‘American Idol’ Results: Karen Rodriguez Sent Packing

Karen RodriguezS10E19: Last night’s elimination round was a bit puzzling. Finally, Karen Rodriguez was sent home from American Idol. The bottom three included Rodriguez, Naima Adedapo and Haley Reinhart, but we’ll get to them in a minute. Rodriguez’s elimination was a little strange because while I’ve been expecting it to happen at any moment throughout the competition, the contestants and one of the judges seemed a little surprised that America hadn’t backed the singer. Without saying anything about her faults, at the bare minimum the competition is just too steep. With so many other talented folks who are frankly more unique in their vocals and performances, Karen had little chance of standing out. But as this is a talent competition, I can’t go without saying that the girl is a nice singer, but she seemed lost amongst the others. Her voice just isn’t strong enough and she’s yet to have that “wow” moment (I hate myself a little for using that terribly cheesy phrase) and every other contestant on the show has had one of those. In my mind, that moment is a requirement; it’s the performance that you hold as a standard for each singer and she really never had one. Even her “singing for her life” performance of “Hero” fell flat, granted she was pretty torn up about being put in that situation. Bottom line: the girl is a perfectly lovely, bubbly person, but she’s just not cut out to stay.

One person who would disagree with me is probably Jennifer Lopez. When Randy announced that Karen wouldn’t receive the “save,” he noted that the vote was not unanimous as Lopez hid her face from the camera. This is something I just don’t understand. You use a save for someone like Casey, should he be eliminated for, oh, I don’t know, desecrating a Nirvana song (still adore him!). You don’t use a save for someone who has shown all along that they are not strong enough to be on that stage.

As for Haley, I really don’t understand why she keeps being thrust into the bottom three. She’s got such a voice on her. Yes she’s still learning how to use it, but I would much rather watch her figure out how to use it than watch folks (like James Durbin) who’ve figured out how to use the best parts of their voices, but are still unpleasant to listen to. I get why Naima is down, like I said yesterday, if she doesn’t figure out how to return to the time when she knew how to sing — and boy, could she sing once upon a time — she’s going to end up singing for her “life” on that stage next week.

Here’s Karen’s farewell performance. As a side note: is anyone else bothered by the way they play this schmaltzy video while making us all watch the eliminated singer cry in a picture-in-picture display? Brutal.