Well, that was a shock. Not the fact that Matt Giraud was the week’s loser after performing “My Funny Valentine” during a night dedicated to the Rat Pack. He’s been on the verge of being voted off virtually week-to-week. When Ryan called his name at the start of the cruel yet elating game of elimination Wednesday, poor Matt started to tear up. He must have seen that long, dark cloud coming down.
No, the real shock was that 15 minutes into the show, Matt had been joined in the bottom three by Kris Allen and Adam Lambert. Yes, the Invulnerable One! “This is crazy,” Paula said of the results, which also saw Danny Gokey and Allison Iraheta — who generally has no better luck than Matt — sitting in quiet and unexpected triumph in the top two. “I wish you could all stay together like the Rat Pack.”
(That actually isn’t something you should wish on anyone. Frank Sinatra wasn’t all sunshine.)
Then, compounding the surprise, Kris was pronounced saved, joining Danny and Allison. That put Adam in the bottom two for the first time.
At that point, it seemed inevitable that Matt, the one contestant whose stay was lengthened by the judges’ save, was toast. If it had been Adam, the entire universe might have imploded into dust and shards. There would be no tomorrow.
Question: Did Allison get to stay because viewers decided an all-male top four wasn’t the ticket? (They may feel the same when it comes time to pick the top three.) Did they resent Simon‘s Tuesday-night critiques, zeroing in on her and Kris because he didn’t think they had star power?
(“Randy and Kara were a little more on their game” in matching the public’s taste, Ryan observed at the end of the show.)
Or were they beginning to suspect, after weeks of watching Adam showered with praise, that perfection is tedious?
The rest of the hour felt like a pointless distraction from contemplating Adam’s new vulnerability. There were performances by Natalie Cole, Jamie Foxx and former American Idol champ Taylor Hicks. His hair looked really nice.
Tell us: Is it really anyone’s game? How does Adam landing in the bottom two change the game? Who do you think will win?
M Becker/American Idol 2009/Getty