On the last show where “American Idol’ judges could use their one save to keep a contestant eliminated by viewers, they were hit with a “Sophie’s Choice.’
It came down to Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon vs. Lacie Kaye Booth.
Before voters left Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Ritchie with a horrible decision, the six finalists sang two songs each, some plucked from the Woodstock music festival, which is celebrating it’s 50th anniversary this year and (alleged) showstoppers.
Madison VanDenburg excelled as she channeled Janis Joplin singing “Piece of my Heart,’ a song that perfectly suited her powerhouse voice. She went all diva with her second song by Celine Dion – “I Surrender.’
Booth, too sang Joplin, with her unique interpretation of “To Love Somebody,’ one of the legendary ‘60s singer’s more quiet performances. There were no big notes and seemed flat, which might account for her being in the bottom two. Her showstopper “Open Arms’ by Journey was good, but it didn’t stop us.
The contest’s other unique performer, Alejandro Aranda, for the first time didn’t accompany himself on guitar. He let his voice move the judges and audience when he sang Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit’ and it got him into the Top 5. His second song was one he wrote called “Poison.’
Harmon tapped into his church background and showed his range singing “Sweet Lo, Sweet Chariot’ as Joan Baez did 50 years ago. He sang “Somewhere’ from “West Side Story,’ as his showstopper using Barbra Streisand as his inspiration – it was great.
Wade Cota sang Joe Cocker’s “With A Little Help From My Friends,’ which seemed appropriate since he fumbled during Queen week, forgetting lyrics but still moving forward, thanks to the viewer vote.
Laine Hardy didn’t wow with either “I Don’t Need No Doctor,’ by Joe Cocker and “Johnny B. Goode’ by Chuck Berry. But it doesn’t matter – he has the teen and grandmother vote sewn up.
But in the end, neither Harmon or Booth garnered enough votes from viewers to stay in the competition. The judges were stunned with Katy Perry practically picking her jaw up from the judges’ table. The opted to use the save, but there wasn’t an outright choice. The two they had to pick from are among the best singers of the six finalists. What a debacle. The judges debated and debated with host Ryan Seacrest insisting Perry announce the call as time clicked off the clock. Just as the show was practically fading to black, Perry blurted “Laci’ and she almost looked devastated she was the one saved.
It was a good run for Harmon, who had the dramatic back story of working in his dad’s church and not being completely accepted by his parents for being gay. But a bridge seemed to be built while he was in the competition, and his parents attended the show during Queen week.
Harmon and his voice will be missed.
You can still bet on who will be named “American Idol’ on BetOnline:
Winner of American Idol Season 17
- Madison VanDenBurg +225
- Alejandro Aranda +300
- Laine Hardy +300
- Laci Kaye Booth +400
- Wade Cota +500