It took America two tries to get rid of Casey Abrams on American Idol but, thankfully, this time it took. In an elimination host Ryan Seacrest kept teasing would "disappoint fans" the growling, fashion-challenged Casey falls in sixth place.
A little over a month ago America voted him off in 11th place but the judges used their save. Keeping Casey on the Idols Tour wasn't a bad idea but it wasn't good for the show. Since then we've had to endure some of the most offputting performances of Smells Like Teen Spirit or Nature Boy the world has known.
Casey earned a fan base for bringing (his idea of) jazz to the Idol stage but it should be noted that being different doesn't mean being good and growling and making ugly faces at the camera does not equate to any definition of jazz I've ever heard. Casey is not a part of the richness jazz has to offer American culture. Rather, he's likely a fine musician and can go play acoustic bass for whomever he chooses. Just stay clear of the vocal mike.
American Idol is once again mostly safe to watch and listen to as the overall improved Season 10 heads into its last month.
As for the bottom three: Scotty, Jacob and Casey, Ryan sent Jacob to safety and announced that the "order was random." This means Scotty may, or may not, have been bottom two. But his closeness to the exit door has to be blamed on the producers' foolhardy hiring of passe Babyface as a guest mentor last night. Babyface (time to update that name, pops) insisted on pushing his brand of pillow soft, bland and dated R&B on all the contestants and it proved nearly fatal with Scotty and his chosen song, You've Got a Friend. Carole King's gentle ode to friendship and support in troubled times is not the kind of song that needs, or should ever have, drippy strings, forced romantic settings or overemoted vocals. It's a simple, confessional tune. Scotty did the best he could with the inappropriate arrangement but it was awkward and hard to tolerate. Babyface almost put Haley in trouble by pushign the same dunderheaded arrangement on Tapestry's Beautiful but she was more resistant to his suggestion and sailed clear of the bottom.
Speaking of Carole King, that show-opening medley of King's compositions would have you believe the great songwriter never wrote anything post 1971's Tapestry. Might have been nice to hear, oh, I don't know, Jazzman, Nightingale, Sweet Seasons, Been to Canaan, One to One, Hard Rock Cafe, Being at War With Each Other or many other less ancient King keepers.
Crystal Bowersox also returned to the Idol stage and her visit was much easier to take than recent returns from champs David Cook and Lee DeWyze. At least her catchy little country song didn't stink up the set the way theirs did.
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