There was no real suspense or surprise on the “American Idol” elimination show — at least until Gina Glocksen was sent home instead of Haley Scarnato. While Haley has been marked for elimination the past few weeks, her safety and Gina’s elimination wasn’t a result capable of truly shocking the contestants or the audience.
Still, considering Gina was in the bottom two with Haley, whose performance last night of “Ain’t Misbehavin’” inspired Simon Cowell to comment on her physical appearance instead of her singing, Gina’s exit wasn’t the most logical outcome. It’s not an upset, because Gina didn’t outperform most of the other finalists, and didn’t really seem to have much of a chance to win. But there were others who had weaker performances.
One of those people was, of course — all together now — Sanjaya Malakar. But he was, unsurprisingly, in no danger of being eliminated, because his fans and anti-fans apparently know how to work the phones. Sanjaya’s safety, though, didn’t even seem to surprise him this week; he knows he’s popular, at least for now.
In fact, there was not much suspense at all during the results show. When we saw the nine “American Idol” finalists lined up on stage, they were divided into three groups, and those groups made the outcome of last night’s voting very obvious.
As Ryan Seacrest introduced Jordin, Melinda and LaKisha, they received applause from the studio audience, who knew with certainty that the three women were not going home. Ryan Seacrest told them they were safe without cutting to a commercial first; waiting to see if the three best female performers were safe would not have made for a good cliffhanger.
Standing in the middle of the stage were Haley, Gina and Phil.
Having been grouped together, they had to know that they were the bottom three; as a group, they were by the weakest on Tuesday night.
That left Blake, Chris and Sanjaya, who fit comfortably into the middle, even if Sanjaya was in better company. “You know you’re not the top three, but you’re also not the bottom three,” Ryan told them. Sanjaya may not be the most popular contestant, but he was in no risk of being voted off.
As to the bottom three, Phil Stacey was sent to safety first.
Considering his rather dull and dry performance of “Night and Day,” some expected him to at least be in the bottom three, if not go home. This was his third appearance in the bottom three, and Gina’s first, after all.
Haley saved, Gina sent packing
That left Gina and Haley, who was almost eliminated last week, too, huddling together in the middle of the stage.
The judges had mixed reactions to the bottom two. Randy was completely confused, channeling Paula Abdul by changing his mind in the middle of his comments. “Not really surprised,” he said. “I’m a little surprised about Gina; actually, I’m a little surprised about both of them, really.”
Paula said something meaningless, of course. “It gets tough here, it gets tough at this stage,” she said. “I don’t know. I still think, no matter what, you should be very proud of yourselves.”
Simon Cowell was, as usual, far more straightforward. “I’m not surprised,” he said. Neither, it seems, was the audience, at least not immediately, even though Haley was the more likely candidate for elimination, considering her poor performance this week and last. When Ryan Seacrest said Haley was safe, the audience applauded wildly, until they realized that they were also applauding for Gina’s loss, then they started booing.
Ultimately, though, it didn’t matter. Neither Gina nor Haley could beat Melinda, Lakisha or rapidly rising star Jordin Sparks, so their elimination was either now or later. After auditioning three times, going to Hollywood twice, and ending up in the final nine once, Gina’s “American Idol” journey came to an end.
As Ryan Seacrest said goodbye to her, he revealed her lucky charm, a small stuffed toy called Pickle. Gina shrugged and tossed it toward the judges and audience. Her luck, she seemed to know, had run out.
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