Hans Gruber: You are most troublesome, for a security guard.
John McClane: Eeeh! Sorry Hans, wrong guess. Would you like to go for Double Jeopardy where the scores can really change?
It's double jeopardy of a sort for the remaining 11 Idol hopefuls, because thanks to the judges' save of Casey Abrams last week, two contestants are going home this week.
Fine, I just wanted to work a Die Hard quote in. You got me.
Last night featured the music of Elton John, whose four decades-plus career would provide ample material for... interpretation. But who's in danger after tonight? We knew Casey would likely play it safe, but what were the chances any of the other ten would shake things up?
Why am I asking you? I'm the one who had to watch the damn thing. Onward.
First up was Scotty McCreery. His pick: "Country Comfort," because of course it was. I like how he explained his choice by saying it was Elton's only country song. Spoken like the guy who never listened to the rest of Tumbleweed Connection, or "Turn the Light Off When You Leave," which he only performed on the frigging CMA Awards. I mean, it's a country song that talks about *turning lights off*. Talk about a missed opportunity.
Still, his confidence is apparent. Can't wait until hip-hop week.
The Judges: Predictably supportive, if continuing the not-so-subtle hints that he's a dead man the second he attempts to change things up. Little chance of that, I'd say.
You knew Naima Adedapo was in trouble as soon as Ryan Seacrest said she was giving a reggae spin to "I'm Still Standing." The whole thing smacked of lounge act, and all I could think of was that line from the "Poochie" episode of The Simpsons about trying to "Rasta-fy him by 10 percent or so."
The Judges: Tentative. Steven praised the choice, but Randy and Jennifer's trepidation probably spells trouble.
Brief break while Auto-tune maestro Taio Cruz solicits lyricists for the new Coke jingle. Bonus points for anyone who can rhyme "malted battery acid."
"Rocket Man" is one of the songs I sing to my daughters at night to get them to sleep, and even as a lullaby I'm pretty sure I put more oomph into it than Paul McDonald did, but he keeps getting by because there are still three or four on shakier ground. He's probably safe. For now.
The Judges: Steven likes his suit, which is starting to remind me of Marge's ever-mutating Chanel dress (another Simpsons reference...Fox should hire my ass). Randy wants "more." Hey, did you know you could vote online? I gotta get me one of those internets.
The photographer for the contestants' EW photo shoot gives voice to something we've all known for a while, Pia Toscano is pretty hot. She takes on "Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me," which might seem to go against Randy's admonition last week to stop with the ballads, except she nails it.
The Judges: Huh, J Lo has goosebumps again this week. That Nokia Theater must be drafty.
Stefano Langone's abbreviated version of "Tiny Dancer" robs the song of its impact, which isn't his fault (please god, don't let them start singing six minute songs in their entirety). However, his bland performance is.
The Judges: Randy: "Very nice." Steven: "Sweet. A little Broadway." Jesus, just question his manhood and get it over with.
Whoa, is that Stefano's dad with a matching soul patch? Outstanding. And he's sitting next to Howie Mandel, who also has a soul patch, and has a show about flash mobs premiering tonight. Yep, nothing captures the spontaneity of improvisation like putting it on a major network.
I am an Elton John fan, but I'm as sick of "Candle in the Wind" as I am of anything on Steve Miller's greatest hits album. Nothing personal, Lauren Alaina, but it was weak. When the hell is somebody going to rock out. Oh right, James hasn't sung yet.
The Judges: How cute, Steven is flirting with the underage girl. It's like 1975 all over again. I'm still not convinced she doesn't land in the bottom three tonight.
Speaking of James Durbin, how did we know he'd do "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting" (it was that or "Crocodile Rock")? The crowd certainly loves this goofy cross between Mark McGrath and a dog that tracks mud all over your house.
The Judges: "A great performance." We'll find out if his crack about a "Pepsi moment" causes the marketing department at sponsor Coca-Cola to call for this head.
I'll say this for Thia Megia's rendition of "Daniel," she actually sounded like she was going to cry. Maybe because she knows she's not long for the show.
The Judges: Steven must have taken extra happy pills this morning, he likes everybody.
Casey Abrams starts off tentative, I blame the beard trimming (maybe he'll get a chance to do Regina Spektor's "Samson" later).
The Judges: Surprisingly, all three judges pat themselves on the back for saving him last week. It wasn't his best, but not bad enough to get voted off. We'll see.
Jacob Lusk gets a visit from Mary J. Blige, so there's that. You can see him struggling to rein the histrionics in during "Sad Songs Say So Much," with...limited success. Still don't like the dude. Sorry.
The Judges: J Lo: "You don't see a note like that every day." What?
Haley Reinhart is last up, doing her best Fabulous Baker Boys impression during "Benny and the Jets" while reminding us why she's consistently in the cellar.
The Judges: Or maybe not. "Performance of the night?" Unlikely.
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I'd tell you to stay tuned tonight for the results, but really, does it matter all that much at this point? And you're going to have to sit through Jamie Foxx and will.i.am before seeing who gets the boot. Still, if you're stuck with the choice between that and the "special music episode" of Grey's Anatomy, I'd recommend hitting yourself with a ball peen hammer until overtaken by merciful unconsciousness.
Oh, and my picks for the bottom three: Naima, Thia, and Haley. Vonder Haar out.