Once again, the “American Idol” Top 8 performed on Wednesday night. And once again, they face an elimination.
Last week, the judges decided to say, “Whatever” to their lone save and they opted to protect Sam Woolf. I'm not convinced it was Sam Woolf they were saving so much as they were honoring the integrity of the season's best performance episode.
Tonight (April 10) the Save is gone and that's just as well, because Wednesday's '80s Night performances were weak. I don't think anybody fell flat on their faces, but there were only one or two standout solos amidst the mediocre morass. As long as Alex Preston, Jena Irene and Caleb Johnson are safe tonight, I'm not going to worry too much about who gets sent home.
8:59 p.m. ET. I'm not even sure who's performing tonight, guest-wise. How will we fill 30 minutes? Buckle up and let's see.
9:00 p.m. “Tonight… the spotlight will fade out… on another dream,” we're warned. “No more Save… No more second chances,” the on-screen text threatens.
9:01 p.m. “Your vote says it all, America,” Ryan Seacrest bottom-lines it before introducing the Jennifer Lopez Fashion Parade. She was dressed in black last night, so tonight is white. She dutifully puts her hands out for people to touch her. She can't actually kneel to greet them because of the brevity and tightness of her dress. But she tries to maintain that humanity, which has to be hard when the audience and her fellow judges are all chanting “J-Lo! J-Lo! J-Lo!” “Oh, I love Jello,” Keith deadpans. “They're both sweet,” Harry agrees.
9:04 p.m. Looking at a picture of Keith in tight jeans, Keith observes that he's wearing an Australian belt-buckle in the picture. “A kangaroo?” J-Lo asks adorably. No. It's just a map of Australia.
9:05 p.m. After the show last night, everybody was perplexed by why Harry was so wired last night and why he abutted a small child from the audience. Backstage, they all look up Rickey Nelson on Sam's behalf. Alex is grumpy that one of the judges didn't like his arrangement. And they jumped in the pool.
9:06 p.m. Is nobody performing tonight? Could they not book anybody? Are things that tough in “Idol”-dom?
9:09 p.m. The Ford Focus commercial is the worst game of Would You Rather ever played. This week's director didn't find a way to use Sam Woolf at all.
9:11 p.m. Let's get some results, or at least Randy Jackson's opinion on things. Randy thinks Dexter Roberts is going to be safe, but he has a lot more growth to show. Randy liked that CJ Harris took “Free Falling” into a higher octave so that we could “hear the cry in his voice.” Randy thought Jessica Meuse had all of the vocals, but not the attitude. Caleb showed a completely different side of himself, in Randy's opinion.
9:13 p.m. The first singer in the Top 7 is… Caleb. He's pleased. Also getting good news is… Jessica Meuse. It's only a Bottom Two this week and it is…CJ Harris. That means Dexter is safe. Since CJ was in my Bottom Three last night, I can deal with that.
9:19 p.m. The last four artists face Randy's tempered wrath. “I think he proved himself that he should be in this competition,” Randy says of Sam Woolf, but he also suggests that Sam's survival is only 50-50. Randy thinks Malaya Watson could find herself in “a little bit of trouble,” because she only hit some of the notes. Randy worries that Alex's arrangement may have gone a little too far. Randy thinks Jena was good enough not to be in the Bottom Three.
9:22 p.m. Next to safety is Alex Preston. Jena Irene's face is next on the screen. And now I'm all set. Whoever goes, goes. The other person in the Bottom Two is Malaya Watson, with Sam Woolf going to safety.
9:23 p.m. So far, this is what I figured would go down.
9:26 p.m. The person heading home is… Malaya Watson. That was totally predictable and, sadly, not really connected to her actual vocal skills. We knew she was struggling to connect with audiences and that her margin to stick around was wire-thin. Given those problems, she just made a bad, bad song choice last night. I think Malaya has more long-term potential than at least two or three of the remaining contestants, but that's not all “Idol” is about.
9:30 p.m. Malaya ends with a choked up smile.
9:30 p.m. Time to watch “Surviving Jack”!
Sad? Satisfied? Confused why “Idol” couldn't get anybody to perform tonight?