Your guess is as good as mine here.
After a Wednesday night of mixed-bag performances from the Top 5, I really can't make a prediction that I feel comfortable with.
Phillip Phillips has been the presumptive favorite for months, but will a poor second performance and Ryan Seacrest's reveal of his girlfriend take a bite out of his voting totals?
Will Jessica Sanchez be punished for botching Tina Turner? Will Hollie Cavanagh's growth be ignored after a pair of solid, but unremarkable performances?
We'll see! I'm using a picture of Jessica not because I'm assuming she's safe, but because it's a pretty picture.
Click through to find out if I'm going to need to pick a new pic...
8:00 p.m. ET. I'm in the Central Time Zone tonight, which is weird, because my computer still tells me it's in Pacific and my recap will still give times in Eastern. Why would you care? Dunno. Just sharing...
8:02 p.m. Jennifer Lopez is shiny.
8:03 p.m. Coldplay will be here. And because "Idol" needs to kill time, they're going to perform twice. And Carrie Underwood will also be in the house.
8:04 p.m. We're going one-by-one tonight, starting with Joshua Ledet. After last night's judicial hyperbole -- J-Lo called Joshua one of the best singers of the past 50 years -- I'm assuming he's OK, but who knows? Jimmy Iovine thought Joshua's performances from last night will be tough to beat. Jimmy even calls Joshua's "To Love Somebody" the season's best performance. More hyperbole! Jimmy compares Joshua's degree of difficulty to Randy Jackson winning the Kentucky Derby as a jockey. Joshua tells Ryan that he wants to make music with a message.
8:07 p.m. After the vote -- no totals announced tonight -- Joshua is safe. That's good.
8:10 p.m. Tonight's Ford Commercial, set to "Dream Life," gets the contestants away from the Fox Lot and kinda has a fairy tale theme. Why does Joshua have an eye-patch? That's all I'm getting out of this video. Eye-Patch
8:13 p.m. Coldplay. "Paradise." No eye-patch.
8:20 p.m. Oh right. "American Idol." Hollie and Phil-Phil. Jimmy thought this was a critical week for Hollie, saying that she pulled off "River Deep, Mountain High." He only calls her "Bleeding Love" "competent," however, He questions Hollie's lack of magic, but also says that she's safe for the week. Jimmy tells us, once again, about Phil-Phil's problematic health. But Jimmy also felt like Phil-Phil had two bland performances last night and that he should be in the Bottom Two.
8:24 p.m. Hollie is in the Bottom Two. Phil-Phil is safe. Wow. He's just unbeatable. He keeps trying to find new ways to mess with us, testing viewers and daring them to reject him. So far so good.
8:28 p.m. Carrie Underwood's up now. She's in full-on Robo-Carrie mode. And some of this sounds kinda flat. I'm... less-than-enthused. The judges give her a standing ovation. Carrie graciously thanks Ryan for having her back.
8:37 p.m. The pacing of this episode is insanely off. Did they forget to figure out a strategy to create suspense? Skylar Laine and Jessica Sanchez are up now. Jimmy calls Skylar a fighter but he thankfully points out that Skylar didn't have a clue what "Fortunate Son" was about. He also didn't love Skylar's Dusty Springfield performance. Interesting. Jimmy loved Jessica's sleepy "You Are So Beautiful." However, he called Jessica's violation of "Proud Mary" "a travesty." Jimmy also hated Jessica's too-short skirt. He's totally right, at least about the performance. J-Lo says that show business has a different standard from Middle America, while Randy calls the outfit "a little over-the-top."
8:42 p.m. Jessica is safe. And I don't need to change the picture with this recap. I'm happy about that.
8:43 p.m. So presumably it has to be Hollie going home, right? I mean... unless it isn't.
8:45 p.m. I'm still reflecting on J-Lo's theory that Hollywood has different standards when it comes to way-too-tight skirts on 16-year-old girls. Is she saying that Hollywood is wrong? That Middle America is wrong? And surely "American Idol" is a show that's all about Middle America, right?
8:47 p.m. More Coldplay. Who was the last "Idol" performance show guest who got an encore? Anybody?
8:51 p.m. Well done, Apple's Father.
8:54 p.m. Randy is sad every Thursday and says this is the best Top 5 they've ever had on the show. J-Lo heard from people that they loved Wednesday's show and she says that the Top 3 deserves to be there. I have no idea what Steven Tyler says. Something about understanding or experience or feeling or something.
8:55 p.m. There we are. There were 60 million votes cast last night. Skylar Laine is going home. Hollie is safe. J-Lo makes a "sad" face. I'm slightly surprised by this. Not hugely surprised, because we're past the point at which being shocked by Hollie's fan support has any purpose. I can say with certainty that Hollie is improving every week and that she deserves absolute credit and support for that improvement. I'm just surprised that the country block couldn't carry Skylar into the finale.
8:57 p.m. I honestly think that Skylar is better than Lauren Alaina from last season and better than many of the country singers who have had long "Idol" runs and post-"Idol" success and I believe she could be successful with the proper handling. "Fortunate Son" was a huge blunder last night and it was Jimmy's fault, so his criticizing her for not understanding the lyrics is pretty dumb.
What'd you think of Thursday's results?
Everything: American Idol
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