James Durbin exits 'Idol': What now?

james-durbin

Image Credit: Frank Micelotta/Fox

James sobbed. J.Lo sobbed. We all sobbed. Last night, American Idol fans watched as James Durbin was eliminated from the competition, exiting the Idol stage with a tear-soaked performance that left nary a dry eye in the house. (At least my house.) Inevitably, many fans have already cried foul about the somewhat shocking elimination, and, no doubt, many others will repeat the mantra that has helped soothe previous Idol fans who have lost their favorites: Well, Chris Daughtry finished in fourth, too.

But as James approaches the post-reality show phase of his career, what can we expect? Will he indeed pull a Daughtry, releasing hit after hit on the radio? Or will he fumble the way some other Idol rockers have? (Oh, Bo Bice — come back! We miss you!) Purely from a fan perspective, it’s hard to say. James has proven he excels in one genre in particular, pop metal. Unfortunately, that happens to be a genre that served musicians better in the 1980s than on the contemporary charts. And while his undeniably enjoyable stage presence could lead to a healthy touring career, the music industry values sure-fire radio and digital hits more than on-stage antics. (Of course, it also values those who could deliver both — just see Idol mentor Lady Gaga.)

So what should James’ gameplan be? Here’s what I’d like to see the fourth-place finisher do: After completing his Idol tour, I’m hoping James actually does take a page from season 5’s Daughtry and opts to form a band rather than pursue a solo career. Not only would a band make the Idol contestant a more well-rounded artist (he would be well-served with a few musical friends encouraging him to tone down the screams a notch), but it would also add a dash of appealing humility. As for musical style, I’m hoping he uses bands like Red Hot Chili Peppers and Green Day as examples — it’s possible to pen consumer-friendly hits while still delivering plenty of drama.

But is that path possible for James? What say you, PopWatchers? What should James do following his Idol exit? Should he try to bring metal back to the pop charts? Or should he shoot for commercial hits?

Follow Kate on Twitter @KateWardEW

Read more on American Idol:
Exit Q&A with James Durbin: ‘I’m so proud that I was able to bring a voice to metal’ — EXCLUSIVE VIDEO
‘American Idol’ recap: Tail of Tears
‘American Idol': On the scene for James Durbin’s elimination

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  • Xena

    James should dial it back to what he was doing a few weeks ago. His ideas and artistry are great, but he got too comfortable, too emotional, and forgot to keep delivering the goods. Randy and JLo should share the blame for this. They continued to praise him when he needed a dose of reality.

    • kt

      You’re right on the money. James had some great performances while on the Idol stage. However, when he started having pitch issues this week (and ESPECIALLY last week), the judges continued to heap praise at him despite this. Goes to show that constructive criticism is needed on shows like this. Nobody is too good to improve.

      • dsasd

        WHAT?? And Haley didn’t have issues? Good gracious – she is boring on stage – she apparently doesn’t know she has legs, she has a chip on her shoulder and her vocals are inconsistent. Jame’s downsides aren’t even close…

      • Maggie May

        I completely agree with Xena and kt also. dsasd Haley also had issues but she was not the one being discussed it was James. The Judges also critised her for where she needs to improve but they did not do that with James and in the end it hurt him.

      • K

        I agree, kt and Xena. As for dsasd’s comment – Haley has greatly improved over the course of the finals, and I have to assume that that is at least partly because the judges have been giving her feedback (however stupid it’s been sometimes) and not just giving her a gold star for effort every week. James has not improved and in fact was getting worse in the last couple weeks (in my opinion). I blame his stagnation on the failure of the judges to criticize anything he did. I can’t even remember them ever calling him out for being totally off-pitch in a lot of his songs; that’s something he could have worked on and concentrated on and thus improved on. But they only praised him and he never learned what specific issues he ought to work on. These judges are the absolute worst this season. Haley is not without faults, but at least they’ve pushed her and she’s gotten better; no one else has been pushed, and no one else has improved at all. (With the possible exception of Scotty’s “Gone” performance…but he was back to sucking horribly this week.)

      • @dsasd

        Did anybody mention Haley? No. Clearly, you’re the one with a chip on your shoulder.

      • Dina

        I agree, I wanted James in the finale and I really wished the judges would give him useful tips each week how to improve. I don’t mean slam him, just give some real, good advice, look at all the big money they’re being paid, why didn’t they do their job and help him?? I was worried when James spent more and more time on things like high-fiving the whole audience, it’s hard to do all that and hit notes at the same time.

    • mama

      Absolutely, the Judges are partly to blame because they never mentioned all the pitchy issues James had and he became too comfortable. His best performance was when he went solo.

