On Thursday's "Idol" results show, speaking about the previous night's disastrous group performance by this season's remaining boys (Lazaro Arbos, Burnell Taylor, and Devin Velez), in-house mentor Jimmy Iovine joked, "Well, I guess there's a new boy band in town! They're called Wrong Direction!" And these boys headed in the totally wrong direction indeed--to the very bottom of "Idol's" rankings--when they unsurprisingly comprised this week's bottom three.
However, Jimmy was hardly joking when he predicted that Lazaro, a former fan favorite but without a doubt the weakest contestant (of either gender) left on the show, would be the boy going home in eighth place this week. He was pretty blunt about Lazaro's vocal shortcomings: For instance, when addressing Nicki Minaj's advice that Lazaro should not listen to him anymore, Jimmy retorted, "He should listen to me! He's gotta listen to someone! He should at least listen to the melody."
Oh, snap. That was harsh. (Almost as harsh as Nicki's words for the boys on Wednesday, when she'd furiously ordered them to "get off the stage!" and had employed one of her many famous breakfast-food metaphors when comparing Lazaro's flat performance to a pancake.) But…Jimmy was wrong. Lazaro did not go home this week. Lazaro was in the bottom three--actually, the bottom two--for the first time this season, but he wasn't the contestant who received the fewest votes overall. That contestant was the inarguably more talented Devin Velez.
Devin was probably the technically best male vocalist of this entire season's top 10--and maybe if he hadn't thrown Lazaro under the bus Wednesday night and publicly blamed his trio's terrible performance on Laz's lyrical forgetfulness (Devin's comment was true, but not nice), America would have given Lazaro fewer pity votes, and Devin and Lazaro's positions would have been reversed. Or, maybe not--Devin had been in the bottom three multiple times before, so maybe it was just his time to go.
But honestly, it should have been Lazaro's time. It has been Lazaro's time for a while now--Jimmy knows it, the judges know it, and I think even Lazaro knows it by now. (The poor guy didn't even get a solo in this Thursday's show-opening group number. Not a good sign.) And now that Lazaro has finally slipped from the top four to the bottom two, it seems like it's really only a matter of time before he does get cut. He's certainly not going to win--there are least four female contestants in this "girls' season" who will have that honor instead. But, for at least another week, both Lazaro and "Idol" viewers will have to suffer, as his painful, welcome-outstaying tenure on this show continues.
Anyway, before the final 10 warp-speed minutes of Thursday's episode, when Ryan Seacrest at long last got around to actually reading the results, the show featured a rousing number by Keith Urban (the first of the new judges to take the stage this season), plus a stellar performance by last year's Christian-rocker contestant Colton Dixon that not only had me once again wondering how Colton ever stalled in seventh place, but had me sadly pining for the much-more-exciting Season 11. Was it really only a year ago that we had a thrilling performer like Colton hopping atop a piano to belt out a Paramore power-ballad? Ah, those were the days…
"Idol" also reached further back to its most successful era (at least in terms of ratings), Season 5, and brought back that season's runner-up, Katharine McPhee, for a mashup performance with OneRepublic that was only slightly less awkward than that time when she sat on the floor with a couple bongo players to cover "Black Horse And The Cherry Tree." But oddly, Katharine didn't exactly embrace her "Idol" past (or her doubtful future on the soon-to-be-cancelled "Smash"), as she was simply, plainly billed as "recording artist Katharine McPhee." So, yeah, that was strange. When was the last time Kat even recorded anything, anyway, other than "Smash" soundtrack songs?
So come back next Wednesday, when the two remaining boys, Lazaro and Burnell, attempt to square off against the five girls. The theme will be (ballad-free!) Rock Night, so basically, the boys are going to have a very rocky time of it. Until them, Parker out.