'American Idol' Recap: Goodbyes Are Hard

Last night the contestants lost one of their own, and it looked painful

Mark Davis / PictureGroup for FOX
Ashton Jones is elimintaed, March 10, 2011
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If you caught last night's Idol without seeing Wednesday's, you probably labored under the fear that you missed one hell of a scene. Fear not. The flashy montage recap that kicked things off was entirely misrepresentative. In it, the judges go wild as if the kiddies demonstrated total and consistent greatness during Wednesday's round, which they did not: "You are a plethora of passion" (Steven), "What am I watching right now?!" (J. Lo), "Mad, dude, dude, mad dude" (Randy). In fact, Wednesday was all praise in lieu of any legit criticism, leaving the singers in the cold without coats for the real live elimination last night.

 

You could see it in their faces. They'd been bonding, those 13, from the bowels of their mansion to a night out on the town at a red carpet premiere/extended commercial for Red Riding Hood.

 

(About that, Idol. When Amanda Seyfried is in the audience, the kids have all been coached on how to say her name correctly - Sie-fred - and their testimonials on how much they enjoyed the movie sound like an ExtenZe commercial - It really works! Anyone can be a wolf! - why not just straight up ask us to go see the movie? Like a Choose Your Own Adventure. Would you rather: see ten minutes of Red Riding Hood promotional material, or purchase an online movie ticket and watch J. Lo dance for ten minutes instead? We could call in and vote!)

 

But back to the original point. Those kids. They were like family!

 

And then they had to go and tear one off the teat and sell it to an owner who can't possibly provide the goods our little Idol puppy had started to expect from life. The puppy's name was Ashthon Jones, and sure, she was the easiest to say goodbye to, seeing as she probably shouldn't have been wild-carded in the first place, but still. It was hard to watch. Especially since Ryan gave her the opportunity to "sing for her life" yet again (how many instances of "singing for your life" does it take before it's abundantly clear that you've never actually been singing for your life?). Ashthon obediently sang a languid Diana Ross number at the jaws of death, which has got to be hard to do. She must have known the judges wouldn't be using their one-time only magic save on her no matter how well she sang, because, well, we all knew. She's just not the magic save girl. But she wrapped it up like a good soldier before bursting into tears. On the bright side, J. Lo called her "baby" a bunch of times, which is definitely on a lot of peoples' wish lists. And she got a warm group hug from the dozen members of her makeshift family. Pia Toscana tried vainly to get in on the action, so tight was the hug, until finally Pia was a part of it too, the circle encasing Ashthon from the public as she accepted the fact that she is out and her brothers and sisters are in, and that's how it'll go until there's no idol but the one.

 

Last Episode: The Kids Are All Right