    • Love the Studdard

      YES!!!! HE WAS SO CORNY!! A wannabe Adam Lambert. He should have been eliminated last week when he screeched and cried through that song!! Haley is a powerhouse and I hope she WINS!!

      Let James go make and try to sell his heavy metal in this day and age. He’s no Stephen Tyler or Mick Jagger. If he think he can be the next bat eater go right ahead.

      See ya!

      • izzy

        Haley should have been eliminated long long time ago no voice ………..why?????????????????pls let her be out and have james back

      • Tori

        A wannabe Adam Lambert? Umm… We’ve known Adam for about 3 years now. James is 22. Don’t you think he could have created his own style without ever hearing Adam? Just because there was someone with equal talent before him doesn’t mean James isn’t unique. But if you really do live by that logic, then I guess Haley is a Janis Joplin wannabe, Lauren is a Sheryl Crow wannabe, and Scotty wants to be exactly like every other male country singer out there. Really? Why do you even watch this show if they’re al wannabes?

      • pm

        PLS…a powerhouse!!! Haley SCREAMS ..that’s not singing. I can’t believe she made the top 3 over James!! She also acts like a diva and can’t take constructive criticism. It would help if she decided on 1 style. Her jazzy blues fits her voice best.
        As far as James – he knew his style & was creative with it. He always performed showing his love for music & didn’t need to mimic anyone!! At least he is for real!!

      • PeP86

        Ur a dumb knock. Haley is a snobby little girl who thinks she’s better than everyone else. She only cares about herself and didnt give a s**t when james got voted off. James is going wayyyy farther than haley ever will.

      • ammtgt

        If you take every song that Haley has sang on the show and laced them together on one track it would sound like the longest song that has ever been sung.Over and over and over,her songs all sound the same.
        Jame on the other hand was critized, for those o you with selective memories,about the high pitches so he showed he was able to make adjustments.He was not always the best but he was heads above the rest!

      • Rog

        haley? Pleeeeeze, my DOG doesn’t growel that much!

      • Carol Cook

        Haley is perhaps the most obnoxious the Idol stage has held. Girl with an attitude who loves Haley. What kind of person laughs as her friends are going down? Not a very nice one. So, talent or not I hope she goes home next week and we let the last two really good people compete. James was so much better than anyone we have seen in years and this was a heartbreaker. I sincerly hope he will go out there and show them all who he is. I would go to see him in a heartbeat. He is fabulous! James a gentleman with a heart…what a concept!!!!

      • Rosie Snow

        Well he can’t be an Adam Lambert wannabe, because James auditioned in season four and has released videos before Adam was widely known. I do like Haley though.

      • djm

        What I don’t understand is why Haley is bearing the brunt of James being eliminated? Someone please explain to me how it is Haley’s fault that James got eliminated – SERIOUSLY. If you want to blame anyone blame Lauren because at least Haley had ONE stand-out performance this week which is ONE MORE than Lauren has had all season. No, Haley is not my favorite contestant, not even close. But she’s had THREE stand-out perfromances this season (the duet with Casey, House of the Rising Sun, and I Who Have Nothing – and some would even add Bennie and the Jets to this list) and I can’t honestly name ONE perfromance of Lauren (or Scottie for that matter) that has sttod out as a true Idol “MOMENT”. Yes, I get that American idol is a popularity contest in addition to a singing competition, but shouldn’t we celebrate good performances and good vocal abilities over personality – especially at this point in the competition?? Just sayin…

      • Squishmar

        “but shouldn’t we celebrate good performances and good vocal abilities over personality – especially at this point in the competition?? Just sayin…”

        Yeah, djm, you would think that’s what we should be doing, wouldn’t you? But I think that’s vastly overestimating the American public. Sadly.

      • Michael

        i would like to let you know that you a retarded. James is amazing and haley sucks. All Haley does is grunt and it sounds like monkeys having sex.

    • BLM

      Oh God, the crying! That is not a good look for James. His first order of business should be to stop being so GD emotional. Second order of business, grow his hair long to cover up those ears. So distracting. Third order of business, learn to sing, not scream. There, problems solved.

      • Leslie

        James is AUTISTIC dude, he has no control over his emotions—or at least it’s way more difficult for him to control them than it would be for other people.

      • MissKim

        James is Autistic, a diagnosis that makes him different. So He cant control his emotions, or handle change well.

      • Carol Cook

        Do you have any idea what he has overcome? He was autistic as a child and sent to a theater school to assist him in overcoming his disability. He went way beyond anything anyone ever expected and then they discovered he had talent. So many disabilities and was a role model to the children of Santa Cruz who went to a pizza place and prayed for him to make it to the next step because he gave them inspiration. He is an Idol, he deserved to win!!! Yes, he has emotions, something obviously many of you who commented don’t have. I would take him anytime to someone like Haley who has none.

