Even Lady Gaga’s mentoring wasn’t enough to keep “American Idol” rocker James Durbin on the show. Durbin is the latest contestant to be booted and he was not happy about it. When it comes down to the final four, it’s hard to see any of them go and this particular contestant was that much more difficult for me. Not because he’s my favorite, but because it meant that Haley Reinhart was staying.
Clearly fans were invested in supporting their favorites, because, according to host Ryan Seacrest, more than 72 million votes were cast Wednesday, the highest top-four total ever. And America obviously still loves an underdog, because even after openly sneering at the judges and putting on both the worst and best performances of the night, Reinhart growled her way from certain oblivion into the top three while rocker-with-a-heart-of-gold James Durbin went down in a blaze of glory.
The first to be waved into the top 3 was Lauren Alaina, making her the youngest contestant to ever get this far and guaranteeing her a hometown parade and celebration in Rossville, Georgia, on Saturday.
After celebrating Alaina’s victory, Seacrest dropped the bomb saying that BOTH ladies were safe meaning Reinhart is here to stay. The confused look on Randy Jackson’s face was the look on my own face. This news meant that James Durbin and Scotty McCreery were on the chopping block and they both looked more nervous than they have all season.
Of course the drama for television was in full swing as they made America wait for the final decision. Steven Tyler’s video for his new solo single “(It) Feels So Good” was played, then a taped performance from one of Lady Gaga’s Monster Ball tour stops was played. On the tape, she is performing the tune, that Haley Reinhart tried to sing a few weeks ago, “You and I”. Then Enrique Iglesias sampled his new single “Dirty Dancer” then brought down the house with “I Like It”.
Once Scotty McCreery was deemed safe, the Country boy looked relieved while James’ pain was written all over his face. Even though James was making “ok” gestures with his hand to his fiancee in the audience, he was clearly hurt. As he watched his farewell clip, he was jumping up and down and gritting his teeth to hold back the tears. Jennifer Lopez, however, could not keep it together as she gave Durbin a standing ovation and let the tears stream down her cheeks.
“Man, I worked so damn hard to get here,” Durbin said. “And … God, I was really hoping to get there, but I had a feeling today. … I did so much stuff that’s never been done on this show before. … In my eyes, in my mind and what I believe is that I did what I came here to do, and that was to give metal a chance,” he said, his voice cracking, his face wet with tears. “And to bring it and give 110 percent every week!”
An angry/sad Durbin sang Wing’s “Maybe I’m Amazed” while grabbing a hug in the audience from pal and booted Idol contestant Casey Abrams and then finally embracing his fiancee and the mother of his young son.
“Thank you! You guys are the best!” he told the audience. “I love all of you. Thank you so much. This is amazing! Amazing!” He ended, of course, with a big rock jump and a toss of his black jacket into the crowd.
What do you think of James Durbin being sent home? Should someone else have gone home instead?