit Straight Up, Garcia never backed his powerful vocal style with a decent song choice or inventive performance. In the end, his confidence seemed undone by the judges' constant criticism; he delivered a version of Elvis Presley's Hound Dog that felt oddly half-hearted
Stevens was a different case, a promising young talent who delivered some strong performances but perhaps didn't get better fast enough for the show's fickle audience. As Stevens cried over the outcome and struggled through a final performance of Let It Be, cameras panned across the teary faces of fellow competitors Crystal Bowersox and Siobhan Magnus, who seemed to take the loss almost as badly.
As some Idol experts predicted, it seems Lynche fans were shocked enough by his possible ouster last week to get in gear voting this week. Which leaves a few interesting questions.
If Lynche wasn't in the show's bottom three, who was? Will his fan base continue to keep him from danger into the finals? Is there any credence to the theory that the show's heavily female audience is tilted against the weaker ladies and in favor of (admittedly improving) boy candy such as Tim Urban and Aaron Kelly?
And how did Adam Lambert convince Idol producers to let him use lasers during the sizzling performance of his new hit, What Do You Want From Me (once again, its the former Idol contestants who give the best guest performances -- with Lambert blowing the roof off the joint like he was still trying to earn a judge's save himself)
Seems that Lynche's near-ejection accomplished what the show needed most; prodding fans into paying closer attention while announcing to the world a fact most likely to keep audiences hooked.
Anyone can go anytime. Now the game is really on.