      • Monster

        James was a good singer than Haley or Lauren. Its disgusting that he was booted out.

      • Rosie Snow

        Hmm. Very silly to say those things.

      • ibleet

        BLM is a complete and utter insensitive ass. You could not be more wrong! James was and still is head and shoulder above the rest in terms of musical ability. He doesn’t need to win Idol to succeed. Watch and see!

      • Jenjen

        James is autistic, he can not control his emotions just like Susan Boyle who sang “I Dreamed A Dream” on Britain’s Got Talent. She has suffered brain damage at birth. They both share similar symptoms. Don’t worry, James, Susan has sold more than 14 millions albums in 14 months. So I am sure that James will be successful too.

      • Squishmar

        Yeah, Jenjen, because James’ and Susan Boyle’s musical styles are so similar. That is ridiculous. I don’t know about anybody else, but when I’m looking up different genres of music, I never noticed the one that says “Music by People with Brain Disorders.” I’m sorry if this sounds mean, I’m not trying to, but saying James will do fine because Susan Boyle–who you say suffered brain damage at birth–sold 14 million albums is absurd. Hey, here’s a novel concept… how about we listen to the MUSIC and the VOCAL TALENT and decide based on that? Too out there?

      • holly

        ok so i have been reading all these great comments some i agree with and some not so much but to cut down someone about their ears is beyond pathetic. what you need is some class. these idol stars are giving everything they have to make their dream come true and everyone is judging them. they have different styles james being my favorite by far but i have a 9 to 5 job so who am i to put any of them down i cant do what they do can all of you?

    • Lana

      Thank you Xena. You echo my thoughts exactly. Randy and JLO should take part of the blame because they told him he was great (even when he wasn’t) and didn’t allow him to really grow. He was good, but he could’ve been even better.

    • Lee

      You couldn’t be more right.These judges are worthless.Bring back Simon!!!!

    • Anne

      I think that Steven Tyler and JLo are okay judges but they are huge self promoters plugging new videos and books that suddenly are number one. This show is all about discovering NEW talent and James has an abundance of talent. I would like to see others try and hit the notes he did which in my opinion weren’t screams. His voice is really good and original which is what fans liked about him. I feel a huge let down with Idol this year. James deserved this and I for one am very disappointed with the voting.

    • victorelo

      Go Hayley ! James wan not all that great.

    • Justin

      James couldn’t have learned to sing better and cleared up his pitch issues in time for the finale. They did him a favor by not criticizing him and making him seem better than he was. He stayed on longer than he would have otherwise.

  • Jeff

    I agree with Xena– I kept thinking he was gonna get the axe because they weren’t bringing him back to reality– the more over-the-top he got, the more sick of him people became. If Simon had been there, he would have won– Simon would have told him he was too indulgent weeks ago.

    • J

      Last Week’s performance wasn’t as good as previous weeks, but this week he was Really Good. He’s worked SOOO Hard and has put in so Much of his Heart into his Singing. People don’t realize that when he sings he sings for his Wife and Son, which is such a beautiful thing to hear. I had a lot of fun listening to him. He shouldn’t have been voted off—
      Good Bye American Idol, I’m not watching the show anymore. Next Season I’ll be watching The X-Factor US, and hope it’s much more fair, and much much better than Idol— James Durbin & Casy fans Let’s all follow the Judges and switch to X-Factor lol.

      • MickeyW

        Dear J American Idol doesn’t give do-do about your discontent. James needed a reality check and so do you. 72 million VOTES (not viewers which there had to have been tons more) and you think they are goign to miss you watching the show. Hahaha that’s too funny. James will be fine for a long time, you will be stuck in your double wide watching a 2nd grade reality show.

      • Fingerlakes Dave

        MickeyW:
        There are less viewers that votes EVERY week. Idol only pulls about 21.6 mil viewers. EW posts those numbers most weeks.

      • Angela Helfrich

        I agree absolutely. I’m sick of the disappointments with idol results. Jame’s facebook page has over 102,000 people that like him and lauren has 45,000, but she’s still there? She’s so afraid to hit the high notes that I’ve felt real disappointment with several of her performances. And Hailey’s music choices are no where near as popular as the songs that James chooses but she’s still there. What’s wrong with this picture. So long IDOL I doubt that anything on this show is real!!!!!!!!! I should have known better than to watch it again after what happened to Daughtry. But because I have members of my close family that suffer from autism I felt I owed it to James to support him. IDOL is a BUST.

