Ryan starts by saying there'll be a sing-off between one guy and one girl. I'm hoping I didn't hear that correctly. Not that it matters - it will be a guy going tonight, however they work it.
Another odd tweak by the producers has Ryan telling them how many votes they got in their home territory. I'm not sure how useful that is. More interesting is the announcement of who is in the Top 3 each week - a bit like X Factor USA's ranking but without a more specific rank.
He starts with Deven, Janelle and Candice. Candice is in the Top 3. Deven and Janelle aren't. I thought Janelle might have been but imagine two of the other girls must have pushed her out.
My last article ended with: So, who will America throw out in Week 1? I would put Lazaro, Curtis and Deven in the Bottom Three but suspect it will be between Paul and Deven. I don't know if we'll get a Bottom Three as such now - it looks like we will get the 4-10 ranking with the 10th going home.
Some huge bloke comes on and gives Kree a key to some place in Texas. So will there be some award each week for the others? That was odd, especially as his back, covered in some equally gigantic tan coloured jacket almost filled the screen. Kree is also the second person in the Top 3.
Eh?? Now I'm confused, Charlie is back!!?? Oh, the 'sing off' Ryan was talking about appears to be between one girl and one guy who were rejected at the Top Ten stage. God, this is confusing! He sings Sky Blue Diamonds beautifully - a straight act from this guy with a stunning tone and that was extremely good, far, far better than any of the guys last week. That was his own song too - a brave move and it would be so good if he does get on to the Live Tour.
Oh boy, my other favourite, Aubrey Cleland, is the other contestant for this spot, On My Own she delivers nicely - and I do like her voice and looks - but she gets some notes wrong and it really doesn't match Charlie's performance. She does pull things back a bit at the end but I fear that she won't get back in. Now, I am still assuming that someone will be going home tonight, with 11 going on the American Idol tour instead of ten, including whoever gets kicked off tonight.
Last year's winner, Phillip Phillips does his new single Gone Gone Gone. He hasn't had any success over here in the UK but he sounds remarkably like Mumford & Sons who are now really popular here so perhaps he could break through now. It's a professional and naturally great performance. I still think Jessica should have won and would have been a more internationally successful representative of this show but the guy certainly has his fans over the water with 'quadruple platinum' for Home based on USA sales alone.
Lazaro and Angie. One has made it into the Top 3. Angie is the third member of that group. Three girls in the Top 3. That figures. I'd have five girls in the Top 5 from last night's efforts. Lazaro apparently beat her in Florida. Interesting. Presumably he's polled well across the States so won't be in the risk zone this week.
I am still trying to figure out what's going on. I guess the judges will be deciding between Charlie and Aubrey for the Idol Tour space but will they also be back in the Live Shows? The judges will also, presumably, be deciding between the two lowest ranking on the votes list too, with one going home.
4th Lazaro! Good Grief - that makes him the #1 Guy, even with a very average performance
So it's Deven and Curtis in the bottom two, which was what I'd initially thought but I reckoned Curtis would have had a lot of gospel support.
Wow. I didn't expect that. So now I figure out how this works: the bottom performer will sing again but will only get to continue if all four judges use their one and only 'save' in the series to keep him in. Nicky has already said that she's going home if he goes home. My guess is that they'll agree to keep him, recalling all the OTT comments they made in the past, especially Randy's, and that will be the end of their ability to save anyone else.
I was wrong again. Randy says that they were not unanimous! Nicky wants extra time but she doesn't get it. I am expecting at any moment a change of mind or even rules but no, he's gone. It wasn't a great version of the annoying I Believe I Can Fly. He had bags of passion but the fact that the public haven't taken to him does say something and all credit to whoever did vote against him to preserve that valuable option for someone who really could win but trips up one week.
I was also wrong again about the Charlie - Aubrey thing. Maybe there's a vote going on for them which we'll find out about next week.