‘American Idol’: Lana Del Rey Performs And, Oh Yeah, Someone Is Eliminated

Mar 23rd, 2012

Last night on American Idol we found out which nine contestants would be moving into Chez Idol, but let’s be honest, we didn’t tune in to see who America kicked off. We wanted to see if “indie pop sensation” Lana Del Rey would face-plant like she did on Saturday Night Live a couple months ago. The odds were in her favor this time, for the performance was pre-taped and it wasn’t on SNL‘s notoriously awful soundstage. Find out how she fared, and who America voted off.

If LDR and the return of Season 10′s suave Haley Reinhart weren’t enough fanfare for you, it was also Steven Tyler’s [redacted]th birthday. So his bandmate Joe Perry came out shredding and the contestants sang “Happy Birthday,” which probably cost Fox a few million in licensing fees. Check out the two coolest grandmas in the world:

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Next, Lana Del Rey performed “Video Games.” Let’s talk about it! (Deep breaths everyone.) She wore an all-white outfit perfect for that tennis match she scheduled right after her set, and was backed, as usual, by full strings. The performance was so much better than her SNL take — though, no surprise there. She’s been steadily improving in her TV performances in the months since. Whatever your thoughts on LDR, it seems clear she’s an acquired taste live, and hey, we’re rooting for her. She received a warm reception and it was nice to see her happy and smiling.

Lana Del Rey, “Video Games”

Interscope chairman Jimmy Iovine wanted some of that LDR spotlight, so last night he gave us his best Simon Cowell impression. On Hollie Cavanagh: she was “a sweet diva caught in the headlights.” On DeAndre Brackensick: too much frolicking and bopping around. On Joshua Ledet: gets in trouble with that “Darth Vader thing” when he sings too low. And finally, on Heejun Han‘s antics: “a bad Adam Sandler movie.” Um, we saw Sandler’s Jack and Jill and would sooner sit through Heejun’s performance from last night on a two-hour loop than that travesty again.

Also,  Billy Joel emailed in to express his enjoyment with Jessica Sanchez‘s and Colton Dixon‘s covers. And since Billy Joel knows Billy Joel songs better than we do, we’ll have to retroactively move Colton out of the “So-So” category.

Before rounding out the Top 9, Season 10′s Haley Reinhart performed her song “Free” in a giant birdcage. It was a smooth little number and a not-so-subtle hint to Lana that it’s possible to be sultry while moving around and showing some emotion.

Haley Reinhart, “Free”

And now for the elimination…

Erika Van Pelt was on the bottom, so we guess America isn’t a Kris Jenner fan (which is odd, since America buys and watches and wears everything Jenner touches). She sang for her life, and literally sang for her life, on the verge of tears during the sweeping emotional performance. But the judges didn’t save her, so it turns out Erika 2.0 chopped off all her locks for 2.0 measly episodes of action.

Next Week: Hollie looks to bounce back while Jessica tries to keep doing what she does.

Who do you think is Jessica’s biggest competition right now? Sound off in the comments, or on Twitter and Facebook.

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