      • ginny

        J
        I’m so with you-
        I was sick last night
        I felt James had it in the bag, Haley should have went last night-
        I’m not planning to watch it for the finale
        I waiting now for the X-factor
        Miss Simon-
        He would of helped James along
        Steven Tyler, has been too nice, and not critical enough

      • sue

        I think one of the main things James showed was versatility. He sang both high energy and slow intimate. Most of the others didn’t do that. I have been so sick of Haley as well. Every song she sings is the same. She sings every song with a seductive way about it with growling… I can’t take it anymoe. Talk about jusdges not bein trithful to the ones they like. Stephen loved Haley and didn’t say really anything but positive to her even when the other two did. James I hope you go far. I have no reason to watch the last 3 now.

  • ST

    I don’t think we’re going to see much from James. He was pretty good but off key quite a bit and screechy at times. He might have a chance if he does the band like Daughtry BUT Chris Daughtry was a superior singer (imo). It wasn’t THAT big of a shock that James went home last night. His performances were a bit too indulgent of late. And his comment last night about “doing things on this stage that no one’s ever done before” kind of backed that up. Has anyone brought a marching band out? No, but anyone could and that wasn’t really YOUR talent, it was an idea. Granted, it does help for you to have a vision for what you want to do but I just can’t see his style of music (heavy metal, since he seems to do that quite a bit) getting a lot of radio time. Best of luck James, but it was your time to go.

    • Julee

      This season of AI is over as far as who wins now, I wanted it to be James, now that “title” is out for him Lauren because Scotty doesn’t need it, Lauren is the most improved, and Haley is too self centered and annoying, and doesn’t deserve it. I hope James will form a band, we’ve all lost by not seeing James get his deserved televised AI hometown welcome, and go to the finals. I just don’t care about the predictable rest.

      • Lou

        James can perform and sing anything
        he should be the winner of this competition. Julee is right..my
        feelings are the same.

      • MickeyW

        Well said Julee. I was very surprised Lauren did not get the boot. She seems the weakest. Haley does get on my nerves btu Scotty is a prince and prize. Of course it will never surprise if he doesn’t win, despite how much better qualitfied he is over the remaining 2, b/c the voters are amateurs and go, unfortuanely, go on emotions.

      • Jen

        James was just being James!! He was AMAZING!!! I really wanted to see him perform with Steven Tyler in the end – maybe they still will – who knows! I cannnnnnooootttt stand Haley! When she “dances” or tries to – she reminds me of the episode of Seinfeld when Elaine was doing her dance – not good! She tries to act all seductively but wasn’t working!! Should have left when she was making out with the microphone and got lipstick all over her face!! Laughed my backside off!!! GO JAMES GO!!! You continue to overcome the odds and you will go far! God Bless!

      • Nicholle

        Finally…people I can agree with! I really thought James had the most overall talent, and should have won the whole thing. Can’t stand Haley’s bad attitude and her pathetic attempt at a “sexy growl”. By the way, did anyone else see that she was on that “vote for the worst” website?Lauren is getting better (finally), but is so unsure of herself. Scotty will likely get a contract in the country biz no matter the results of AI. I hope James is successful, and maybe this was a blessing in disguise since he will be free of an AI contract w/too many restrictions. It’s just too bad he didn’t get the hometown welcome; he deserves it. I hope Steven Tyler still performs w/him on the finale!!!

      • Leslie

        Who the heck are any of you to decide that Haley is self centered or has a bad attitude—and that growl is what people who appreciate music love about her! I’m so sick of you judgemental idiots deciding who these idols are without knowing a darn thing about them. For the record, Haley is known by the other Idols as being sweet and kind. I love James, heck I like all 4 of them–but I don’t need to bring down one to bring up another—they are all good, talented people–can you say the same about you???

      • ninna

        I totally agree. I really wanted James to win the whole thing. I think the judges are just awful. Since Simon left, no one really gives a proper review. They are all so nice and don’t really help anyone review a proper critique. James is the most talented. Next in line is Lauren. And don’t even get me started on Haley. She is so arrogant and only thinks of herself. That growl of hers is really getting on my nerves!

      • Jess

        all you people who are busy dissing Haley – can’t you let off on it for one minute and just discuss James for himself without trying to drag someone else into it? If you are blaming Haley for James’ elimination, perhaps you should blame America instead since they are the ones who voted. Or you should blame the judges for failing to provide constructive criticism to help James recognize his weaknesses and improve. And if you are going to scream ‘noooo James had no weaknesses – he’s perfect’ then really just calm down, take a breath and be realistic. No one is perfect, no performer is perfect and everyone has something to learn and improve upon.

      • Justin

        James got his undeserved hometown welcome sponsored by AI which was supposed to be reserved for the top three only. James stayed on longer because the judges pimped him. He couldn’t have learned to sing in tune by the finals even if they told him he had to.

