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By People Staff
Updated December 01, 2020 06:40 PM
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Credit: F Micelotta/American Idol 2010/Getty

Janell Wheeler was the first singer voted off this season.

That was unexpected. In a week of many performances that were wobbly to lousy, she was no worse and no better than competent — I could barely recall her performance on Tuesday’s show. “That sucks,” she said after Mr. Seacrest gave her the bad news, but she was actually quite charming about the whole thing.

Ashley Rodriguez followed her to the exit, chin held commendably high. Her clip in the audition rounds was one of the best, but some magic had slipped away once she came to Hollywood. I still think her fatal mistake was planting the idea in viewers’ minds that she was another Jordin Sparks.

Lacey Brown survived, despite a devastating week, maybe because she has sad, mature eyes and a pixieish smile — it’s an attractive contrast — but more likely because voters didn’t want to end her comeback Idol journey so soon.

Joe Mu oz was the first guy to go, possibly on the same voting principle that cost Janell her spot. He certainly sang better on Wednesday’s show than Tim Urban — who lives to perform (badly or not) another day — but he didn’t make a strong enough impression.

In the end, the last two guys standing on stage were rocker Tyler Grady and Alex Lambert. Mr. Seacrest asked Simon who was doomed. “I think Tyler,” said Simon. “It’s over.” Simon was right.

Tyler had sung better than Alex, but the judges effectively harpooned his rock-star pretensions. (Surprisingly, Tyler faulted them for not giving him useful criticism during Hollywood week.) And Alex had Ellen in his corner. Her strangely endearing comparison of him to an unripened banana — in other words, a banana with potential — probably stayed in viewers’ minds.

I was glad Todrick Hall survived. Less sure about John Park

Allison Iraheta sang her single, “Scars,” a slow power ballad without too much oomph. Then last season’s winner, Kris Allen, sang a Haitian-benefit performance of “Let It Be” — a beautiful but unusually ambiguous song to be put to that use. There’s hope in the Beatles‘ lyrics, sure, but also the suggestion that the wisest course is patient resignation until hope breaks through. –Tom Gliatto

Tell us: What did you think of the results? Did America make the right decision? Did you see it coming?F Micelotta/American Idol 2010/Getty