Michael Sarver Leaves Idol
The voting public agreed with Simon's assessment, and sent Michael home at the end of Thursday's elimination show. Michael sang a reprise of "Ain't Too Proud to Beg," but by that point there was nothing really at stake -- this wasn't Alexis Grace. Probably no one apart from friends and family was expecting or praying for a Judges' Save.
The odder development that he was joined in the bottom two by Matt Giraud, a singer who has slowly established himself in the eyes of the judges as a soulful stylist. Realistically speaking, Matt doesn't look like a winner, either, but viewers may have been surprised that he wound up imperiled instead of Megan Joy, who had an unusually dreadful week, or Scott MacIntyre, the other singer to land in the bottom three.
The most encouraging news was that Allison Iraheta avoided being summoned to sit on one of those uncomfortable barstools of doom this week. Kara's plea to America to keep her in the competition seemed to pay off.
The hour's suspense was teased out with high-profile musical interruptions: Ruben Studdard introduced a new song called "Together," Joss Stone and Smokey Robinson sang a duet, and -- the highlight -- Stevie Wonder performed a medley of his hits.
However, viewers may have paid closest attention to the week's group performance as there were reports that the contestants lip sync and/or sing along with backing tracks for the ensemble numbers. And, yes, they looked pretty lip sync-y. Not that it matters. -- Tom Gliatto
Tell us: Were you sad to see Michael go? Were you surprised Matt was also in the bottom three? What about Scott? And how far will Megan Joy go?F Micelotta/American Idol 2009/Getty