The real winners of American Idol are the grown-ups who come to tapings with homemade signs. Tonight, my favorite is a fortyish woman with a giant, pink, faux-fur-trimmed banner that reads “WALK THIS WAY STEVEN T.” I love that she felt it needed to be specific enough to deter just any Steven from walking that way, but she didn’t bring enough cash to Michael’s to spell STEVEN TYLER all the way out. It is delicious, and let’s be honest: It will probably work.
“This is Thursday,” says Ryan, “that means tonight someone will hear the news that might end their Idol journey.” Boy, the writers really don’t have a pithy way to express this now that there’s a judges’ save option. “So let’s hear it: Who did you vote for?” The sound is deafening, but not a single pan of the audience shows even one open mouth. Shenanigans.
Joshua is apparently not feeling well: “I just feel light-headed and my head and everything else is hurting, so when I stand up I kind of black out a little bit.” Great. Do you think they might take this opportunity to be humane and send him to safety early? You are wrong.
Jennifer previews her new video, which she says “has a great message.” That message seems to be: Look at the new guy I’m fucking. Well done, Ms. Lo.
Man, this year’s kids cannot get it up for the Ford Music Videos. They have less to do than ever — pointing and looking amazed seems to be the running theme — and yet they bring zero energy to the proceedings. The producers need to send Justin Guarini in to Alec Baldwin–in-Glengarry-Glen-Ross this situation, stat.
The results will be given in the duet pairings from last night’s show. Jessica and Joshua are up first, and as Ryan brings them to center stage, he deadpans one of the best lines I’ve heard on television this season: “If you’re just joining us, Joshua thinks he might pass out.” Jimmy gives Joshua 10s all around, so he’s apparently not judging lyric comprehension. Ryan: “Joshua, unfortunately you’re not going to be happy ... until you relax on the couches you’re safe!” Ugh. Jessica is safe, too, of course.
And then we are on to a performance by the Wanted, because why shouldn’t we all feel like we’re 300 years old? Okay: I like that they sing with thick British accents. I like that they don’t dance. I like watching the girls go BATSHIT. But I love that “Glad You Came” never quite manages to become a double entendre. It’s 1.5 entendres, maximum. That’s an accomplishment.
We return from commercial break to THE BIGGEST YAWN IN TELEVISION HISTORY. This woman to the left was executed shortly after wrap.
Colton and Skylar are up for evaluation next. Jimmy says Skylar proved herself as a power singer, which I guess I buy. As for Colton: “It’s like sports: you don’t have to be the best team, just the better team on that night, and he wasn’t.” Which makes no sense, but sure. And then before we find out which of those two are in the bottom three, Ryan calls for Deandre and Hollie. Elise buries her head in her hands, because she knows exactly how this is going to turn out: Deandre and Hollie will be in the bottom three, and she will be joining them. Elise cannot hide her feelings very well at all. Let’s all remember to play poker with Elise when this whole thing is over.
Jimmy confirms that Deandre and Hollie weren’t all that great last night. Ryan asks Hollie how she feels about Jimmy’s analysis, and her reply is: “I mean, it’s, I mean, just because it’s amazing and so I mean. So. I mean. I don’t know. You know?” I thank God every day that nobody put me on television when I was Hollie’s age. Anyway, Deandre and Hollie are indeed in the bottom three, and Colton is wearing the top Madonna wore in the “Lucky Star” video.
Idol alumna Kellie Pickler performs her song “Where’s Tammy Wynette When You Need Her,” which is apparently an actual country song and not a parody of one. She has dropped her country-bumpkin affectations, which is nice to see, and now she kind of looks like someone who would compete on the Real World/Road Rules Challenge. She thinks “everyone here is getting a record deal” — by which she means only the contestants, so settle down, Yawn Lady — and she may be right.
Phillip and Elise are last up. You know, some commenters have wondered why I haven’t mentioned his health, while others pointed out that he recently had a urethral stent inserted, so you’re kind of answering your own question there. Let us never speak of it again. Jimmy hits the nail on the head here: Elise had “a good, old-fashioned choke,” and Phillip did fine last night but won’t improve if the judges keep blowing sunshine up his urethral stent. Elise is in the bottom three. Can we vote out one of the judges instead?
Hollie is sent back to the couches, leaving Deandre and Elise as the bottom two. Do the judges agree? Randy: “I feel like one person yes and one person no.” Will he say who is who? He will not. And singing for survival will be ... DEANDRE. He chooses “Master Blaster” as his Save Me Song, which is a terrible idea. It’s not going to work, and he knows it, and we know he knows it because he ties his hair back into a scrunchie; Deandre has mood hair.
Jennifer says she’d like to save him, but she was voted down by the other two, except I thought the Judges’ Save had to be unanimous, but it doesn’t matter anyway because he’s out. But it’s okay; it was his time, and his future in shampoo commercials is assured.