Man Down (Finally)

No, the title of this post isn’t a reference to the song of the same name from Rihanna’s latest album. Though, perhaps that song would’ve gone over better in a live performance than “California King Bed.” Don’t get me wrong, “Bed” is one of the few Rihanna songs I will willingly subject myself to, but it requires some actual live singing. Back to the point, the title is, of course, a glorious celebration of the first male elimination of Season 10! Yes, finally, we said farewell to what appeared to be a thoroughly resigned Paul McDonald.

I can’t imagine anyone is crushed about Paul’s departure. He was clearly losing his voice and his sound never fit very well on the Idol stage. (You know, if we pretend he sang well and performed well, it still wouldn’t have worked out in the end.) He’s got a band and some publicity, I’m sure he’ll sell more albums and get better gigs than he was before. So yay for Paul. He can melt back into his mosaic of indie hipsterness where floral print suits are edgy and ironic and drunken stage waddling is chic.

Rounding out the bottom three with Paul were silver stool veterans, Stefano and Haley. Neither result was particularly surprising. They both gave middling performances and lack McCreery-level fanbases. Haley survived again on the back of the “we need a woman to be here but cant stand the thought of supporting Lauren Alaina” vote and Stefano managed to get by on the “shallow but not so shallow that we vote against heinous facial hair” vote. As you can see, neither are very large voting blocs so they’re both gonna have to change it up if they want to make it to the finale.

You know who doesn’t have to change it up to make it to the finale? The first duet partners of the night, Lauren and Scotty. Neither (along with James Durbin) have touched the bottom three yet and it doesn’t appear that either needs to do anything particularly special to stay safe. They sang some country song that sounded like a country song and it was kind of slow and lilting and they both sounded happy and safe and comfortable. It was all quite nice and woefully boring. Didn’t we see this like two weeks ago? Give me my pointy poses and souped up choreography, damn it.

The far superior country duet of the night was Kelly Clarkson and that guy with the cowboy hat who was on stage while Kelly Clarkson was singing. (Not Justin Guarini, though. They made it a point to clarify that he was not, in fact, Justin Guarini. Could’ve fooled me.) Kelly Clarkson is pretty much unparalleled on the Idol stage. Her very presence on the show makes it instantly more entertaining and enjoyable. Her voice is stupidly gorgeous and she looked beautiful. She fired a couple zingers at Seacrest and was pretty much the most infallible thing on the planet.

There were other duets and such. They all sounded bad. Sorry, but I don’t find aggressive acts of throat clearing to be musically pleasing. Nor am I particularly enraptured by the sound of Simon & Garfunkel being brutally murdered by violent acts of disharmony. There was other filler, I think. Something about zombie make-up and Rob Reiner. Not together, I don’t think. Although, I don’t suppose it would’ve been all that much more irrelevant or disconnected if they were packaged together. Anyone have a good idea for a Rob Reiner zombie Ford video starring the Idols?

But despite the lack of entertainment in this results show (c’mon, Nigel, you’ve forced higher standards upon yourself this season! What are you doing to me?), I was thoroughly entertained by the actual results. Paul is gone! A woman didn’t go home! So, here’s your goodbye, Paul:

Lyrics

People sigh with relief finally cause
Your Idol run is through
And now we’re done listening
to your whispers
No single note in tune

So take a good look at this place
You’re through with flails
Drunk while on stage
When you wore that suit
You sealed your fate
To be nixed in eighth

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