Tuned In

Idol Watch: Don't Need No Doctor?

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Quick spoilers for last night’s American Idol coming up:

File under “Sentences I never thought I’d type”: Last night’s American Idol results episode was really worth watching. In perhaps the highest compliment I can pay to a results show, my ratio of parts-fast-forwarded to parts-actually-watched approached 1:1 last night, possibly an all-time high. Part of the reason were the appearances of Stevie Wonder, Hulk Hogan, J-Hud, Sugarland and a birthday cake for Steven Tyler, who could Walk This Way into a social security office and begin claiming early benefits if he so chose. But the big drama came from the results, which surprisingly gave us a bottom three of Thia, Stefano and Casey, the verdict being…

…that Casey was voted off! And almost instantly saved! And went into an ecstatic, overwhelmed, epic freakout that required deployment of the bleep button and had me worried that he would throw up on stage, or worse. (Casey’s already been hospitalized a couple of times this season, and as glad as I’m sure he was to get a reprieve, I can’t have been the only one hoping that the show is not killing him. His sing-for-your-salvation song, ironically: “I Don’t Need No Doctor.”)

After showing a lot of early promise, Casey has fallen into a kind of angry-bear rut these past couple weeks, which he’ll need to get out of to climb out of the bottom tier. But I’m simply happiest that the save has been used at all, not so much for his sake but because I’ve never liked the gimmick and I’m glad to have it out of the way. That said, I’ll bet the judges never anticipated using it on Casey, much less using it this early; my guess was, the save was earmarked for a bad week by the likes of James, Jacob or Pia. After this, America’ vote will stand, with no excruciating sing-for-your-life performances. (Which, by the way, have always been a sham, as proven this week by the fact that the judges said that they didn’t need to hear Casey sing to throw him the lifeline.)

As for the this week’s actual performances, I missed them when they aired live, but having caught some of the highlights, I’m especially glad that Naima finally seems to be living up to her potential. Would you have saved Casey? And who should go next?