James Durbin out from ‘American Idol’

Tonight on ‘American Idol,’ the herd of Idolettes will be culled to three. It’s an awesome judge fashion night – Jennifer Lopez has grown green scales, Steven Tyler is the victim of wild-posting, and Randy’s shirt looks to have big bubbles silk-screened on the front: let’s just say it’s not a slimming look for a guy with middle-aged spread.
Nearly 72 million votes were cast since Wednesday’s performances, which is a record for the competition at the Top-4 point, show host Ryan Seacrest says, as if surprised that having added online voting this season really did increase voting.
In group-sing segment, the guys, James Durbin and Scotty McCreery, duet on country song ‘Start a Band.’ The girls, Lauren Alaina and Haley Reinhart, duet on country song ‘Gunpowder and Lead.’ The girls are there to sing, the boys to parade themselves around the audience and receive the adulation of the crowd. The girls are there to entertain us; the boys are there to entertain themselves. Points to the girls.

James Durbin out from 'American Idol'
James Durbin.

Raise your hand if, five weeks ago, you thought that the American Idol top three would be two-thirds female.
Hell, raise it if you thought there would be a woman contestant remaining at this point at all. And yet that’s the case thanks to James Durbin’s elimination tonight; Lauren Alaina, Scotty McCreery, and Haley Reinhart are the last singers standing while James, he of the constant proclamations of his metal ‘tude and his not-quite-there vocals and his overall realy annoying attitude, is left to appear on the finale in some sort of runner-up position that he’ll probably ham up anyway.
“I did so much damn stuff that’s never been done on this show” – proclaimed James after he’d been announced as the evening’s loser. Which, well. Yes, he came far given the lot that life had given him, the Tourette’s and the autism and the kid in need of diapers. But his entire run was a dollar-store ripoff of Adam Lambert’s, only augmented with guest stars (Hulk Hogan! Zakk Wylde!) and much worse singing and the consistent declaration that he was ‘metal,’ which he trotted out again tonight and which, dude, seriously, go listen to the new record by Jesu or the new Liturgy or something that is actually considered metal in the year 2011 and see how wrong you are.
His sing-out–of the decidedly not-metal ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’ – was teary and full of botched notes and cutaways to Jennifer Lopez crying and all three of the judges looking shocked, shocked that someone who they’d showered with praise for so long had been booted by America. Maybe the judges need to listen to the performances on headphones so they can hear all the botched runs and breaking high notes that the viewers at home were treated to? Or maybe they just need to, you know, actually critique all the singers, and not just the ones they don’t like or want to ‘push’ or whatever.

James Durbin once asked America, ‘Give metal a chance.’
OK, so what happened?
Close to 72 million votes were cast Wednesday and Durbin, 22, from Santa Cruz, was eliminated right before the Top 3 ‘Hometown Hero’ visits where the remaining three contestants are ferried to their hometowns on private jets to be feted with parades, cheerleaders, Minor League first pitches, etc.
For Durbin, who not only represented rockers everywhere and a devoted audience who sang his praises for opening up about having Tourette’s syndrome and high-level autism, it was bittersweet to leave the show at this serious juncture.
Irony? Perhaps. ‘Idol’ fans need only think back to Season 5 when rocker contestant Chris Daughtry was eliminated at this same No. 4 spot.
Durbin’s songs from Wednesday – Journey’s classic “Don’t Stop Believin’” and a brilliant version of the Clovers’ “Love Potion No. 9″ – should have kept him in the contest. Download both!
Instead, the country teen crooners, Lauren Alaina and Scotty McCreery, who I predicted would split that genre’s vote this week, survive as does Haley Reinhart. Maybe talking back gets you votes.
One thing’s for sure – Durbin conjures up memories of both Daughtry and certqinly Season 8 runner-up Adam Lambert – maybe even better.
Leaving the show, Durbin sang the poignant McCartney anthem “Maybe I’m Amazed.”
Amazing, James Durbin.
Parting thoughts from him?
“Man, I worked so damn hard to get here. I was so hoping to get there. But I had a feeling today,” he said. “I did so much stuff that has never been done before. In my mind, I did what I had to do. Give metal a chance.”

Comments are closed.