There wasn't much doubt which "Idol" contestant would be my Iron-Clad Lock To Not Be Eliminated This Week pick for this recap's image. Jessica Sanchez isn't going anywhere and probably not for a long, long, long time. If "Idol" could get an ethnically intriguing teenage girl to end the show's White Guys With Guitars winning streak, there would be great behind-the-scenes joy.
But we're a long way from worrying about this season's winner. In fact, we're a solid hour from meeting the season's first loser, so click through for the full recap...
8:01 p.m. ET I still don't like this "For one week only, The Judges Decide" twist. If I wanted to watch a singing competition show in which the judges make arbitrary decisions and override the preferences of the viewers, I'd watch "The X Factor" and "The Voice." I like "Idol" because, with the exception of The Judges Save, all decisions are made by America and the judges are as useless and powerful on Thursday as they are on Wednesday.
8:02 p.m. HELLO J-LO.
8:03 p.m. Time for our first Lip-Synched Group Sing. Ugh. I'm still waiting for somebody, be it the judges or be it the contestant himself, to admit that this DeAndre Brackensick thing is a joke.
8:06 p.m. Phil-Phil is alive! Thank heavens. Of course, without his guitar, Phil-Phil's natural singing posture resembles a man doubled over in pain, so it's impossible to know if he's lip-synching or passing a kidney stone. In any case, I only send good thoughts to Phil-Phil. Kidney stones hurt even more than relistening to Shannon Magrane's performance from Wednesday.
8:10 p.m. Jennifer Lopez is looking attractive tonight.
8:10 p.m. The season's first Ford Commercial is set to "Big Time" and finds our contestants walking through Los Angeles as giants, which is very unusual for Jessica Sanchez and Hollie Cavanagh, but pretty old hat for Jermaine Jones and Shannon Magrane.
8:11 p.m. We're building two different Bottom Threes? This is ridiculous.
8:12 p.m. Jessica, Hollie and Elise Testone are the first three women called to center stage. Jimmy Iovine watched the performances four times last night. That's a lot. He thinks that Elise didn't rise to the Whitney challenge and that she may be in trouble. Jimmy says that Hollie "suited up and showed up." Jimmy calls Jessica's performance the best he's EVER seen on "American Idol," but he worries that she may become over-confident? That's absurd.
8:15 p.m. Not surprisingly, Jessica is safe. Also not surprisingly? Elise is in the Bottom Three for the girls, so she heads off to The Stools of Shame, while Hollie heads off to predictable safety.
8:16 p.m. Heejun Han, Colton Dixon and Jermaine Jones are down next. Jimmy thinks that Stevie Wonder is not what Heejun does best and says they're going to have to work a lot with him. Jimmy thought Colton took good direction, but he fears Colton hasn't found His Truth yet. Jimmy thinks Jermaine lost his internal battle between tuning and feeling or something. Jimmy also thinks Armani won't make a suit for somebody as big as Jermaine.
8:16 p.m. "Colton, America did not like what they saw... they loved it," Ryan teases. Colton is safe. Heejun is safe as well, which sends Jermaine off to The Stools of Shame, where he can stew over all of the slights he's gotten from various judges and mentors. Jermaine looks really grumpy.
8:24 p.m. J-Lo plugs "Q'Viva." But she takes too long to come up with her praise and Ryan has to smoothly cut her off before introducing Our Very Own Lauren Alaina.
8:25 p.m. If you hadn't told me this was Lauren Alaina, there's a very strong chance I wouldn't have recognized her. She seems taller, thinner and blonder than when she left "Idol." Her song is all about peaches. How very Presidents of the United States of America. Oh wait. It's not actually about peaches? It's euphemism? Was the President of the United States of America song also euphemistic? Surely not. I mean, peaches come from a can. They were put there by a man. In a factor downtown. Lauren performs well, but she doesn't get any talking time with Ryan.
8:32 p.m. Who's going to join Jermaine and Elise in Jeopardy? Shannon Magrane, Erika Van Pelt and Skylar Laine come on down. Jimmy thinks Erika has presentation problems, but she delivered in her Whitney performance. Jimmy thinks Shannon's nerves tightened her vocal chords. Jimmy loved the nasal aspect of Skylar's voice. Erika is in the Bottom Three. You know why? Because America hates older women on "Idol." And Shannon joins her, because America also hates people who can't sing. Only Skylar is safe from that group, and we now have our Bottom Three.
8:36 p.m. Phil-Phil denies TMZ reports that he went to the Emergency Room. He admits, though, that he went to a doctor. Jimmy thinks Joshua Ledet was very, very good, but he worries that America will get tired of Josh's voice. Jimmy thought DeAndre was "a pleasant surprise." STOP ENCOURAGING HIM, Jimmy! Although Jimmy worries that Phil-Phil may get overshadowed by the Women and their fireworks, he thinks Phil-Phil is a great musician. Thankfully, Jimmy has sense regarding Jeremy, predicting he'll be heading home. The audience boos.
8:40 p.m. After the vote... Phillip is safe. Go Phil-Phil! Jeremy heads over to join the Bottom Three Guys. Duh. Will the last seat go to DeAndre or Joshua? Ugh. It goes to Joshua. Hollie is very worried for Joshua.
8:41 p.m. Without hesitation, Ryan tells Erika and Joshua that they're safe. WHEW. Neither deserved to be in any bottom group anyway. Hollie is very happy for Joshua.
8:45 p.m. Let's welcome Mary J. Blige to the stage. I'm pretty sure Mary J. Blige could win "American Idol," so this is a good time to check in on the Big 10 Tournament.
8:52 p.m. Verdict time!
8:53 p.m. Steven Tyler says that Jeremy deserves to go home. Wow. No hedging at all.
8:54 p.m. Jermaine is safe. Yay, Jermaine. That means that Jeremy was out Bottom Guy. Jermaine is very relieved and pleased.
8:54 p.m. Shannon is safe. Because AMERICA HATES OLD WOMEN. How utterly comical.
8:55 p.m. Randy says that it's sad that somebody has to go, but he simultaneously says America got it right and wrong. Anyway, Jeremy and Elise are left to sweat it out.
8:58 p.m. We're going long tonight...
8:58 p.m. "We've come to the decision that... we're gonna save Elise," J-Lo says. Whew. That was so clearly the correct choice. Jeremy Rosado is the first member of the Top 13 sent home. Losing the one "Idol" woman capable of playing a musical instrument, as one as one of the most "seasoned" competitors would have been a real problem if it meant keeping Jeremy, who probably didn't belong in the Top 24, around. Jeremy would have been much better off not making the Top 24 and getting the chance to mature and train for another year before coming back next season. Jessica Sanchez is very, very sad to see Jeremy Go. Other people probably are as well.
What did you think? Did America make the right choices? Did the judges make the right choice?
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