Once again, it's like this: Assuming Jena Irene, Caleb Johnson and Alex "New Hampshire's Own" Preston are safe on Thursday (April 17) night's "American Idol," I don't much care who goes home or who's in the Bottom 3. 

There are the three people I care about and the cannon fodder.

The big question: How is "American Idol" planning on killing the 30 minutes tonight? For the second straight week, FOX hasn't bothered to announce a guest performer, which either means that the producers decided they were happily able to fill the half-hour without a musical number, or they're having trouble booking guests. I have no evidence to confirm the latter. So... Who knows?

On to the recap!

9:00 p.m. ET. Forget what I said about no guests, because... KEVIN BACON! He's introducing the show and trying to remind us that he has a TV show. A TV show on FOX! A TV show on FOX that I'm seven episodes behind on and that's clogging up my DVR...

9:02 p.m. Tonight's Jennifer Lopez Fashion Show finds our favorite judge wearing stunning thigh-high boots and... Yeah. There isn't much point in trying to observe anything else tonight. What leering thing will Ryan Seacrest say tonight? He's impressed by how short her dress is. Sigh. J-Lo is going all-in on dressing to impress this season. And Ryan is going all-in on harassing her every episode.

9:04 p.m. Over dinner last night, everybody noticed that Harry Connick Jr was sick. And Jena Irene loved Demi Lovato's inexplicable presence. Sam Woolf tweeted a picture. And zzzzzzz.

9:06 p.m. And this is how "Idol" is filling time tonight. Results start after a commercial.

9:09 p.m. "We asked the Idols 'What would you do if you had a Mustang for a day?'" And that's how we're filling a couple more minutes, with the Finalists raving about how much they'd love to have a Mustang. If Sam Woolf had one, he'd get all his friends and make a rap video. [Sam Woolf doesn't know what a Mustang is, nor what rap is.] Jena Irene would make out with her "nonexistent boyfriend."

9:10 p.m. Keith Urban doesn't have to dream of a Mustang. He has one. It was a wedding anniversary gift from "Nic."

9:11 p.m. We're doing a Bottom 2 again, but only after hearing from Randy Jackson. When it comes to Dexter, Randy wishes he would take a few more chances, vocally. Randy thinks that Alex Preston is developing into a great artist. And Randy thinks Jena is the one to beat. 

9:13 p.m. Results: The first person in our Top 6 is... Jena Irene. One down! Either Alex or Dexter is in the Bottom 2. And it's... Dexter. Alex Preston is in the Top 6 and New Hampshire can REJOICE!

9:19 p.m. More results. Not much to this show, is there? Randy wanted CJ Harris to take more vocal liberties. Randy says absolutely nothing about Jessica Meuse other than that it'll be interesting how she does tonight. "If he sticks around, he's gotta give a winning performance," Randy says of Sam Woolf. "He's been consistent every week. I give him an eight," Randy says of Caleb Johnson.

9:21 p.m. On to the Top 6 is... Caleb Johnson. And now, I officially don't care anymore. See y'all next week when we get rid of the other three!

9:23 p.m. OK, fine. CJ Harris is also safe. Whatever. And Sam Woolf is also safe. Whatever! But that means Jessica Meuse is joining Dexter in the Bottom 2. I hadn't predicted Jessica would be there because she's been cruising along all season, dodging the Bottom 3 in several weeks she should have been there. Did she deserve to be there this week? Meh. As much as anybody, I suppose. CJ used his son as a prop and sang decently, while Sam continues to get a bit of a bump from his previous endangerment, so I understand why they were safe.

9:27 p.m. Tonight's eliminated contestant is... DEXTER ROBERTS. That's what I predicted and it's probably the correct choice. A Top 7 run is utterly admirable for Dexter. He didn't deserve to advance any further, but this was a fine place for him to end up. And, again, it just doesn't matter. A commenter last night mentioned how few of these contestants are going to play in venues bigger than state fairs, I think Dexter will do great at state fairs and people will enjoy listening to him. There's nothing wrong with that! Careers come in many shapes and sizes. He'll have one.

9:30 p.m. Time to watch "Surviving Jack." Join me!

Thoughts on tonight's results?

A long-time member of the TCA Board and a longer-time blogger of "American Idol," Dan Fienberg writes about TV, except for when he writes about movies or sometimes writes about the Red Sox. But never music. He would sound stupid talking about music.