The way I'm figuring it, the judges would let Devin Velez or Lazaro Arbos go home without hesitation.
If anybody else finishes last, the Judges' Save would be a definite possibility. Burnell Taylor would be the most interesting case. I think all five "Idol" women would get saved if they're voted out this week, but would the judges go out of their way to protect the best male from this season's dismal crop?
Let's see how things go after the break... Plus? Katharine McPhee performs!
8:01 p.m. ET. Angie Miller is doing short-shorts again. Does she not know that "American Idol" already had one Haley Scarnato? And does she not know that we want better for her?
8:01 p.m. Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey aren't matching tonight. So all's orderly with the world once again.
8:02 p.m. Tonight is the 450th episode of "American Idol" and, perhaps, it's lowest rated episode. Just a hunch.
8:02 p.m. Colton Dixon and One Republic and Keith Urban are also performing.
8:03 p.m. But first, the Top 8 has to make a mockery of "Old Time Rock 'n' Roll." Poor Bob Seger. Did it seem to anybody else like Lazaro was being entirely pushed to the background of that Group Sing?
8:07 p.m. Y'all should watch the "Raising Hope" season finale. Hi, Shannon Woodward in the "Idol" audience!
8:07 p.m. Uh. I somehow hadn't missed the weekly Ford Music Commercials. They've been replaced by "missions." This week, the "Idol" Finalists are mentoring a group of children who I'm pretty sure were all plucked from the same casting calls as those AT&T commercials with the Werewolf Girl and the Absolutely Positive Girl. The experience moves Janelle Arthur, but you know what else moves her? A Ford Fiesta!
8:10 p.m. What did Jimmy Iovine think of last night's performances? Jimmy thinks every contestant could benefit from watching Candice Glover, who he figures is headed for the Finals. Jimmy agrees with Nicki that Kree won her Madonna duet with Janelle, who he thinks needs to work on her harmonies. Jimmy reckons Lazaro was better this week than last week. Woo? Jimmy's much more positive about Janelle's solo performance, saying "She murdered it." Jimmy says that Devin was very good compared to Devin, but not very good compared to some of the others. He's a fan of the Angie-Candice-Amber group, particularly singling out Angie's restraint. Jimmy was impressed with Burnell's Wednesday performance and with his overall evolution. Jimmy blames Angie's presentation and her song choice for the subpar offering. "I would bet anything that she's not in the Bottom Three this week," Jimmy says of Amber. Hmmm... Jimmy's got more money than I do, but I sure wouldn't bet *anything* on that proposition. Regarding the Lazaro-Burnell-Devin trio, Jimmy calls them "Wrong Direction" and calls it "terrible." Finally, Jimmy loves Kree's top end. He predicts an all-male Bottom Three, with Lazaro going home.
8:17 p.m. Goodness gracious. Aretha Franklin called in a complimentary message for Kree. That's kinda a life highlight right there.
8:22 p.m. Welcome back, Colton Dixon. I hope we pay tribute to that time he upstaged his sister and squeezed her out of the spotlight and out of the finals. Colton Dixon has done very well for himself if you pay attention to the Christian charts. I don't. But one shouldn't underplay his success. He's premiering his new single "Love Has Come For Me" and I'm gonna watch a little college basketball.
8:27 p.m. "It was so surreal," Colton says of Angie covering one of his songs a couple weeks ago. He doesn't mention how much money she made him by drawing attention to that single. But he hugs her, so that'll have to suffice.
8:31 p.m. Yay! Katharine McPhee. And some other people. Ryan Seacrest calls her "recording artist Katharine McPhee." Suck it, "Smash."
8:32 p.m. Enough One Direction. Where's my Kat at?
8:33 p.m. Still no Kat.
8:33 p.m. KAT! And she's wearing her belly shirt from the season's third episode of "Smash." I expect some crowd-surfing. Y'all know I love me some Kat McPhee, but she isn't adding very much to this collaboration, musically. BELLY SHIRT. Anyway...
8:38 p.m. Still no results, but at least we have a Keith Urban performance.
8:42 p.m. I love Mariah Carey standing and holding a "#1 Keith Fan" sign.
8:47 p.m. Results, please?
8:47 p.m. The first person to earn safety is Kree. Joining Kree is... Candice. So far so good. The third happy person is... Janelle. And Angie is the fourth straight girl to safety. And Amber makes it a clean sweep for the "Idol" women. I love this season's "Lysistrata" dynamic.
8:52 p.m. Now we just need to keep Burnell safe and it's que sera sera for whatever else happens.
8:54 p.m. Mariah looks at the Bottom Three and says she's attached in certain ways to all of the guys.
8:55 p.m. Burnell is sent to safety. Whew. And, thus, America got things close-enough-to-right.
8:55 p.m. Only 26 million votes were cast last night. But Lazaro is safe and Devin Velez will sing for his life.
8:56 p.m. Boo. Devin deserved one more week. He didn't deserve anything more than that, but he certainly shouldn't be going home ahead of Lazaro. But so it goes. It would be very silly for the judges to waste the Save on Devin, but he's really quite decent. I wonder if he would have been better off singing in Spanish at least once during the Finals.
8:57 p.m. Mariah is crying and the Twitter vote indicates America wants the judges to use the Save. Hey America, if you wanted Devin to be safe, maybe you should have voted for him, eh? It's a really good Sing For Your Life performance, but you don't use the Save to give a singer one more week. Even if the Save is off the table soon, this would be a waste.
8:58 p.m. The crowd wants the Save. But it is not unanimous. "Really. Wow," Ryan says stupidly. Devin's a good kid and there's no shame in finishing in eighth and deserving to finish seventh.
8:59 p.m. Farewell to Devin Velez...
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