    • Doreen

      I absolutely agree with your comment – He was off key quite a few times. I feel the judges led him to believe he was better than what we saw putting in his head that he had the best chance of all 4 left to make it. Here you have 3 famous judges giving you great compliments about each performance, wouldn’t you?

      • 6185jp

        Is this blog about James being voted off AI, or is it to diss Haley Reinhart? It sounds like a bunch of kindergarten kids throwing tantrums about not getting their way, GET OVER IT ALREADY!!

    • DC

      Great comments. I do think the judges have to take the bulk of the blame for letting James get so indulgent. I also think that James may lack a certain emotional maturity to have been able to be aware that he needed to pull back on all the bells and whistles and focus on his singing.
      I don’t expect he’ll have a success anywhere near Chris Daughtry’s. Chris was in a much stronger place artisically when he was on idol and viewers recognised that.

    • mama

      Agree with you. He’ll sell about as many records as Lee DeWyze.

    • izzy

      pls pls pls i will nver watch american idol never again if haley still be standing there …………i love to watch voice pls all american idol fans since they eliminated james and haley still there ………..no choice

    • jp

      You are an idiot dude. He can hit 3 octaves!!!! Just like Axl Rose.
      Randy told him he proved he can sing!!! GOD YOU ARE AN IDIOT

      • Sam

        Maybe he can hit three octives, but the fact is he was sharp a good deal of the time. AI is a vocal competition, not a dance or showman competition. The judges did James no favor by praising him when he needed constructive criticism to help him improve. Music industry is very tough, I am not sure James can emotionally handle it. I really liked him in the beginning, but he never improved he just covered up his bad vocals with smoke and mirrors.

    • Amy

      I actually prefer James to Chris, but that’s partly because I like his style more. Also, looking back, I don’t actually think Chris was that great while on AI. He had a couple really good performances, but I think there’s a reason he didn’t win. Still, it’s good that he’s been so successful, and I hope James has that same kind of success, albeit in a different subgenre.

    • holly

      it was not h time for james to go. he had very few pitch issues which is why the judges never said anything. james is the real thing he is himself with the most talent in idol history and he gave it all he had. he will be a star are any of you

  • richard yanick

    You know with James Autism, he compensates with vision. We saw that with the Muse song. The best thing he can do is form a band. Can you imagine the stage setting and the show. Maybe Ozzfest next year? Ozzy you listening? James? Please form a band. I will personally see you (You have to come to Pittsburgh though) In my mind he won idol. I don’t even want to watch the top 3 (don’t care) Haley is great. But with that terrible screaming performance, she did not touch James.. Period.

    • Slowhand081860

      Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The harder style rock is my favorite music genre, but James is exactly who I thought should leave this week. Haley received criticism for her MJ song and James praise for his Journey cover. In my opinion Haley’s performance was so much better than James it wasn’t even close.

    • lou davis

      I agree with the above 3 comments. I was so disappointed that James was voted off, but see and do agree with the reviewers….!Haley is a screamer, and I don’t care to watch the finals….soooo sad. love you James good luck and I am a senior citizen with 7 grandchildren. How about that!!! Still enjoy the talented kids.

      • Angela Helfrich

        HERE,HERE Lou. Three generations of my family have been watching James ride on the AI railroad. My mother, myself and my daughter. Both my mother and my daughter were so upset last night there was no consoling them. Age doesn’t matter to James, he had something that appealed to everyone. Show me one singer that is NEVER pitchy and I bet they’ll be another Millie Vanillie lipsinger… “Girl you know it’s true..true..true..true..true..” Good olde AI railroaded James Durban the same way the did Daughtry and it’s all about the money. Enraged fans will be waiting in line to buy James’s CD and concert tickets just to spite AI results. HMMMMMmm could this have been the plan all along?

      • CM

        Am I the only one that finds it ironic that everyone that doesn’t like Haley resorts to calling her names and says that she is a screamer? While I like James very much, the fact is he spent most of his time time screaming. Why is this acceptable for one contestant but not another? I think there is a lot of females being overly hard on Haley when in fact, James spent far more time screaming into the mic than any other contestant. And calling someone you don’t know ignorant, rude, obnoxious, and pretending to know all their inner thoughts only makes you look silly.

    • Michelle

      I think he will form a band,he is that good,and he was the only idol that brought the stage to life with all the cool things he did.And I will for sure go see him in concert,in my book he is good and whats better than Rock N Roll,lets face it guys Rock N Roll will never die,hell who can take a Elvis song and turn it into a mondern rock song,thats talent….

      • 6185jp

        This is in response to CM. I agree with everything you said, you are right on the money, but they’re not listening, they’re too busy crying like little girls.

