‘American Idol’: James Durbin Sent Packing, Enrique Iglesias & Jordin Sparks Perform

Robbie Daw | May 13, 2011 6:18 am

In what surely has to be an upset for Randy Jackson, Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez, California metal enthusiast James Durbin was eliminated during this week’s American Idol results show. All three judges had pretty much consistently heaped praise on James throughout the season. But the Top 3 is now in place, and the 22-year-old from Santa Cruz won’t be standing among them. It was a tense evening for the surviving four contestants, as host Ryan Seacrest continuously reminded them that inevitably only three would be sent back to their respective hometowns in style next week for the show’s annual “heroes’ welcome” episode. And before the elimination process began, we got a little awwwwww time with all four by watching them video chat across the miles with their families.

But let’s get down to business. Lauren Alaina was the first one to be declared safe. Following that, the Lady Gaga performance we’d been teased with turned out to simply be the Top 4 sitting down to watch concert footage of this week’s Idol mentor performing Born This Way power ballad “You And I.” (If we’re not mistaken, it was from Gaga’s recent HBO special. Lame.) After all, Gaga can’t be two places at once — and as we’ve seen, she’s been causing a scene in Europe all week with her crazy couture.

Seacrest then announced that both girls were safe this week, which meant Haley Reinhart was able to join Lauren in the lucky golden chairs to the side of the stage while James Durbin and Scotty McCreery began to sweat.

We’ll just take this time to mention that we’ve become quite the fan of Haley over the past month or so. And it’s not because we’re playing favorites. Out of anyone in the original Top 12, she’s shown the most growth.

And so when James was ultimately the one cut, it felt like a bit of vindication. Despite the judges constant oohing and aahing over him, his last two weeks were pretty rocky for us — especially his pitchy take on Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” on Wednesday night. The only upset is that we thought for sure that the judges’ upbeat critiques would have more sway with how America voted.

Oh, well — there’s always that Idols Live tour this summer, James!

Guest performers included Enrique Iglesias, who belted out bits from his current single “Dirty Dancer” (with some video assist from Usher) and summer 2010 smash “I Like It.”

Also on the guest roster was Idol‘s Season 6 winner Jordin Sparks. She marched out with a pack of backup dancers and offered up a vocally and visually impressive performance of her new sassy pop-rock single “I Am Woman.”

Additionally, the naughty music video for Steven Tyler‘s solo single “(It) Feels So Good” had its debut during the results show. Watch where you’re banging the drums there, Steven!

Are you happy with a Lauren, Haley and Scotty Top 3? Or did you find yourself up in arms over the elimination of James? Let us know below!