9:00 p.m. That's a mighty cheesy opening segment, "Idol" producers. With the spinning back-lit heads, fast cutting and gauzy lenses? I guess if you were going for "Xanadu," perhaps you achieved your goal. That's an idea, actually. An entire "American Idol" episode on roller-skates? I'd watch.
9:01 p.m. Oh wait. I'd watch anyway.
9:02 p.m. Alexis Grace and Jason "Clifford the Muppet" Castro sitting together in the audience? I believe that's a rumor we need to embellish in the weeks to come. But first, let's get to the results of the 36 million votes cast last night.
[Results and recap after the break...]
9:03 p.m. Clifford is sitting behind Randy, which means we're going to have to look at him all episode. Meanwhile, Randy discusses poor song choices last night. Kara talks about getting heckled from the audience last night. Paula needs to cover up her frilly, lilac bra. And Simon predicts that Anoop Desai, Matt Giraud and Megan Joy should be worried tonight.
9:04 p.m. Tonight's show is so packed that we're fitting in our weekly Ford commercial, set to "Mixed Up," into the episode's first segment. What does that give me to look forward to in the next 53 minutes?
9:07 p.m. Tonight's Lip-Synched Group Sing is set to Journey's "Don't Stop Believing." It's one thing for them to be lip-synching over-prerecorded tracks, but do those prerecorded vocals have to be so sweetened? It's strange to hear Scott MacIntyre singing in tune (especially when he's facing away from the microphone).
9:10 p.m. I'm just sayin'... the producers of "The Sopranos" didn't owe fans an ending. They owed them a dramatically truthful resolution that encapsulated the ongoing messages of the series. What? Does this song exist on its own merits anymore?
9:11 p.m. I don't get it. Did Simon Cowell just get whacked?
9:13 p.m. The life of the "American Idol" singers is wild. But why are they showing how busy they are using a party that took place a month ago as an example?
9:16 p.m. "He does me better than I do myself." - Danny Gokey on Matt. And no, I won't provide you with context.
9:17 p.m. Yikes. Danny's impression of Matt's Coldplay performance is both accurate and cruel. Ditto with Anoop's impression of Kris Allen's mouth-twisting sincerity. Allison Iraheta's two versions of Danny performances sound like Allison Iraheta performances. She's not versatile.
9:18 p.m. Let's send people to the Stoops of Shame. Ryan instructs Kris, Matt and Megan to stand on one side of the stage. Then he moves Adam Lambert, Lil Rounds and Allison to the middle of the stage. Scott, Danny and Anoop get to stand in a three-person clump as well. None of the clumps seems plausibly like a Bottom Three (Group One is the closest, except for Kris). None of the clumps seems plausibly like a Top Three (Group Two might be the closest).
9:20 p.m. Now what? Commercial time.
9:24 p.m. All I remember about last year's "American Idol" finale is that David Archuleta lost. I occasionally forget that David Cook won, but then he pops up on "Saturday Night Live" or here.
9:28 p.m. We have a surprise for David! It's his platinum record, signifying that his "debut" album has sold a million copies. I seem to recall that when Jordin Sparks performed on "Idol" last year, they gave her a cardboard record signifying that her album had sold 75 copies.
9:34 p.m. Care to explain the clumps, Ryan? Apparently not. Instead, Ryan begins going down the line. Kris is safe and his wife looks relieved. Ryan skips right over Megan and goes to Matt. Ryan tells Matt to take a seat and Matt's lets out a sign and heads to the stools. But no! He's safe. Last week he was good and went to the Bottom Three. This week he stunk and he's safe. Ah, Democracy. It seems that it's one person per group in the Bottom Three? Fair enough.
9:36 p.m. Asked for her reaction to Simon's criticisms from Tuesday, Megan says, "I love you Simon, but I don't care." Maybe she should care. Megan caws her way over to the Bottom Three.
9:37 p.m. Lil is safe. Allison defends her outfit and hair from Tuesday, but she makes her second trip over to the Bottom Three. Adam is safe.
9:39 p.m. Danny's fine. That leaves Scott and Anoop, who both probably deserve Bottom Three treatment. Unfortunately, the math doesn't work that way. Randy says that Anoop has to be in the Bottom Three, because "Scott did his thang." Anoop agrees and even goes so far as to say that after rewatching himself, he understands.
9:47 p.m. Lady GaGa's piano can double as a tanning bed, if don't mind waking up pink. She's got the accountants from Ernst & Young dancing behind her. One of them seems to have punched her and blackened her left eye. You've gotta hand it to Lady GaGa. Her schtick appears to make people very happy.
9:50 p.m. Simon says that only one person in the Bottom Three might be worth saving. Here's a hint, kids... It isn't Anoop and it isn't Megan. Want my opinion? None of them should be saved. But I'm still bitter about Clifford the Muppet's Special Friend.
9:54 p.m. Allison is spared. Megan tells her not to forget to call (or "Caw"?). Megan, knowing she's doomed, makes funny faces as Ryan tries to build up suspense. She's correct, of course. She's done. Megan also tells Anoop not to forget to call (or "Caw"?)
9:56 p.m. Ryan asks Simon if there's going to be any consideration for saving her. He's mighty blunt, replying, "Megan, with the greatest respect, when you said that you don't care, nor do we." Ouch. That's pretty mean, but Megan keeps her smile.
9:58 p.m. Megan thanks the "Idol" staff, the judges and her fellow competitors. Then she tells her two-year-old son that she's coming home.
9:59 p.m. Next week's "Idol" theme is that ever-popular Songs From The Year They Were Born. I look forward to Allison Iraheta making me feel really old.
So, did the right person go home? Yeah, I can't really complain either...