Sorry Idol Viewers - Season 10 will not be the year of the Latin American Idol. America chose to send home the Selena-loving Karen Rodriguez during Thursday night's results show, and the judges decided not to save her even after her swan song of Mariah Carey's "Hero" - sung, of course, in English and Spanish.
Thursday night's vote left me with mixed feelings.
On the one hand, I wasn't surprised to see Rodriguez end up in the Bottom 3 after her less-than-stellar cover of "Love Will Lead You Back" on Wednesday night. And I wasn't all that sorry to see her go. She showed consistent pitch problems in her performances, and her weekly trend of using her bilingual singing abilities as a crutch and trying to be J. Lo junior were definitely wearing on this blogger.
However, her Bottom 3 counterparts - Naima Adedapo and Haley Reinhart - were much more deserving of a ticket home. At least Rodriguez managed to stay in tune during her performance - a feat neither Adedapo nor Reinhart accomplished. This is Reinhart's second consecutive week at the bottom of the pack. It will take a stellar song choice and a lot of coaching to keep her safe next week.
Maybe it's because Thursday was St. Patrick's Day and no one could bear sending home a guy who looks like a shaggy leprechaun. But whatever the reason, I was glad to see Casey Abrams maintain his seat on the couch of safety, despite a very scary, screechy cover of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit." Questionable performers Jacob Lusk, Thia Megia and Lauren Alaina also survived for another week, but as the numbers dwindle, they'll have to take some major steps forward to stay competitive with the likes of fan favorites Pia Toscano and Scotty McCreary.
Aside from the evening's somewhat shocking result, the rest of the show wasn't much to write home about. Cue cheesy group performance. Cue cheesier Ford commercial. Cue Ryan Seacrest announcing that - in honor of the show's 10th season - everyone in the audience gets a copy of the American Idol 10th Anniversary Compilation CD. That part had my wife channeling Oprah on her end of the couch - suddenly yelling "And you get a CD! And you get a CD!".
Our professional performances of the week included the return of Idol Season 9 winner Lee DeWyze who sang his original song "Beautiful Like You" from his new album. I rooted heavily for DeWyze to win last season and was happy to see him take top honors. But I think it's the sad truth that his unique, growling vocals just aren't cut out for mainstream radio, and I fear he'll soon be joining Kris Allen in the hall of forgotten past Idols.
The Black Eyed Peas also graced the Idol stage, performing their new song "Just Can't Get Enough." Is it just me or does it seem that Fergie is the only member of the quartet who can sing without the help of Auto-Tune? Techno may be the trend, but I enjoyed her vocals much more than the flashing lights and robotic dance moves of the rest of the band's performance.
Since Seacrest no longer gives us a heads up as to the theme of the following performances, we'll have to wait until next Wednesday to what our Idols will be singing. But I think it's safe to say that right now this is a competition for front runners Toscano and McCreary to lose.