James Durbin’s exit helps American Idol march toward an even more mediocre finale

James Durbin was voted out of American Idol 10 last night in what has been compared to a shocker on the level of Chris Daughtry’s elimination, but is really just the elimination that elicited the biggest shrug.

James’ exit leaves bland Scotty McCreery, bland Lauren Alaina, and bland Haley Reinhart, who received some of the judges’ only criticism all season on Wednesday, which probably helped save her.

I’m totally uninvested in this season at this point, so I’m not as outraged or saddened as some people are, but it is clear that James was the most interesting singer left, if only because his screams have been accompanied by some decent performances and theatrical presentations, which are good at least for a laugh, and sometimes genuine entertainment.

James, however, was hurt and upset, perhaps in part because the audience reacted to Scotty’s safety (cheering and applauding) rather than his elimination (there were no audible boos or verbal expressions of shock). He was even kind of bitter. “I did so much stuff that’s never been done on this show before,” he said through tears. “I did what I came here to do, which was give metal a chance.”

Meanwhile, the results show featured a number of performances, including duets with the four finalists that highlighted one of the ways American Idol is inferior to The Voice. Oh, and Ryan Seacrest fell off the stage trying to slap one of Enrique Iglesias’ balls.

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