"American Idol" 2013: Results (Top 9 to Top 8)

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The show opened with the Jimmy Iovine recap, which I always find fascinating. Jimmy is the one person who I feel actually knows what’s going on this season. He found Wednesday night confusing, because some of the singers were good, some were bad, and yet the judges were nice to all of them. He basically gave it to the judges for not doing their jobs. Seriously, we’ve never had a more useless group of judges on this show. Only Nicki and Randy even approach honesty, and sometimes Nicki is way off.

Jimmy also had an issue with several of the contestants not knowing the Beatles catalog, saying that “American Idol” is a job just like singing is a job, and the contestants should be doing their homework. Amen. And lest we forget, some of the judges didn’t even know these songs (MARIAH). Jimmy really came for Lazaro, calling his number on Wednesday easily the worst of the night. He also basically called Lazaro a liar for his plea to Ryan (and America) that he learned his song the night before. Jimmy said that Lazaro sang that same song when he worked with him on Saturday. So something in the milk isn’t clean there.

Jimmy felt that Amber deserved to be in the Top 3, but he called Candice the best performance of the night. On the other hand, he thinks Paul made some really stupid mistakes and will end up in the Bottom 3. Angie got the dreaded “too dramatic” note from Jimmy, and you could see his concern about her. I weirdly feel the same -- she could totally get lost in this competition, yet her potential is massive. Meanwhile, he considers Janelle his dark horse. She had a great night on Wednesday, but I wouldn’t go that far, Jimmy.

Group sing! The boys sang “Got to Get You Into My Life.” You could barely hear them. And there’s no excuse for that since I’m 99 percent sure these stupid things are prerecorded and autotuned into oblivion. This week it was Paul’s turn on the lame city/town proclamation day merry-go-round. This is such a stupid addition to the show this season. And furthermore, actual government officials are wasting time making official proclamations about also-rans on a reality show. Is that how you want your elected officials spending their time? The brutal twist is that after Ryan gave Paul his dumb plaque, he also informed him that he was in the Bottom 3. Boom. (But not surprising.)

After the commercial, Season 10’s Casey Abrams came out to sing “I Saw Her Standing There.” Casey’s muttonchops are not the look. Not even remotely. I swear, I need to teach a seminar for straight men on questionable facial hair choices. Anyway, I always liked Casey, and he was good on this, too -- although the noodling at the end got a bit tiresome. He’s a real musician and artist, and I realized while watching him that those are in short supply this season. The closest I think we come is Angie.

Then the five ladies came out for a group number. I know that damned song but I cannot for the life of me remember the title. I thought parts of it were simply gorgeous, while other parts nearly went off the rails. There were times I also questioned whether it was pre-recorded or not.

Results: Devin found himself in the Bottom 3 again. I agree with that. It was a very dull number. He talked about how he had a really hard day yesterday but was proud of his performance. Hm, interesting. Lazaro said that the judges last night were right “for the most part,” and said that he has to pick songs he loves and not switch songs. Again: Jimmy Iovine told us that Lazaro sang “In My Life” over the weekend. So did he switch songs, and then switch back? Or what? Regardless, Lazaro was not in the bottom. Absolutely ridiculous. This is what the show gets for pushing Lazaro through to the live voting just so it could milk his sob story.

And then, Jessica Sanchez! I really wanted Jessica to win Season 11. No offense to Phillip Phillips. He is great. But Jessica, to me, was the best shot this show had at a girl winner in years. (Until this year, when the producers obviously stacked the deck in the ladies’ favor.) SO talented, so young, so full of potential. She premiered her new single with Ne-Yo, which sounded suspiciously like “Closer” in the beginning but came into its own in the chorus. The song was too low for Jessica, and the poor dear really can’t sing and dance at the same time. I liked the song less the longer it went along. It’s super repetitive. But, hey, that’s what’s on the radio right now. So good luck to Jessica. I hope she makes it huge.

More results: Kree was safe, Candice was too. Angie was safe, meaning every person I was really worried about was fine. Janelle made it through, and that’s right given her performance last night. But after Lazaro she’s the weakest person left in the group.

That left the final B3 slot between Amber and Burnell, and surprisingly it was Amber in the low-scoring group. Randy Jackson said that he was shocked that Amber was in danger. Me too; I suspect that had to do with song choice more than anything else. She sounded great on “She’s Leaving Home,” but it’s not an attention grabber.

Given that Ryan zipped through the results without any rankings, I guess we can assume that they’ve discontinued that after just one week. Oh, the conspiracy theories one can associate with that one! My guess is that this comes down to Lazaro, who I suspect was one of -- if not THE -- highest vote-getter last night. And that’s got to be a huge egg on the face of this show, because he’s easily the worst singer in this competition. There’s not even a question about that.

Anyway, it was Paul who received the lowest number of votes. Not surprising. For his sing-for-the-save he did Heart’s “Alone,” which I believe he sang in semi-finals. A mistake then, a mistake now. The song is simply too low for Paul, and he barely got through the first verse. He cut loose on the chorus and sounded great on it, but a song is more than a chorus.

Not that it really mattered. Paul had zero shot of getting the judges’ save. He has never been a favorite of the judges, and I think some of them (Keith, possibly Randy) were surprised that he made Top 10 to begin with. He’s got a great voice for the radio, but he has some serious weaknesses that he needs to address. Hilariously, after Randy told him he wasn’t getting the save, the crowd booed. Paul said, “Hey, I think I’m pretty great, OK?” Of course you do, Paul.

So that’s two boys down, and Devin continues to circle the drain. Unless he does something massively different next week he’s toast. Unless America wakes up and actually starts listening to Lazaro.

Next week: “the music of the Motor City.” So, Motown?

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