Friday, May 13, 2011

James Durbin gone from American Idol

American Idol viewers proved Thursday night that they don’t want change…only more of the same old song and dance.

In a shocker, rocker James Durbin was outvoted by viewers and is gone from the Idol stage, leaving only three behind: Lauren Alaina, Scotty McCreery and Haley Reinhart.

The Top 3 results were based on more than 72 million votes cast by fans, according to show host Ryan Seacrest.

In case you haven’t been following along, Idol now has two country singers (Alaina, McCreery) and an, as-yet, undefinable third one (Reinhart).

In other words: more of the same old Idol, which has seen its share of singers like the final three before. And while there has been the occasional rocker, no one has come close to bringing the hard rock – or metal – like Durbin.

A guest appearance by Zakk Wylde last month propelled Durbin’s rock cred to new heights, weeks after he had already claimed his turf with songs by Judas Priest, Bon Jovi and Paul McCartney.

I’ve been tracking Durbin’s progress from the time the Top 13 hit the airwaves, and I had expected a much better result for the 22-year old from Santa Cruz. Throughout the competition, I believe James has been the most consistent of all the players, investing his energy and talent into a terrific mix of staging, wardrobe and overall presentation, bringing the whole package to the table.

While watching Thursday’s show, I had a bad feeling James was gone when Reinhart inexplicably landed in the Top 3. Surely I can’t be the only one who thinks it’s a mystery that Haley has survived this long; she’s a fine singer, but absolutely nothing special…not to mention zero stage personality, another area where the other three leave her in the dust.

Distracted by a growl in her voice early on in the series, judge Steven Tyler somehow linked Reinhart in with his own idol, Janis Joplin, and has been fawning all over her ever since. I still don’t get it.

So, what does it all really mean? Well, for starters – it’s a huge lost opportunity for Idol to have fully reinvented itself, but more on that in another column.

As for James, he’ll head out with the Top 11 for the Idol summer tour, and beyond that, I have to think it’s a slam dunk that he ends up with artist management and a full record deal moving forward to get his post-Idol career underway.

Did Durbin need the Idol crown to build his career? No. But for now, the exposure is an important stepping stone for his future, so let’s enjoy the real excitement the Santa Cruz kid brought to the stage, knowing that there’s more to come…..

American Idol American Idol

James Durbin – You’ve Got Another Thing Coming
American Idol – March 1, 2011

See also:

VIDEO: James Durbin weeps while rocking American Idol Top 5
James Durbin tops the hennemusic Hot 10 for 2nd week
VIDEO: James Durbin rocks Carole King on American Idol
James Durbin tops the hennemusic Hot 10
VIDEO: James Durbin rocks Muse on American Idol
How Zakk Wylde wound up on American Idol
VIDEO: James Durbin, Zakk Wylde rock Sammy Hagar on American Idol
VIDEO: James Durbin rocks The Beatles on American Idol
VIDEO: James Durbin rocks Elton John on American Idol
VIDEO: James Durbin rocks Stevie Wonder on American Idol