American Idol Top 20: The Results Show

Another so-so night for my future as a Jimmy The Greek, but a good night for drama with lots of tears and mysterious subplots. I'm batting .500, which sounds good, or I went 2-4, which sounds...alright. At least no one I thought was safe got sent home.

Seventies Medley -- another godawful Up With People sing-along, though it's always interesting to see who flubs and shines even when all they have is a line or two to sing. On Todd Rundgren's "I Saw The Light," David Archuleta's eyes darted out to the crowd for a brief second when screams exploded but basically maintained his aw-shucks cool. But Danny Noriega has GOT to stop putting one hand behind his back and stretching it across to hold his other arm. Dude, it's totally a tell. On Bonnie Tyler's "It's A Heartache," Amanda Overmyer was just dreadful again, reinforcing my absolute, one hundred percent conviction that she is going home tonight. Is it too late to place a bet? Those songs blended into 10CC's "The Things We Do For Love" and Carole King's "I Feel The Earth Move" (which should have been a home run for Brooke White but wasn't quite). Jason Yeager actually sounded really good and I make a quick second prediction: he's going to improve mightily next week, though never really challenge for the Top 4.

Danny Noriega v Jason Yeager -- Chikezie looked resigned (again) to being eliminated but it came down to these two. Come on, Chikezie, you've got the goods; start to believe in yourself or we never will. Danny looked very blank-faced and stunned (not shocked he was in the bottom two in an obnoxious way, just trying to brace himself). I quickly guess "Danny" and was of course wrong. Jason is going home, perhaps with the nagging feeling that he never gave the performance he was capable of. A pop career (or a career on Broadway) is nothing but competition in a way but perhaps Jason isn't meant for this type of face-to-face brawl. Why do I say this? Because when he sang "Without You" by the Doobie Brothers, he looked like the weight of the world had been lifted off of him and did it so well I expected the judges to perk up and say, hey, if you'd sung like that on Tuesday you would have made it through. Instead, after he was eliminated, Simon was given a chance -- again -- to say he's not very good. What's the point of asking Simon to say something unless he had been supportive of them? Or at least ask Randy or Paula as well so they can give a pat on the back.

Amanda v Alexandrea -- Well, the easiest pick of the night since Amanda's performance was an absolute trainwreck. So of course it was...Alexandrea who was sent packing. Maybe she was being penalized for wearing a peace symbol earring by Middle America? (I'm joking.) At one point Ryan reached for her arm and she actually stepped back. Please, no touching. Then she sang, also doing a better job than on Wednesday, when it counted. The camera caught David Archuleta seemingly getting a little emotional, turning away and being casually solaced by Michael Johns. Then at the end of the song Alexandrea left the stage and gave the now tearful David Archuleta a big hug and then another big hug. Was there a backstage romance or were they just buddies?

Kady Malloy v Alaina Whitaker -- When Ryan asked the ladies in the front row to stand up, they all started muttering. No fun. It came down to these two and my last minute guess (different from my firm prediction of Alaina) was Kady. So of course it was...Alaina who went home. She broke down completely and burst out with, "I can't sing! Sorry, it's embarrassing." I thought she meant in general, but she was freaking out over the goodbye performance. Ryan gave her a very nice pep talk about what an accomplishment it was to get that far. Then he said because she was upset he'd give her a choice and she could sing if she wanted or take a pass if she didn't. Uh, Ryan, it's a live show. If she says she doesn't want to sing, what are you gonna do? Fire her? All the gals crowded around and she gave a creditable performance, again perhaps a better one than on Wednesday. This time it was Danny's turn to cry and tears were streaming down his face. Of course, he was upset -- they were the two funniest people on the show so it's only naturaly they'd get along offstage.

We found out that the Beatles catalog -- referred to intentionally as the "Lennon/McCartney songbook" instead of simply as songs by the Beatles (sorry, George) -- was finally released to Idol and would be the focus of the first Top 12 night on March 11.

Luke Menard v Robbie Carrico -- When Ryan told the guys to stand up and said the wait was over or something, one of them responded, "We can wait." Robbie sported a totally rockin' skull t-shirt. Even though I'd picked Robbie (and Michael Johns) to go, at the last moment I thought maybe Luke because that falsetto was so goofy. So of course it was...Robbie sent home. (Man, I am on fire tonight! Still I was two for four, picking Robbie and Alania to go but getting it wrong when I picked Amanda and Michael Johns to join them.) Ryan asked Simon to offer up some comments and Simon again basically said Robbie was a poseur and America knew it. What is the point, I ask again, of asking Simon what he thinks is the future for someone he has said was awful? It just seems mean. Robbie stood there stoically though you know he probably wanted to flash Simon the bird. And the last glimpse of sobbing? A delicate tear or two from Carly Smithson (who sounded really good in the opening medley, by the way -- a first for me in thinking so).

So to wrap up: Goodbye Jason Yeager, Alexandrea Lushington, Alaina Whitaker and Robbie Carrico. Also, there's no real point in asking Simon to comment on a performer he's been dissing after they've been eliminated. At the very least, his comments should be balanced by one of the other judges. And when it comes to being eliminated, a boring performance is far more dangerous than an awful one -- especially at this stage with so many people fighting for attention. Amanda Overmyer and Luke Menard and Asia'h Epperson and Michael Johns were, to me, the four worst performers. They're all back next week, while the "what did they sing again?" performances of Robbie and Alaina have sent them home. Were you happy with who got cut? And do you think David and Alexandrea like each other or do they LIKE each other?