"American Idol": As Haley Reinhart fumes, "Idol" shows its skirts

Haley Reinhart performs after she is eliminated on "American Idol," May 19, 2011.
Haley Reinhart performs after she is eliminated on "American Idol," May 19, 2011.

(CBS) Here's the most exciting part of last night's "American Idol" results show: Jennifer Lopez wore some very fetching shorts.

Here's the second most exciting part: Haley Reinhart was madder than a vicar at an atheist's stripper joint at being told that she would not be in the final.

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Viewers knew from the beginning of the show that Reinhart would be the one to go. The departure of Lauren Alaina and, especially, Scotty McCreery would have deserved the word "shock".

This word did not emerge from Ryan Seacrest's never-puckered lips, as he tried to overexcite the baying masses.

If it had, we might have enjoyed a little natural tension. Instead, we had a long ad for a new J.J. Abrams movie called "Super 8". However, one of the stars of this movie, Elle Fanning, inadvertently revealed the true reality of what this most famous of reality shows has become.

She explained that her cousin had picked her favorite from the very beginning. Her cousin's favorite is Scotty McCreery. Her cousin is 6 years old.

As the years have gone on, more 6-year-olds have enjoyed the pleasures of cell phones and laptops. Which means that more 6-year-olds are capable of sitting there and voting 20 times for pretty boys with smiles, even if they really look a touch like George W. Bush and sing not so much like George Strait.

Before the decision - based supposedly on 95 million votes (from 5 million 6-year-olds?) - was announced, we had to endure emotive footage from the three contestants' hometown visits.

We learned that not too many people seemed to turn out for Haley Reinhart. We learned that Scotty McCreery doesn't have a bed big enough for groupies. We learned that Lauren Alaina can pitch a ball well over the catcher's head.

The subject of the results reared its ugly head in the 49th minute of the show. Immediately, Seacrest announced that he would announce the results after the break.

Naturally, as soon as a little more product had been sold, McCreery was told he would be exciting children for yet another week. It was highly noticeable how much less warmly he hugged Reinhart than he hugged Alaina.

Then Alaina herself was told it would, indeed, be an all-country final.

Reinhart's face was a picture of unadulterated, unedited, unmitigated anger. She couldn't believe it. She couldn't believe that "American Idol" represented such a limited view not only of idolatry, but of America.

It looked as if, had she been in possession of a long, sharp object, she would have happily used to it skewer those she felt to be responsible. She recovered her composure a few seconds later in order to deliver the appropriate platitudes.

However, she also managed to deliver a rendition of "Benny and the Jets" that was far too adult, far too sophisticated, far too contemporary for a show that has come to represent little more than the rump of American music.

The final will be between two teens - Alaina and McCreery. The former is a genuinely talented - and genuine - singer. The latter is a one-boy boy band who will likely contribute little or nothing to the annals of music.

Surely now there will be many - especially those with a sense of taste and humor - who will be looking forward to the return of Simon Cowell and the rather more critical eye he will no doubt offer in his new show, "The X Factor."

One can only imagine what he might have made of McCreery.

  • Chris Matyszczyk

    Chris has been a multi award-winning executive creative director with some of the most celebrated advertising agencies in the world. His creative work has been recognized at the Cannes Advertising Festival, the New York Festivals, Clio, the One Show, as well as many other festivals around the world. His writing has appeared in such publications as the Financial Times, the European, the Sacramento Bee and The Singapore Press Holdings Group.

    He currently advises major global companies about content creation and marketing, through his company Howard Raucous LLC.

    He brings an irreverent, sarcastic, and sometimes ironic voice to the tech world.