9:00 p.m. ET. Sorry, “American Idol. There’s really no way you can make last week’s elimination of Lacey Brown seem shocking or dramatic. Then again, I guess it’s easier to find “dramatic, climactic” music than to find “sleepy, anticlimactic” music.
9:01 p.m. But there *are* stakes tonight. Whoever gets sent home will miss out on the tour, will become this season’s Alexis Grace. I still feel a little sad about Alexis Grace, in case you can’t tell.
Who’s going home? Find out after the break…
9:01 p.m. Ryan Seacrest begins Wednesday’s show by thanking America for voting, but he doesn’t mention the vote total, which is never a good sign.
9:03 p.m. Tonight’s group sing… WHAM! Of all of the songs they could have done tonight, they’re doing “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go.” Oh, once again song selection fails on “American Idol.” Ick. This is pretty silly and poorly staged even by “Idol” Group Lip Synch standards. Nobody can dance. And nobody’s singing. And what’s with the strange light show behind them?
9:06 p.m. Even the director doesn’t know which of two singers was assigned an arbitrary lip-synched solo. Katie Stevens got one and… I’m not sure who didn’t sing the other solo. And I’d like to be woken up as soon as they go-go.
9:10 p.m. Ford commercial! Set to “Our Time Now.” Yawn.
9:11 p.m. Yes, Ryan. We know. There’s only room for 10 contestants on the summer tour. Why? What would happen with 11 people on the tour? Would they be unable to squeeze into the bus? Would the show run three minutes longer? Would people refuse to pay for that sort of bloated excess?
9:12 p.m. It turns out that Casey James was on edge last night in rehearsal, but then he wasn’t on edge anymore after he performed. In the audience, we have Brooks, Siobhan Magnus’ increasingly hairy boss, who has vowed not to shave as long as Siobhan is on the show. He’s sitting next to the Siobhombies? Siozombies? Whatever they are, they scare me a little. We also learn that Katie’s dad is across the street having a drink, rather than sitting in the audience dealing with the tension. This is really informative. Frost/Nixon stuff, Seacrest. Big Mike Lynche talks about getting to see his baby every night, but not being able to live with his missus.
9:15 p.m. Once again, the Stools of Shame are set up on the other side of the stage. Up first? Siobhan. I didn’t much like her performance last night. Siobhan know that Simon would criticize the Siobhan Scream and she says that while she understands, she’d do it again. Ryan tells her that she’ll have to pack her bags… This summer!! Because she’s safe!!! Oh, Ryan. You wily prankster. You’re like Puck, you are.
9:17 p.m. Casey and Lee Dewyze stand next. Randy, Ellen and Kara all maintain that Simon was wrong in saying Casey did karaoke last night. Good to know they’re set in their wrongness. Ryan tells Lee and Casey to keep standing and tells Tim and Paige to also stand. Tim says he wouldn’t do anything differently, despite unanimous mockery from the judges. Paige, also taken to task last night, acknowledges that it was a poor performance on Tuesday.
9:19 p.m. Ryan asks Randy to guess who will be in the Bottom Three between Paige and Tim. Randy thinks that Paige is in the Bottom Three. And he’s right. But Tim is also in the Bottom Three, which feels like a cruel trick. And is Ryan ever going to let Lee and Casey sit down?
9:24 p.m. Miley Cyrus performs. Smoke billows everywhere. It’s very “Phantom of the Opera.” Wait. Is there a popular opinion that says that Miley Cyrus can sing? Because she sounds utterly horrid tonight and not just on the bleating vibrato that infects the verse. Then Miley does a strange headbanging thing that confuses the heck out of the director, who tries to twitch up and down with her. My first impression was that Miley fell down. My second impression is that she’s having a seizure. My third impression is that Miley Cyrus was choking and The Invisible Man was nice enough to perform the Heimlich Maneuver. I’d say it’s impressive that she could sing through all of that flailing, but she may be lip-synching. But if that’s the case, then why isn’t she in tune?
9:28 p.m. Miley says that this was her first standing ovation. I somehow doubt that. Speaking of standing, Miley wants to stand up for dreamy Tim Urban and his dreamy slide. Miley swears she couldn’t handle facing criticism every week. Fortunately, my criticism for Miley Cyrus will be limited to last night and tonight and I won’t mention her again for a few months. I promise.
9:34 p.m. “Idol Gives Back” is only a month away. But you can already start raising money. There’s no punchline here. I like “Idol Give Back.”
9:35 p.m. I guess Lee and Casey got to sit down. I missed that. Sorry. I’m easily distracted. Squirrel!
9:36 p.m. Aaron Kelly, wearing a shirt made from wallpaper from a 1970s hotel, is safe to sing another week. No surprise there. How about Didi Benami? I don’t want her to go anywhere, but I predicted she’d be in the Bottom Three. Didi says she’s been confused by what the judges are looking for from her. She fears the judges just want her sitting on stage with a guitar and she wants to be much more than that. Ellen says nice and meaningless words to Didi. Simon cautions Didi that she overthinks things and that all she has to do is choose a good song and be good. Nothing to it! That was a long conversation for a singer who is… Safe.
9:38 p.m. Big Mike! He’s safe. Crystal Bowersox? Ryan asks which of the judges she’s going to listen to regarding some conflicting advice last night. Her answer? “Me.” And she’ll get the chance to listen to herself. She’s safe.
9:40 p.m. It’s down to Katie and Andrew Garcia. Katie was fine last night. Andrew’s in a downward spiral. There’s still more talk about conflicting advice from the judges. This appears to be this season’s theme.
9:41 p.m. The final member of the Bottom Three is Katie, which feels wrong, but not absurdly wrong. With Katie, Paige and Tim, it’s two-thirds of the correct Bottom Three.
9:42 p.m. Katie’s time in danger is very brief. Ryan sends her back to safety. That was just a little tease for Katie’s fanbase.
9:46 p.m. If you go to Google and type in “Demi,” “Demi Lovato” is now the top choice. Poor “Demi Moore.” It’s not too late to do “Blame It on Rio 2.”
9:47 p.m. Ms. Lovato and Somebody Named Jonas are on the stage performing. I believe the Jonas in question is Former “Idol” Judge Joe, wearing a shiny suit. They over-sing at each other with nasally earnestness. The teens in the audience are very very squeal-y.
9:50 p.m. There’s awkwardness about how Joe Jonas judged Tim back at the Houston auditions. Then Ryan makes a hilarious joke about how whichever singer received the fewest votes might get saved by the judges. Ryan, this will not be the week we use the Judges’ Save.
9:54 p.m. Results time… The person in line to be protected by the Judges’ Save is…
9:55 p.m. Paige Miles. Tim is safe.
9:56 p.m. Simon tells Paige before she performs that she’s done. “I don’t want to give you any false hope here,” Simon says. He tells her that she *had* a great voice and that she needs to go back and work that out. In a real dick-move, Ryan doesn’t want to just leave Paige in her pain. He wants to rub it in. Ryan asks if it’s a unanimous decision. It is. Then he asks the judges to repeat that they want Paige to go away. They do. Dude. Let her suck in peace.
9:58 p.m. Next week will be Soul and R&B Week. There will be vaguely racist commentators who attempt to say that it’s a disappointment that Paige missed out on Soul and R&B Week. Because she’s an African-American. Paige is, was and has always been more of a country, Southern tinged singer. She’d have been just as bad next week as this week.
9:59 p.m. Paige sings one last time. It’s not good. Farewell, Paige Miles. [And I’ve guessed correctly on eliminations two weeks in a row. I should stop while I’m ahead.]
It’s hard to imagine anybody being too upset about this one, right?