Even though American Idol has abbreviated its televised reveal of the tally of America’s votes to only half an hour, some fun touches still remain. TV and film favorite, Kevin Bacon, playfully assumed hosting duties for the first few moments of this week’s vote night following the Competitor’s Pick performances, until coming to the final signature tag to introduce the night. Ryan Seacrest came to the rescue just in time to rescue his famed emphasis on the “This is ‘American Idol’..” Thus, the fun begins. Speaking of fun, for the second night running, Jennifer Lopez appeared to get the host genuinely flustered with her choice of attire, this time being a super-short mini-dress. Her decision to go backless the night before proved “very distracting” for the ever-on-target Ryan. Harry Connick, Jr. dared Keith Urban to dress in a suit, declaring “you’d look so good,” and Urban pledged to fulfill that agreement next week! The seven singers had some playful fun of their own, acting out their dream should they ever have a Mustang, promoting the iconic brand’s anniversary by Ford. Fun times aside, the time came for the big screens to reveal who would stay and who would go.
Dexter Roberts, Alex Preston, and Jena Irene were first up to receive their news. Jena had a spectacular, show-stopping closer on performance night with her rendition of “Creep,” so no one was surprised that she was chosen first for safety. Randy Jackson called her “the one to beat” for the season. Alex was next to sail to the safety of the sofa. His performance of Dexter’s choice of “A Team” was a favorite, and his fans made their screams heard! That left Dexter headed for the first of the bottom two stools. Randy Jackson praised his performance on “Muchalee Creek Water,” but agreed with the panel that he needed to push for vocal changes because he can do it.
CJ Harris, Jessica Meuse, Sam Woolf, and Caleb Johnson waited for the word next. Caleb had another stellar night with his Kings of Leon song, “Family Tree,” tearing it up. CJ Harris got high praise from Harry as “best to date” with John Mayer’s “Gravity,” and America apparently agreed, because he was sent to safety. Randy Jackson said that Sam Woolf had done a “good” job with “Sail Away,” but he had to “get to winning.” Good was good enough, because Sam was safe for another week, and Jessica joined Dexter on the stools. Her voice is always on, but her vocals slipped on Miranda Lambert’s “Gunpowder and Lead,” and the panel didn’t feel the energy flow.
With time running out, Ryan revealed that Dexter would be heading home to Alabama, leaving his other two state mates behind. Dexter did not depart on a sad note, singing “Lucky Man” right along with Keith Urban, surrounded in loving head rubs. He is a lucky man, indeed, because he won’t be working three jobs for survival from now on, and can return to his duck calling, dog training, and “bang-bang flop-flop” pastimes when he’s not on a stage somewhere. Dexter didn’t survive this American Idol vote, but this is one country boy who definitely will survive in music.
American Idol broadcast, April 17, 2014 FOX Networks.