Late yesterday afternoon, news broke on TMZ that there was going to be a SHOCKING result on the American Idol results show.  And that was quite the understatement.  After the nationwide votes were tallied, Joshua Ledet, Elise Testone and Jessica Sanchez found themselves in the bottom three.  Then, then bombshell!  Jessica, who earlier in the season, after tearing into "I Will Always Love You," established herself as this year's favorite for the crown, was told SHE was the lowest vote-getter.  What?  Are you freaking kidding me, America?  Is this real?  Or is Idol pulling our leg?  Was this a cheap ratings stunt designed to get us all in an uproar?  Let's turn to our Idol expert, Steve Thompson, who tries to make sense of the madness and mayhem.


This morning, Moon and I chatted with Steve about last night's show and shared out theories . . .

From Steve Thompson:

  • Well, there you have it boys and girls!  The Judges Save.  They had to use it before the top 5 and now it's over and done.  This may be the longest we've gone without the save being used-- seems like we go through this treacle right before the top seven usually.  Tonight?  Contrivance might be a bit strong of a word to use.  I prefer making the most of an opportunity. 
  • This is how I figure it (and until the Powers That Be actually take us behind the curtain here in Oz, this is the best I can come up with.  Don't try this at home!)
  • Joshua Ledet was not really in the bottom three.  I believe this is the common ruse employed by every talent/reality show on the planet.  You take two people actually in the bottom three and replace the third with a ringer.  (No.  Not the failed Sarah Michelle Gellar show.  But you're catching on.)  According to the web sites that know these things, Joshua was either the top vote getter or one of the top three.  His presence added to the danger for his fan base and also added spark to the fire.  Since he's not really in danger, the Powers that Be can easily call him back to the stools.
  • Elise Testone is the new Haley Reinhart.  Plain and simple, teenage girls will not vote for female singers with a serious sensuallity.  You have to be a teenage girl who is not immediately attractive to the male population in order for other teenage girls to vote for you.  I will always believe the one thing that hurt everybody from Katherine McPhee to Pia Toscano to Alison Irraheta and to Haley Reinhart was the fact that they had more guys voting than teenage girls.  Can I prove this thesis?  No.  But feel free to disprove it and see how far that goes.  Yeah, I thought so.
  • Jessica Sanchez really was the lowest vote getter.  This goes back to yesterday's treatise.  By and large, if America is unfamiliar with the song you chose to sing, America will not support your choice.  You have to be really exceptional to sell an unknown song to the American public.  I'm convinced most of America never had heard of Jazmine Sullivan or her song Stuttering until they tuned in Wednesday night.  (I could be way off, especially since I listen to classic rock and country and studiously avoid what passes for popular music.)  On another note-- what next?  A song called Lisping?
  • I'm under the impression that all competiton reality shows have a series of checks and balances to make sure things are not manipulated.  However.  There are no rules that say your bottom three are the lowest vote getters.  There are no rules that say the producers can't manipulate the results for melodramatic effect.  While I am certain this evening's end result of employing the save generates both ratings and news copy, we must address the elephant in the room.
  • From now on, no one will be safe.  If you don't win the hearts and minds of the voters you'll be toast. 
  • No theme has been revealed yet, but Nigel has tweeted that each contestant will sing two songs.  No word if that's two songs from the same theme or two different themes.  At this point, Nigel only knows. 
  • Tune in next week and we'll do this all over again.  Except the results will matter.

@April 12, 2012  Stephen W Thompson