Recap: 'American Idol' - Double-Elimination cuts the 'Idol' field to 5
9:02 p.m. Ryan gets moderate cheers for revealing the ongoing "American Idol" commitment to Going Green. He generates far more excitement by telling the crowd that if they wait long enough, David Archuleta will show up.
[Results after the break...]
9:03 p.m. Ryan says that 45 million votes were cast after Tuesday's Disco Night. "It really proves how talented our Top Seven truly are," Ryan says. No, it proves no such thing, Ryan. In fact, it proves nothing, but it's good that we got enough votes to admit the number.
9:03 p.m. Paula Abdul choreographed tonight's Group Lip-Synch, which may have been her most difficult challenge since she taught MC Skat Kat to take two steps forward and two steps back. In that situation, at they still came together, because opposites attract.
9:04 p.m. In the middle of rehearsals, they find time for Matt Giraud to do a product plug for downloadable "Idol" performances. Make them your ringtone.
9:05 p.m. The choreography is certainly the hardest the Top Seven has had to master. At least they don't need to mix dancing and singing, just dancing and half-heartedly moving their lips. Not surprisingly, musical theatre-trained Adam Lambert is the most capable of performing rudimentary moves. And with his bellbottoms, Playoff Beard and big shades, Anoop Desai is the contestant most likely to refuse to tell Starsky and Hutch what they want to know. This wasn't nearly as much fun as the week Nigel Lythgoe choreographed a "So You Think You Can Dance" routine.
9:12 p.m. With the ladies, both of them, still backstage changing, even after the commercial break, Ryan is forced to vamp for 10 seconds before the seguing into a baking-and-construction themed Ford commercial set to "I'm Good, I'm Gone." It's got something to do with how they all work their day jobs and then sing at night?
9:14 p.m. Whew. All seven of our contestants are back in place (turns out Matt was the problem, not the ladies at all) and ready to face their fates. Lil Rounds, probably deserving of elimination for three or four weeks, listens to her criticisms with a look of anger. Ryan tells her to walk to the far side of the stage, but he doesn't tell her she's in the Bottom Three. Ryan praises her courage and raves about her journey and then, without any ado, he tells her she's done.
9:17 p.m. Lil reprises "I'm Every Woman," as I face the reality that DialIdol has ceased to be an even-slightly-reliable predictor of "American Idol" results. Paula asks why Lil didn't sing so well last week. Randy tells her this is just the beginning. And even Simon tells her that he's still a big fan. Nobody asks Kara's opinion, but she shares anyway.
9:20 p.m. Lil's elimination is one huge sigh of relief for the "Idol" judges. As long as Lil and either Matt or Anoop go home tonight, the use of the Judges' Save last night wasn't a huge blunder. If Allison, Adam, Danny or even Kris goes home, they'll have egg on their face.
9:23 p.m. Ryan makes a joke about how the stars of the upcoming disco medley were all popular before any of them were born. Kris Allen gives him a, "Whatever you say, Seacrest" look.
9:25 p.m. Up first is Freda Payne, who looks very well preserved. She sounds horrible, though. Her voice is strained and she's out of breath almost immediately. She has enough air left to introduce Thelma Houston, who got dressed so quickly that her gown is on backwards. This raises the risk of exposure dangerously.
9:28 p.m. Up third is KC, sans Sunshine Band. Anybody have any hunches on where the Sunshine Band is tonight? My guess? bar Mitzvah. KC is trailed by a quarter of backing people. They aren't exactly dancers, because they aren't really dancing. They aren't exactly singers because only two of them have microphones. Mostly, they're there because Solo KC would just be sad. Sorry. I meant to type, "Would just be *sadder*."
9:34 p.m. So what of the other Six? Kris says he totally understood Paula's "shopping in the ladies' department" comment. America agreed. Kris is safe. Adam, recipient of his usual raves on Tuesday, was worried that viewers might not recognize the song. He's still talking when Ryan tells him to sit down and shut up.
9:37 p.m. Danny without glasses is like KC without the Sunshine Band. Ryan quotes "the bloggers" in defending Danny against Simon's criticisms. But what did Twitter say? Danny is also safe. That leaves three contestants in limbo, but are they the Bottom Three? Ryan sends Anoop over to the stool. Does that mean Lil was also in the Bottom Three? I guess so.
9:39 p.m. So it's down to Allison and Matt. Matt praises himself for arranging his song last night and praises his own performance. Matt is safe, putting Allison in the Bottom Three/Two with Anoop. Allison sings "Here It Goes Again" as she walks over to Anoop.
9:41 p.m. If Anoop is eliminated, the judges get to go, "See? It was smart of us to use the Save." If Allison goes home, the look of sadness on Simon's face will just be funny.
9:46 p.m. It's not that I don't love David Archuleta, but I love the Red Sox's Irish green double-header uniforms even more. The young ladies in the mosh pit reaching out for any centimeter of Li'l' Archie's exposed skin might disagree with my preference. The single is more up-tempo and interesting than anything he sang in his ballad-glutted "Idol" run.
9:49 p.m. David runs over and gives Allison a warm hug and Anoop a manly handshake. He admits that even though he was never in their position, he's proof that you don't need to win "Idol" to go on tour with Demi Lovato. Anoop takes his advice to heart.
9:54 p.m. The final results are in. The second person going home tonight is... Anoop.
9:55 p.m. The judges let out a collective sigh of relief.
9:56 p.m. This is probably as far as Anoop had any right to go, but given how sick I am of Matt Giraud's oversinging, this isn't a result that pleases me.
9:57 p.m. Wow. Anoop just can't hit that last note.
9:58 p.m. Farewell to Lil and Anoop. Nobody's really surprised, are they?
Thoughts on the double-elimination? Thoughts on David Archuleta?