    • Amber

      TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU 100 %. JAMES WAS THE BEST HAD THE MOST TALENT AND WITH HIS HANDICAPS TO COME UP WITH THE IDEAS THAT HE DID WAS GENIUS HE WAS ABSOLUTELY FRICKIN AMAZING. IDOLS LOSS. AMERICA U TOTALLY GOT IT WRONG. HALEY SUCKS WITH HER BAD ATTITUDE

    • Hedy

      What’s with that McCreery guy? Yahoo! He’s like a young old man. And that song about 911, America and Jesus! Good old conservative America. Gimme a break from the corn. Just why people seem to like him escapes me. He’s so conservative, he was embarrassed by Lady GaGa and she enjoyed it. (He’ll probably win.)

  • Catherine

    I think James was jinxed when Ryan asked for everyone to vote because this is when Daughtry lost. I think James was great and I think he should have won. It should have been down to James and Scotty.

    • tony

      Personally sorry to see James go. Pitch problems, yes occasionally, too much screaming, yes most early on. But you must admit he was not afraid to be different and varied. Scotty; nice guy, appealing and great on the stage but not a good singer. Limited range, little ability to sustain a note. Doesn’t deserve to win. Another “girly” vote. Idol winner? Don’t think so.

      • Annette

        James will sell more music than the three left all put together. I liked James because HE CAN SING!I hope he is proud of how much he has evolved since the auditions, and has the confidence to over come the dissapointment of last nights vote off.Im no longer a AI fan. I am a James fan !!Forever!

      • Squishmar

        Well, Annette, then you should be more of an AI fan… because Idol is the venue that allowed you to become aware of James. More than 20 million people know the name “James Durbin” because American Idol (and yes, those “awful judges”) brought him to our living rooms for several months. You should be thanking American Idol, otherwise, it is highly likely you never would have heard of James Durbin.

    • Casawoods

      OMG…James is the best of all those other contestants..I am done with Amer. Idol. I don’t care who wins now….James had such a vision of what he wanted to do, the others were just Robots….I guess Im going back to watching the VOICE…

  • Ellen

    I totally agree with Xena and Jeff. He was lost in a dream and he was fueled by the comments of JLo and Randy. He was not able to keep his emotions in check and when he was overcome by his emotions, his voice shut down as Jimmy said and he was not credible. Obviously he has overcome some extreme obstacles in his life already and I hope that he is able to get and take some good advice. I watched as Jimmy was trying to advise him and he really does think he (James) knows better than the experts. He should have watched Haley more because she certainly took the criticisms and was able to come back stronger or at least not let her emotions destroy her performance. I hope to see extraordinary things in the next two weeks. This should be a battle because even given the youth that is remaining, I think they all will fight for the win. Good luck to the three remaining contestants.

    • christina

      James entertained me even though Im not so keen of rock style music or performer yet he made me waiting for him at every idol performance till now I give up, and why are we talking about pitcy when Haley goes all the way out of pitch throughout all her songs by her foxy growls and looks , an artist entertains and keeps you wanting more and thats is where none of the 3 can compete with James

  • DW

    As soon as I heard 70 million votes I knew James was gone. Metal will drive folks to the phones, but apple pie, God and County will. It is done, Scotty will win.

    • Pat B

      Not everyone likes country music and that is all Scotty sings.(I think everyone in the south voted for him.) He will be a one hit wonder because he is limited. James should have won! I don’t think I can stand the rest of this season.

      • McFudge

        Uh, not everyone likes rock or metal, either. That hardly makes one genre more legitimate than another.

      • kayk

        I live in the South. I voted for Haley.

      • Hedy

        I agree about Scotty. Everything he sings sounds the same. It’s like listening to a young man acting like a little ole guy. Hokey.

    • cia

      amen.

    • Angela Helfrich

      If you’ll recall the only reason Scotty got to the top 24 was because he could sing Josh Turners song just like Josh Turner. But don’t we already have a Josh Turner? Do we really need another one? Let’s ask Josh how he feels about the compatition.. How many times did Scotty get through the tough stuff with “Long Black Train?”. James sang country with Scotty last night and he could deliver that country twang just as good. He also sang Muse and that’s not metal that’s alternative. When he sang Journey I was worried about the high notes, but as soon as he sang the word “anywhere” I could tell he was putting some of that James style on it and it would be great. Love Potion No. 9 isn’t metal but he sure hit that one out of the park too. Considering that 1 of every 150 children born today are diagnosed with some form of Autism and 1 in 36 people today already have a family member with it. He should have gotten alot more support than the country boys from down south. So america if you love Scotty so much because of his singing go buy a Josh Turner CD and forget IDOL it’s not worth watching.

