You know, I was a big Candice Glover fan last year. I was rooting for her almost from the beginning and I was pleased when she won. But when Ryan Seacrest mentioned during Wednesday's show that Candice Glover would be performing tonight, it took me way longer than it should have to remember who Candice Glover was. “American Idol” would also like you to forget that Nikki Minaj and Mariah Carey were ever judges.
Things were pretty tight after Wednesday's performances. I think Malaya Watson made the biggest mess of her song, but I don't think she's going home. I'm assuming that Ben Briley, one of my four favorites last night, is safe, so he's the guy in my picture.
Everything else is up in the air, so click through for my full live-blog!
8:01 p.m. ET This is new! The “Idol” Group Lip-Synch is being done as a walk-and-sing through the “Idol” backstage. As long as nobody is pretending we're supposed to think the initial vocals are live, it's kinda charming, as formula variations go. As they hit the stage to “Radioactive,” I suppose there's at least a possibility they're singing live. Maybe.
8:04 p.m. Over 71 million votes came in last night. Ryan Seacrest calls that “quite a staggering” number. I have no clue if that's true. I sure suspect it's not. But it's also nice to hear “American Idol” vote totals. We didn't hear that much last year. Of course, there are nearly 71 million ways to vote these days, so who knows?
8:06 p.m. After the show, they're all heading off together. They're making fun of Sam Woolf's allure with women and making fun of Caleb's difficulties figuring out how to vote. They went out for dinner, where Ben Briley admits that he doesn't know what “kitschy” means. They share tweets from celebrities and they have really awkwardly staged conversations about being friends forever.
8:08 p.m. Malaya, Ben, Jena “Gina” Irene and Alex Preston take the stage first, as they finally get to see what Randy Jackson had to say about their performances. Randy didn't think Malaya calmed down enough for her performance and the song got the best of her. Randy thinks Jena did a very good job. Randy thought Ben's Johnny Cash performance was too fast on the show and that's even after they slowed it in rehearsal. Randy loved the subtleness of Alex's performance. Fair enough! Way to not say anything embarrassing, Dawg!
8:10 p.m. One of the first four in in the Bottom Three. The first to safety? Ben Briley! My picture is totally psychic. Also safe is Alex. Those two were in my Top 4 last night, so that's fair. So either Jena or Malaya is in the Bottom Three.
8:11 p.m. Malaya is in the Bottom Three. That's one correct choice, America. “I'm very upset right now,” J-Lo says. “You have to get control on that stage so you can really show people the pipes that you have,” J-Lo tells Malaya. “I could have done better,” Malaya admits.
8:17 p.m. Keith Urban was ambushed for five pieces of information, following in the footsteps of the Top 13 last night. Thus, we learned that he's named after a horse-race caller, that Brian Epstein is his favorite Beatle and that “Jenny From the Block” is his favorite Harry Connick Jr. song.
8:18 p.m. Candice Glover has a great voice. She's apparently singing a medley of “Cried” and “Same Kind of Man,” which Ryan says are her hits. I'm not sure I can tell when one song ends and the next begins, but I like Candice Glover. Her album dropped last week and is No.3. On the R&B charts.
8:21 p.m. Malaya is looking miserable all alone on the stools.
8:26 p.m. Five facts about Harry: He's always wanted to be a football players, he loves fishing, he used to box, he's never seen Keith Urban naked and he wants to see Keith Urban naked. Keith is uncomfortable.
8:26 p.m. Let's give Malaya a friend, darnit!
8:27 p.m. Randy didn't think MK Nobilette was moving enough at first, but that she's doing really well in the middle of a makeover. Randy knows that Sam is very shy, but says that Sam needs to get his performances and vocal power to match. Randy needed Majesty Rose to avoid eating the words and in her actual performance, she was fantastic. Randy gave Dexter advice about making the song his own, but Dexter didn't take his advice.
8:29 p.m. Dexter Roberts is safe. Majesty Rose is safe. Sam Woolf is safe.
8:30 p.m. That means MK Nobilette is in the Bottom Three. Keith tells MK that her ability to get through the camera and have an emotional connection will be important if she advances. I'm not shocked to see MK here. She did something different on Wednesday. We'll never see another up-tempo performance from MK ever again. Even then, I'm not sure if it'll help all that much.
8:35 p.m. It's time for a performance from Jake Bugg. He's huge in the UK, but we're letting Keith Urban play “starmaker” on this side of the Atlantic. I like that Jake Bugg is 19, but he's traveled through time from 1963. And Alex Preston should take a lot of satisfaction from how inward Jake is, but he should also take notes on the brief moments he connects with the audience and how effectively he uses those moments. I'm totally OK with the judges talking through a guest performer's song, but maybe the “Idol” director shouldn't be showing those moments? “Killer, man,” Keith tells Jake.
8:44 p.m. J-Lo on the spot: Her kids are her life, she eats chocolate chip cookies, she's a workaholic, she likes giving makeovers and she ran out of time.
8:45 p.m. “Are you better than us?” Connick asks Seacrest. Ry-Ry on the spot: His first pet was a goldfish named Shiela, he eats at mall food courts, he played the recorder and “Hot-Crossed Buns” was his jam and he's also never seen Keith naked.
8:46 p.m. The last group is due to get results. Ryan thinks CJ Harris needs to bring his consistency up and not let nerves get the best of him. Randy thinks Kristen O'Connor gave “a pretty good performance” and the judges loved it, but he's irked she didn't take his advice. Hell hath no fury! Randy thought Caleb Johnson was electric. Randy felt like Jessica Meuse was great, effortless and commanded attention. Randy thought Emily Piriz's performance lacked “Pink edge,” but otherwise was great.
8:48 p.m. Kristen O'Connor is sent straight to the stool. Well, I predicted two of the Bottom 3. I guess that's OK? “It's surprising, it's not surprising,” Keith says. “I would not have pictured these three people sitting in the chair,” he finally says.
8:53 p.m. The Save does still exist this season, but Keith isn't eager to commit to using it.
8:54 p.m. MK is safe. So it's either Kristen or Malaya going home.
8:54 p.m. “I would just try and be more myself and just do what comes naturally,” Kristen says. Malaya threatens to calm down.
8:54 p.m. The lowest vote-getter is KRISTEN O'CONNOR. Yeah, the judges aren't using their save on her. Sorry. [And yes, that's what I predicted. I may not be right ever again this season, so I'm gonna be a tiny bit smug.]
8:54 p.m. Kristen is good, but there's always a distance between her technical gifts, her emotional connection and her performances. Also, “Idol” voters only occasionally warm to contestants who look like Kristen. The judges whisper, but let's be honest: There's no chance that they were going to use the Save here. It's a respectable final performance.
8:57 p.m. Harry claims they thought very carefully. He also claims that the decision was not unanimous. That means she isn't getting the Save, but it also means that one of the three judges voted to save Kristen. I'm skeptical.
8:59 p.m. Farewell, Kristen. You were fine. There's nothing to be embarrassed about here.
9:00 p.m. Kristen can't bring herself to cry, but she also doesn't want to smile. She says she's learned a lot and she's listened to everything this season.
9:00 p.m. Next week's theme is “Home.” Ryan even spells it, in case you thought he meant “Homs,” the city in Syria. He did not. H-O-M-E.
Thoughts on this week's results?