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'American Idol' recap: Top 4 are revealed

We say goodbye to an early favorite and see a big shift in power.

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Michael Becker/Fox

American Idol

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
seasons:
15
performer:
Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, Ryan Seacrest
broadcaster:
Fox
genre:
Reality TV

We’re down to our top five, and by the end of the evening, we’ll be left with just four. And we all know what that means: We’ve officially reached the point in the season when everything starts going wrong.

Everyone gets two songs tonight. The theme for the first song is Judges’ hometowns. (Keith, you’re still not from Nashville, just FYI.) The theme for the second song is “their gravy song,” which makes absolutely no sense.

Clark, no to your outfit, sweetie! No to the shiny shirt, no to the skinny jeans, no to the boots. You took the advice and took it one too far, kiddo. Go back to your Dockers, my love. But Clark and his weird outfit move to the top four. We’re talking about style tonight with a style team, and Clark says he’d like to channel Justin Timberlake, stylistically. This is literally the last artist I would ever think he wants to embody. His first song is “Living for the City,” by Stevie Wonder. Man, it’s a little high for Clark, right? I hate to say it, but he sounds strained. He knows it too, and it’s freaking him out. He recovers when he runs over to the piano and kind of gets it back after that. But still, oof for me. Good, but I will not listen to this one on Spotify.

Jax’s chair is the next to turn green, and we see her meet with Scott’s head of A&R. Jax is so brilliant and well spoken in this meeting. Forgive my Randy Jackson reference, but she’s in it to win it, this girl. “Empire State of Mind,” is her first song. She’s back behind the piano, which reminds me of how incredible her performance was last week. And this week? She doesn’t disappoint. Not her absolute strongest vocal, but she’s the most engaging performer left on this stage, by a mile. J.Lo notes that Jax has positioned herself to win the whole competition, and I’m glad to hear this. She drove me nuts in the beginning of the season, but she’s behaved like such a pro over the past few months and has grown so much. My loyalties may be shifting.

Nick’s through next. Which is good news, I think, but I’m starting to get nervous. Because this means that Rayvon and Tyanna are our bottom two. And Idol fans, we’ve been in this for enough seasons to know that America never votes the way we want them to, especially not when we’re down to the top five. I’m worried about Tyanna. Real worried.

But back to Nick, who’s singing “Bright Lights” by Matchbox Twenty, possibly the most brilliant song choice of the entire season. 1. Fantastic song. 2. How have we never discussed how much he maybe sounds like Rob Thomas? J.Lo’s into it, her high pony bouncing along with the song. I feel a little bit of redemption with this performance. Finally these haters that I watch this show with every week nod and say, “Hey, that was okay!” Nick, you did it, kid. You won over all the horrible people in my life.

Quick break for Harry to perform! I mean, obviously we love this. Such a sucker for his crooked little face and his perfect intonation. The song is for sure too sleepy for this Idol crowd, but I’d watch this man behind a keyboard any day of the week. Love.

So we join Tyanna and Rayvon on the stage, and you know who’s safe? Yup, my worst fears are confirmed. Rayvon gets a hometown visit next week. Tyanna, our early frontrunner and arguably most talented vocalist, is out. Well. Damnit. Somebody give this girl a record deal, please? I desperately want to hear more of her. This feels like Latoya London all over again. The poor teenager now has to perform her final song, which, painfully, is “Run the World.” Tears are streaming down her face. But like the 16-year-old pro that she is, she struts all the hell around that stage with her head held high.

NEXT: Everything we thought we knew changes.

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