      • Amber

        AMEN. TOTALLY AGREE JAMES WAS THE BEST HE SHOULD HAVE WON. HE WAS THE TOTAL PACKAGE

      • Squishmar

        So, Angela, you are saying James should have won because he has a form of autism? Give me a break. I loved James… but I loved him for his performances and his voice. His disabilities never entered into it.

      • Margaret Blatner

        James should be in it until the end because he was the best entertainer, with the best voice. The best song choices. My husband and I never watched Idol before this season; I watched because of Steven Tyler and Jennifer….and was amazed at the talent in James and in Scotty. The two girls left standing (and really, are thy better than PIA??)are mediocre and bad (you can guess who is who). I love Scotty, though I don’t love country. I was so sure it would come down to James and Scotty, and either way, I would figure the best survived. I loved watching the performance shows. Now, I’m thinking I won’t watch anymore. To listen to Lauren and Haley…naw…a Dixie Chick and a nobody who screams a Michael Jackson song. Scotty is always worth a listen, but I can’t sit through any more performances by the two girls. Specially the obnoxious one….(not you Lauren). And sitting through the whole show to hear Scotty sing, is just too much time, as much as I love Steven Tyler. So, first and last time for me as a fan of AI. Yes, it’s America’s vote, but I don’t get it. Who would put Paul, Pia, and now James out without getting rid of the worst? James HAS a future in the biz….I will buy his first CD…. I hope he forms a band, he’s good with the other musicians. I will buy Scotty’s CD. I guess I do have to thank AI for introducing me to Paul (gone too soon), and to Scotty, and finally, to our favorite, James.

  • cibi21

    He should have won, America got it wrong again!

    • Diana

      America gets it wrong every single year!! My fav is still Adam Lambert!

  • sr

    James should of definately won. I am a HUGE fan of him so I hope he does take his talents and make something out of it because i would sure see him. Ive never liked Metal and he made it sound incredible… His voice is incredible.

  • Kathy

    The true rocker never wins and James was without a doubt a rocker. Its always about the “pop” singer. I quit watching when Daughtry lost and only started watching again last year. I like James because his story was genuine and he was likable. Anyone that voted for James needs to give that vote to anyone but Haley!

    • CAM

      YES! ANYONE but Haley!

    • Nikkie

      Right on, Kathy! ~0;-D

      • 6185jp

        Once again, jealous females acting just like jealous females, clawing at Haley because she’s fine and talented!

    • Angela Helfrich

      Absolutely Kathy, unfortunately for American Idol I’ll be giving my vote to the X-factor or The Voice. This whole thing stinks just like what they did to Daughtry. There was no way in HELL that Taylor Hicks was a better ANYTHING than Chris Daughtry. I mean come on… he made one album, nobody bought it and he beat Chris Daughtry with three platnum albums and who knows how many top ten hits. It’s rigged or wrong there can be no other explanation in my mind.

    • Amber

      HALEY SUCKS. IF I EVEN WATCH IT WHICH I DOUBT I AM SO FRICKIN MAD I WOULD VOTE FOR LAUREN

      • JMB in FL

        AMBER I CAN’T UNDERSTAND YOU BECAUSE YOU ARE SCREAMING. TRY TURNING OFF THE CAPS LOCK KEY. Kthx, bye.

    • Amy

      I don’t vote, but if I did, I’d now be voting for Haley. I’d hate to see Scotty or Lauren win because neither of them were ever particularly impressive. I’m not even a huge Haley fan, but she’s improved a lot over the past few weeks, and she’s had her share of standout performances, which I can’t say for Scotty or Lauren.

    • tatyana

      You are pathetic! Just saying.

      • tatyana

        Sorry! It was meant for @Amber!

  • Catherine

    I agree with Jeff. When the judges don’t keep the contestants down to earth and let them know that they need to think that they can go home if they don’t bring more to the game, they will go home. I believe that America will vote for the underdog or whoever gets the most critism from the judges.

  • Steven

    James being voted off was not much of a surprise to me. I hope he is not a one trick pony. Yes he is a talented singer and yes he will line up a music deal.

    What has angered me is that Haley is still on the show. She is not of the same caliber as the other singers and should not be where she is today. I would like to see Lauren win it because she is versatile but will most likely be in Nashville with Scotty (you are also a great singer but not that versatile)

    • IdolFan44

      Why is Haley presence on the show ANGER you? Everyone has different tastes. I personally LOVE Haley and think she way better than James every was, but that is MY opinion just as you have yours. To say you were ANGERED by her still being on the show seems to be a strange feeling to have. The judges have critized her since day one of this competition and she has taken their advice and used it, James on the other hand has been “crowned the winner” since day one and was not given any chance to improve and desperately needed some critiqing. The judges did him no favors. But…as I said, my opinion. Different tastes for all.

