Colton Dixon isn't going home tonight. That's why he's featured in the photo accompanying this recap of Thursday's (March 22) "American Idol."
I'd be hesitant to predict who *will* be going home, but America isn't about to vote off the guy who did an ultra-commercial version of Billy Joel's biggest hit on Billy Joel Night. I'm also reasonably sure Jessica Sanchez and Phillip Phillips aren't going home, but it's important to have some photographic variety, doncha know!
Click through for the full recap of Thursday's results show, which will also feature a performance by my "Idol" favorite from last season, Ms. Haley Reinhart. Meow!
8:00 p.m. ET. I disagree with Steven Tyler's contention that if you can't sing Billy Joel, you can't sing anything. Billy Joel isn't that easy to sing. Or at least he isn't that easy to sing will. As we learned last night, it's relatively easy to do an average job of singing Billy Joel.
8:02 p.m. Wow. That's is a VERY pink dress Jennifer Lopez is wearing.
8:03 p.m. Oh. I forgot that Lana Del Rey is also singing to us tonight. Yawn. Gimme Double-Haley.
8:03 p.m. The Group Lip Synch is set to "For The Longest Time." I joked on Twitter last night that the perfect Group Lip Synch would have been "We Didn't Start The Fire" with everybody other than Elise Testone and Erika Van Pelt looking confused by all of the historical references.
8:04 p.m. Wait. Why is Elise sitting on Steven Tyler's lap? I mean, I guess we're all glad it wasn't Jessica Sanchez, but still... Erika, meanwhile, is looking all ready for next week's Music of Dusty Springfield theme. And no, that's not a real thing. It's just wishful thinking, but I'm sure Elise would also be pleased.
8:05 p.m. Hollie Cavanagh is an astoundingly tiny person.
8:11 p.m. We've had a couple big FX Ford Commercials the past couple weeks. This week's is the Ford Commercial equivalent of a bottle episode. It's two minutes of the "Idol" Finalists looking under furniture for... something. Whatever. This is not the "Fly" of Ford Commercials.
8:13 p.m. Hollie, Skylar Laine and Elise come down to the stage for judgement and Jimmy's opinions. Jimmy Iovine didn't love Hollie's performance and he's also worried that Skylar has begun to go backwards. Uh-oh. Jimmy says Elise was confident and something transformed in her and, not only that, but *he* got goosies! J-Lo laughs.
8:15 p.m. After the vote, Hollie is safe... And Skylar is safe. Uh-oh. If America still hated Elise after last night's performance... Never mind. Elise is also safe. Oh, Ryan. You stinker.
8:20 p.m. AWWWWW. Is that Casey Abrams in the crowd to support Haley? That's so sweet!
8:20 p.m. Time for a three-minute nap, courtesy of Lana Del Rey. The arm-wavers in the front row can't sway slowly enough to match Lana.
8:23 p.m. Lana Del Rey is the contemporary musical equivalent of Betty Draper.
8:24 p.m. Has there ever been a singer whose stage persona was less suited for being showered in confetti post-performance than Lana Del Rey?
8:27 p.m. Steven Tyler celebrated a birthday over the weekend and as his present...Joe Perry comes out to rock for him. The sheer number of people on the stage and in the crowd who have NO CLUE WHO JOE PERRY IS is astounding. Everybody sings "Happy Birthday" to Steven. I hope they payed for the license fee.
8:28 p.m. Ryan makes sure to tell the audience it was Joe Perry. Also in the audience? Liv Tyler!
8:29 p.m. DeAndre Brackensick, Joshua Ledet and Jessica Sanchez are up next. Jimmy Iovine didn't know why DeAndre was bopping around the stage so frantically. Jimmy also questions whether or not DeAndre knew what the song was about, which probably has something to do with Diddy giving him stupid mentoring. Jimmy didn't like Joshua and he raises the big question: How does Joshua win "American Idol"? Jimmy thinks Jessica did a great job.
8:32 p.m. Joe has joined the judging panel. The results are in... Jessica got praise from Billy Joel himself and she's safe. Joshua is also safe, probably the halo effect from the previous week. And DeAndre is in the Bottom Three, which is exactly right.
8:37 p.m. Haley Reinhart in a birdcage, y'all! There's no singer on "Idol" this season who I'd vote for over Haley Reinhart. True story. In addition to being mad-sexy, she has a textured, character-driven voice and tremendous range. This stage show accompanying her? A little silly. But she's got such potential if she just hooks up with the right writers and that single is surprisingly decent.
8:44 p.m. How am I supposed to concentrate on results after that performance?
8:44 p.m. Colton, Phil-Phil, Erika and Heejun Han await judgement. Billy Joel thought Colton did a great job and Jimmy agrees, suggesting that Colton may be a third favorite along with Joshua and Jessica. Jimmy is contemptuous of Phillip's contempt for his mentorship and says NOTHING about Phil-Phil's performance. Jimmy's impressed Tommy Hilfiger got Erika to cut her hair and he also liked her singing. As for Heejun's flight of post-modernism, Jimmy's Team Steven. Jimmy says that Heejun's performance was "a stunt gone wrong" and he compares it to a direct-to-DVD Adam Sandler movie. "When I was ripping my clothes off, it was a metaphor," Heejun says.
8:49 p.m. After the nationwide vote... Seacrest messes with Colton once again, but he's safe. Erika's in the Bottom Three. Erika runs over and grabs a set of maracas from Elise and she laughs, "I'm bringing the party with me." Phil-Phil is safe and Heejun is in the Bottom Three.
8:51 p.m. J-Lo tells Heejun that he's a star. Of the Bottom Three, she says that anybody who goes home will be a loss, but that they're all stars. She says that, but she also knows that nobody currently in the Bottom Three is going to be worthy of the Judges' Save.
8:54 p.m. Sent to safety first is... DeAndre Brackensick. Sigh. Oh, America.
8:55 p.m. The person in danger of leaving the competition is... Erika Van Pelt. I'm not just saying that was predictable because I predicted it. [I did.] That was predictable because of exactly what we've known about the "American Idol" voters for the past four or five years: They don't like female singers and they particular dislike older female singers. If Elise is anything less than terrific next week, she'll be done immediately.
8:57 p.m. Vocally speaking, Erika doesn't deserve to be going home now, but what do you expect? When America prefers DeAndre Brackensick, that's just how it goes. And there's no rational reason why the judges would use the Save on her.
8:58 p.m. "Unfortunately, Ryan... No. Sorry," says Randy. She cut her hair, Randy! You owe her more than "No, sorry."
8:59 p.m. Farewell, Erika Van Pelt. You take the heart of Red Sox Nation with you...
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