'American Idol' ousts James Durbin and determines Top 3 finalists
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/13/2011
American Idol eliminated James Durbin and determined its Top 3 tenth-season finalists during Thursday night's live results show broadcast on Fox.
Durbin, a 22-year-old from Santa Cruz, CA, became the tenth finalist -- and fifth male finalist -- sent home from American Idol's tenth season after he received the fewest home viewer votes following Wednesday night's performance show, which featured the Top 4 finalists each performing one song that inspired them and one track from the Leiber and Stoller collection.
"Man, I worked so damn hard to get here and I was really hoping to get there, but I had a feeling today. And God, I did so much stuff that's never been done on the show before and so much stuff that... In my eyes, and my mind and what I believe is that I did what I came here to do, and that was to give metal a chance and just bring it 110% percent every week," Durbin told American Idol host Ryan Seacrest when asked how he felt after his elimination was announced.
"People say I get my musical talent from my dad. Well, I'll never know. I was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome and high-functioning autism. I always got made fun of and beat up, and I was just lost. In the middle of it all, I met an angel. Heidi's just changed my life so much," Durbin added during a video montage that followed his ouster.
"There's not a moment that goes by in this whole experience that I'm not thinking of Heidi and [my son] Hunter. I'm out here to make a better life for my family. Give metal a chance America! Give metal a chance! It's all for my family and I've already made it this far. So for me, I've already won. I'll see you next time!"
Scotty McCreery, a 17-year-old from Garner, NC, was the other finalist still in danger of elimination when Seacrest announced Durbin's elimination, but was not necessarily the week's second lowest vote-getter.
Durbin -- who was one of the 10 finalists voted into the season's Top 13 finalists by home viewers -- had received excellent feedback from Idol judges Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson following his performances of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" and The Searchers' "Love Potion No. 9" on Wednesday's show.
All the judges agreed Durbin nailed his rendition of Journey's single "Don't Stop Believin'" and proved once again he was quite the talented powerhouse performer.
"It's so great to kind of listen to you and then to hear you go into your upper register, and me and Randy always wait for the vibrato at the end and if you're really going to pull it out. It's amazing. Everybody can't do that. It's a really, really great job -- great song, great job, great performance," Lopez told Durbin.
"Like they say in the Olympics, the highest degree of difficulty -- I don't know what else is going to go on tonight, but that was the highest degree of difficulty and you did it!" Jackson said.
Durbin closed out Wednesday night's performance show with "Love Potion #9" and impressed the judges with his consistency and natural ability to transform any song and make it his own.
"You can sing anything. I wasn't sure about that song for you... but you just told me that I was absolutely wrong. You did. You take any song and you put that 'James thing' on it, and it was a really, really great performance. Everybody agrees," Lopez told Durbin.
"You slay the Journey song earlier and did my band proud -- amazing -- you come out and take a song, it doesn't matter what song it is by the way -- you are now what I love about sports. You're doing the same thing here with music on the show. You're peaking at the right time, dude. You're having a moment every single week and I love it! And that was hot too!" Jackson added.
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"My, my, my, my my. Where you come from and where you are now man, it's incredible. Your voice, it just goes to show what you can't do with your voice, you did tonight. Beautiful thing, man," Tyler explained.