‘American Idol’ Behind The Scenes: James Durbin’s Emotional Goodbye

Proving what millions of viewers already knew, James Durbin left the “American Idol” stage with a lot of heart and love. Everyone in the room felt it.

In what seemed to be the longest goodbye in “Idol” memory, the rocker took the time to hug and thank every single crew member, band member, judge, contestant, production assistant, lighting guy, gaffer, photographer, and even Corey the lovable audience warm-up guy. His final goodbye – which all happened after the show ended – was to the audience,. He blew kisses and bowed down.

As I said, James was all heart and soul and love and naked emotion – and a hard rockin’ class act.

During the montage of his time on “Idol,” James paced the stage in circles, jumped up and down to revive his energy before performing again, and shook his head to regain clarity. At one point, he dropped to one knee onto the stage and then got up with his fist in the air ready to belt out Paul McCartney’s “Maybe I’m Amazed.” With tears in his eyes and his girlfriend Heidi looking on, he delivered a heartfelt rendition of the song that left every person in the audience amazed – and there were no maybes in the joint.

Watch fans ask Jennifer Lopez questions.
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Though the crowd was relatively calm when the hammer came down, their true feelings came out when the cameras stopped. “You belong in the finale!” screamed on guy. “Encore! Encore! Sing another song,” chanted another group of fans. “The finale’s gonna suck now!” blurted another upset fan. My favorite comment? “Daughtry came in fourth!”

Thursday nights are always emotionally rough, and toughest, it seems, on James. Tonight was no different – and perhaps tougher. The emotional singer started wiping his eyes early in the show, but blamed it on getting Heidi’s hair in his eye when dancing with her. The poor guy was twitching nervously in his seat, as is his manner, prior to hearing of his fate at the end.

Here are a few other observations from our seat in Section L, Row 1, Seat 4:

Casey Hearts Haley…A Lot: Casey Abrams cannot contain his love for his girl. Wide-eyed and all smiles, he couldn’t keep his eyes off during that first performance. Did you notice how she gave him a knowing glance? They’re a cute couple.

Lauren’s Confusion: Nerves got the best of Miss Alaina as she nearly ended up in the wrong position onstage just before Ryan Seacrest introduced the show. She stood in the proper place, then thought she was wrong and moved to a different side only to have to scramble back into position a second before the show went live. After another commercial break, Lauren struggled to zip up her jeans before heading back to her safe seat.

What Does Scotty Think?: Scotty showed his feelings about a few of Wednesday’s most talked about moments when they aired them back on the large screens. He threw his hands up in support of Haley Reinhart when she was getting it handed to her by Randy Jackson and Jennifer Lopez. Then when Steven Tyler told him that he made “Lady Gaga’s Yaya Go La-La,” the young country boy threw his hands up as if to say, “What does that mean?”

Steven Tyler’s Sweet Tooth: What does Steven snack on during breaks? Well, the judges don’t usually eat at the table, but Steven had someone feeding him vanilla pudding. By the way, he’s great with the fans in the audience.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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