American Idol Top 8: The Rayvon-Seavey Singoff Caps an Amazing Night for Idol

The guy on the left and the kid on the right almost made me forget about the legend in the middle.

The guy on the left and the kid on the right almost made me forget about the legend in the middle.

How was that for two hours of television?

It’s not often you can bring out a TV show’s original queen, have a night filled with some pretty strong performances and in 10 minutes completely forget what the hell you just saw.

If American Idol’s goal was to do something that would have the viewing public talking tomorrow, well done.

That was entertainment. That was competition. That was, gasp, reality TV at its finest.

If you weren’t dying during commercial breaks wondering who was going home between Daniel Seavey, the teenybopper with buttloads of talent with a still pubescent that needs some growing up, or Rayvon Owen, who has done an awesome job putting the audience to bed with poor song choice after poor song choice, than what the hell is wrong with you?

When the “Twitter Twist” was announced, nobody had a clue how it would be used. I mean, that might be because they came up with it somewhere between the night Qaasim Middleton was supposed to be voted out and last week’s show, at least according to this tweet from Idol Mentor Scott Borchetta (our story on this is HERE):

Then Wednesday American Idol came out and said (paraphrasing in Dude language): “We’re taking the two worst, letting them perform, then whoever gets the most tweets to save gets to stay, capiche?”

All of a sudden, the singing competition added some of that competition it so dearly needed.

Look, it’s pretty damn obvious I love Idol. I don’t like everything the show does. Season 12 was an embarrassment. Last year’s SamSpiracy (copyright Dudes Review Idol) damn near killed me. Tonight? That had me excited for the first time since I waiting patiently to see what Phillip Phillips was going to sing each week.

Tonight’s showdown was only terrific because it actually worked. Seavey, who I’ve been rooting for even though he’s been about as good as you expect a 15-year old to be, had to sing a powerful song by someone who just belted out the best performance of the season minutes earlier (don’t care; nobody’s song this year could touch Kelly Clarkson’s “At Last”) and, spoiler alert, it didn’t go well.

Rayvon had to know he was in good shape and he sealed the deal with his take on “Since U Been Gone.” It was the first time Rayvon didn’t have the audience asleep; he had a good arrangement of an awesome song and, perhaps because he’s got a terrific voice he sometimes doesn’t know what to do with, he knocked it out of the park.

Had Seavey’s tween following taken down Rayvon, this Twitter Save thing would have been an unmitigated disaster. I don’t know if producers planned it to keep popular but not-quite-as-good singers around or if they were hoping America would Spike Lee it (is Do The Right Thing too dated a reference?) and make sure the best contestants were kept alive after the disaster that was the Qaasim save (although, PS, IMO Qaasim was on point tonight; he was actually likeable and that’s coming from a guy he Mutombo’d).

The reason why I think the Twitter Save will continue to work – and I’m hoping they keep it going – is because the best don’t get through with the system Idol has in place; the most popular do. Because voting can get watered down in a variety of ways – similar genres split votes, hunks split votes, hot chicks split votes, etc – sometimes terrific contestants end up in a spot they shouldn’t be in.

I’m OK with saying “here’s the Bottom 2” (although I’d love to know who was worst and who wasn’t), but if they’re letting American actually decide who’s better among those two? I’m all in.

And I think the rest of the Idol fanbase is as well.

As for the rest of the night? Well, it wasn’t going to be a spectacular night. I’ve said all year this season has a ton of talent, but I don’t know if they’re “Clarkson” good.

Clark was the closest thing to Clarkson and I’ll give him the W for the evening. Joey Cook got crapped on by Harry Connick – who’s clearly the producers’ hatchet man – for what was a pretty terrific performance. Jax was awesome, Tyanna Jones was Tyanna, Quentin Alexander was amazing and even Qaasim brought it and surprised the hell out of this guy.

If I’m guessing Bottom 2? Nick Fradiani is one, but not because he was bad; he led off and he had a so-so performance, followed by a night of some pretty strong ones.

The internet bandwagon against Qaasim is strong and he may end up Bottom 2, but I think it’ll be Rayvon vs. Nick next week and hopefully American Idol will let them sing it out.

Tomorrow I’ll have a song-by-song recap, hopefully a full log of Clarkson’s subtle sex jokes, but it might not be until late – warm temps are coming so a zoo trip is on the schedule.