Get ready, folks. It’s Anything Can Happen Night on “American Idol.”
After a Wednesday show that featured a whopping five standing ovations (out of only nine solo performances), it’s hard to know who’s going to be safe.
Let’s find out! After the break…
7:58 p.m. ET. For tonight’s recap, I’m using a picture of Elise Testone, because I’m pretty sure she’s not going home tonight. I don’t know if she’s going to voted through by America, but after her rendition of “Whole Lotta Love” last night, I’m sure the judges would use the Save on her. Of course, if the Save is used, I’ll wanna switch out the Elise picture, because it would be a spoiler. So… yeah.
8:02 p.m. Short skirt for J-Lo tonight. Very short. She looks like she’s going to the mall. In 1984. Stylish.
8:02 p.m. Nicki Minaj and Scotty McCreery will be performing tonight. But not together. Because that would be WEIRD.
8:03 p.m. But first? We’re plugging for the Aerosmith summer tour. The crowd is very enthusiastic. Tyler says that he’s planning on dressing up like a lion tamer with a whip and whipping the front row into shape. It’s going to be called The Global Warming Tour. Tickets will be available on the “American Idol” website. Now you know.
8:05 p.m. Lots of the people whose songs were sung last night enthusiastically tweeted that they approved of their inevitable ensuing sales bump.
8:06 p.m. DeAndre didn’t get a Twitter message from Eric Benet. But Eric Benet is HERE! HUGGING DeAndre! DeAndre is beyond words. We’re talking Kristen Bell/Sloth level of excitement.
8:07 p.m. Ford Music Commercial time. They want to rock. I want to nap.
8:08 p.m. Eric Benet, having put in his time, departs, leaving a quivering DeAndre in his wake.
8:11 p.m. The “Idol” finalists moved out of the “Idol” Hotel, which I’m sure was a scuzzy flophouse into the “Idol” Mansion. Every couple years, “Idol” attempts to do this thing where they pretend “Idol” is “Real World” or “Top Model” and they threaten to show what life is like for the contestants at home. Then eventually they realize that “Idol” is such a meat-grinder that the contestants are never home and when they are home, they’re tired and boring.
8:13 p.m. DeAndre doesn’t know what a bidet is. And he has a big bedroom. That’s about all I got out of that featurette.
8:13 p.m. Results time! Elise Testone, Phillip Phillips and Hollie Cavanagh come to center stage for a recap and Jimmy Iovine’s impressions. Jimmy says Elise took charge of the stage and that the result was “transporting,” arguing that Elise isn’t too old to find success. It also seems that next week’s theme is The ’80s, but as Jimmy accurately points out, that should be good for Elise, who he predicts could become a dark horse. Jimmy says that Stevie Nicks believes in Phil-Phil and he personally thought Phil-Phil was flawless. Jimmy thinks Hollie is technically strong, but “emotionally behind the pack,” adding that Jessica has the edge because she has more soul than Hollie does. I’d like Jimmy to know that Jessica is also technically superior to Hollie.
8:18 p.m. Hollie is in the Bottom Three. Phil-Phil is safe. And — Yay! — Elise is safe. Since I had Hollie predicted for the Bottom Three… I’m OK with this.
8:22 p.m. Here comes Nicki Minaj. She’s performing “Starships,” a song that has something to do with a pink submarine and Nicki Minaj’s cleavage. I’m disappointed by the lack of commentary on the Catholic Church. I also don’t really know what Nicki Minaj is doing. It’s almost entirely a backing track. Sometimes she says a few words to the audience. By the end, she’s just standing in the middle of the stage jiggling energetically.
8:27 p.m. “There are parts of that performance that were a little high-risk,” Ryan says, referring to her breasts. Nicki wants to come back as a guest judge. J-Lo cringes nervously.
8:31 p.m. Colton Dixon, Joshua Ledet and Heejun Han join Ryan for chatter. From this group, I predicted Heejun for the Bottom Three. I feel OK with that. Jimmy thinks Colton was good, but not good enough, criticizing him for losing it, emotionally, on the stage. Jimmy says Joshua delivered 85 percent of the song, but when he lost himself in emotion, his voice tightened. Jimmy doesn’t think Heejun’s performance was enough, saying he doesn’t sing as well as the other eight contestants.
8:35 p.m. Seacrest doesn’t bother messing with Colton and sends him to safety. After the vote, Joshua is safe and Heejun is in the Bottom Three. Fair enough, again. Before going to safety, Joshua walks over and gives Hollie a hug, which is wicked sweet.
8:39 p.m. Scotty McCreery time. “Water Tower Town” is the kind of up-temp song that Scotty mostly avoided doing last season. You can definitely tell that he’s been performing regularly and not just because he’s holding the microphone straight at least 75 percent of the time. The judges stand for Scotty, who gets a hug from Seacrest. They have a surprise for Scotty. It’s his platinum record. I’d expect “The Voice” to do a similar presentation when Javier Colon’s first album sells its 50th copy.
8:47 p.m. Our last trio is Skylar Laine, DeAndre Brackensick and Jessica Sanchez. Jimmy worries that Skylar picked a character song and he wants her to do more melodic songs in the future. Jimmy thinks DeAndre is right in the middle, but he thinks DeAndre needs to earn his dues and he needs more experience. Jessica apparently doesn’t need more experience, according to Jimmy.
8:51 p.m. After the vote… Jessica is safe. The person in the Bottom Three is… Skylar. DeAndre is safe. I missed that one in my predictions, but I’m not shocked.
8:55 p.m. First to safety from the Bottom Three… Skylar.
8:56 p.m. It’s down to Hollie and Heejun. The person with the fewest votes is… Heejun Han. He’s not going to get saved and the lesson here is simple: America liked one version of Heejun that the judges happened not to like. Heejun let “American Idol” strip away what made him appearing and distinctive and while the judges condescendingly saluted him for his emasculation, America did not.
8:57 p.m. Heenjun does a reprise of last night’s very respectable Donny Hathaway performance. J-Lo is crying a little as Heejun finishes. I assume that’s because she’s going to have to break the bad news.
8:59 p.m. The judges deliberate. Steven Tyler delivers the news and tells Heejun that they’re letting him go.
9:00 p.m. Farewell, Heejun.
Did America make the right decision? Did the judges make the right decision in not using the Save?