Project ‘Idol’: Results show reveals Top 7

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READ MORE | View all of our Project “Idol” recaps from each episode this season and last

imageAfter Thursday’s results on “American Idol,” I ask: Are we finally done with cheesy-awful group numbers? Can we officially read the epitaph of the results-show lip-synching and track-singing in favor of these way-better duets and mini-groups?

Reason is, the performances last night – both by contestants and guests – were actually quite good. “American Honey,” featuring Scotty and Lauren (top photo), ably lead off the show and sported nice harmonies, with an improved performance connection between them. I’d like to see them do a record together sometime – I’d guess that’s in the cards. Are we looking at the final two contestants here? I wonder.

And someone should get my head examined because, yes, Haley knocked it out of the park with Casey in their jazzy, mature and perfectly delivered “Moanin’,” complete with scatting and all sorts of zesty notes and runs. Where has this version of Haley been during the rest of the competition? Randy was 100 percent right: She was surprisingly confident and worked it out well with Casey.

imageThe quartet of Jacob, Stefano, Paul and James was the weakest mini-set of the night, but still decent and way better than any of the embarrassing group numbers of the past.

The celebrity guests were equally good. Kelly Clarkson came on and did well in her platinum-selling duet with Jason Aldean (second photo), “Don’t You Wanna Stay.” I still worry about Kelly going too big with her songs — i.e., “Never” – and thus ruining her voice too early. But for now, “Stay” is nice and on the chill side. And in case you’re wondering what her wrist tattoo said and meant, fear not; your intrepid reporter is on the case. “Love them more” appears with a cross, apparently, to remind her to be extra kind to those who cause her consternation.

And while I’m not a huge Rihanna fan of late, she looked and sounded terrific with her cool staging and delivery of “California King Bed,” sporting fire-red hair and a slinky braided-velour dress. Beautiful.

imageOnce again, y’all are on your own with the zombie Ford music video. Didn’t watch it, don’t want to be sold shit during the show, and it was just pathetically cheesy on the face of it. The Rob Reiner guest segment was lame, although I loved him making fun of “From Justin to Kelly,” the ill-fated film starring the finalists from Season 1. And you likely heard the squeals of delight all the way from Midtown when I saw Chaka “I Feel For You” Khan and Anita “Sweet Love” Baker making their appearance on “Idol” – two living R&B legends that I just adore.

From this column forward, you will be treated to a JLo Fashion Rating. Why? Because she’s all over the map, and I need to vent. For Thursday, she gets a Grade D, for the tragically Romanesque-Cleopatra look (third photo) with traffic-cone orange lipstick and nails. Yuck.

imageAs predicted, Haley, Stefano and Paul landed in the bottom three, and Paul (bottom photo) got the boot. He was composed and gracious in his defeat, singing us off with his cover of Rod Stewart’s “Maggie Mae” – and perhaps a glimpse into one of the remakes he’ll have on his first record.

We do it all again next week, with more JLo grades, singing reviews and a few heaping spoonfuls of snark. Meantime, good lookin’ out – and stay away from tattoo parlors.

imageWill Pollock is an Atlanta-based freelance writer, photographer, musician and artist. He is founder and director of ARTvision Atlanta and writes “Emo.Intel” for EquallyWed. Pollock is also working on a number of books, including one on emotional intelligence in men. He blogs about politics, pop-culture and other nonsense, and you can follow him on Twitter.

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