      • Squishmar

        Totally agree, IdolFan44. I don’t get the backlash against Haley for James’ ouster. He made it to the top 4! One of the non-country people had to go. The judges are to blame for it being him. I loved James, but I do think Haley has the better voice. I just re-watched the “Now and Then” show. She had the best two songs. And I’m not a Scotty fan, but his first was great. I even liked James on both of his (although he did get pitchy… he was still good).

        Bottom line: I don’t want an all-country finale. Haley vs. Scotty or Lauren. All James fans need to rally behind Haley to make this so or we will have the most boring finale in the history of AI.

      • Amy

        I agree, Squishmar. I’m sad that the backlash has been against Haley, not Scotty or Lauren as I would have expected. I know they have their fans, but I really, really don’t want to have an all-country finale.

      • Olivia

        I agree that Haley has improved the most and has given knock-out performances. She can ACT as well as sing, and I believe her in her strongest songs (“House of the Rising Sun,” “I Who Have Nothing,” and “Benny and the Jets”). For those who pick on her “bad attitude,” another article in this same EW site said she “quietly cried” after James was eliminated. This process is hard on them all. Haley has gumption, drive, and versatility. The bluesy, husky sound in her voice can take her a long way.

  • Frank

    I am with J-Lo in that James can sing anything. To compromise a bit and go more mainstream or to focus on what he perceives as his ‘niche’ is the decision he has to make. Personally.. I hope he opts to compromise a bit ..his rendition of ‘Will you still love me’ was concert level goodness. At this level of competition, there are no losers up there and haven’t been for several weeks.. IMHO.

    • Laurie

      I agree Frank! If James Durbin puts out singles on par with his rendition of Will You Still Love Me (and While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Maybe I’m Amazed) he is on his way to super stardom. Just enough of the high caliber wails, but toned back enough that you can hear his incredible voice.

      • Fingerlakes Dave

        He has to learn to control his instrument, and give it full throttle on tour!

  • nnyabeez

    Durbin was not eliminated because of his singing. He was eliminated because the last couple of times he needed to pick better songs (come on, Love Potion Number Nine) and because of his over-theatricality. He has been crying a lot on stage. The last couple of times it looked fake like he was trying his hardest to squeeze a tear out. Seeing a someone cry once is touching. Seeing a someone cry on a constant basis is a turn off–especially when it looks calculated. Lauren is annoying for that too but she can get away with it more with a lot of people because she is female. Personally, I hate it in either men or women but a lot of people hate it more with men. I’d like to see her go. I’m sick of seeing her pity me face and tears shining in her big, dumb cow eyes.

    Rock isn’t dead, but glam 80’s rock is. He needed to occasionally choose some modern rock or southern rock and cut out some of the crying. Like somebody else said, he was coming off as self-indulgent. James was my favorite but all the crying was making me not like him.

    • Carol Cook

      You are cold and sick! Glad you are not in my life! WOW.

    • Petra

      I like each performer who made it to Top 4 over 100,000 auditioners.
      Durbs lost because:

      1. He had two pretty bad weeks.
      2. Lauren Alaina saved herself with a fine performance of her 1st song.
      3. And Haley saved herself by storming back and killing “I who have nothing” and did it right after Randy and J-lo went over the top in savaging her.
      4. Song selection. “Love potion #9″ was pure indulgent corn. And if you are going to do “Don’t Stop Believing” – one of the most played and used songs ever (See Sopranos Final) – you better do it in a style that doesn’t set you up right against Steve Perry. Durbs didn;t and came across as just a really weak Steve Perry on a song no one needed to find and play to check him against.
      5. Scotty was a lock for Top 3. He loses only if Lauren, Haley, or James if he survived – show themselves demonstrably, possibly even vastly superior to Scotty.

      All said though, Durbs will be a Tour highlight. I always tuned in to see what Haley or James would do next after Elton John Night. All credit to him for going out and doing such a marvellous effort with his handicap. He his friends and family have to be darn proud of his success. Already a winner.

      • Squishmar

        Totally agree with you Petra (as I often do). I read your post without realizing it was yours. Now, if the James fans would just rally behind Haley instead of blaming her for his ouster, we might have an interesting finale. Haley has to be in it, though.

  • Rider

    too much scream not enough sing….simple.

    • IdolFan44

      agreed!

    • Dani

      You americans are insane… just go and make Scotty or Lauren win, but they are kids that sing good, nothing more…
      Scotty (Lauren) as AMERICAN IDOL… well…just in USA

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