The judges choose between the bottom guy and bottom girl; Mary J. Blige and Lauren Alaina perform

By Annie Barrett
March 09, 2012 at 04:17 AM EST
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Last night’s “guys vs. girls” elimination was up to the judges, not the voters — Steven, J. Lo, and Pinhead determined in the end whether the least-voted guy or least-voted girl would go home. It made sense to eliminate Jeremy Rosado to even out the genders, so now six guys and six girls remain. Jeremy was such a sweet kid — a peach, really — but he wasn’t up to the challenge of this competition. He’d even become overshadowed by Heejun Han in his area of expertise, hugging, Wednesday night. Jer-Bear had nothing left to offer.

Elise Testone — the frowning one who wears all the hats — was the bottom girl. “We’re gonna save Elise,” J. Lo quietly announced in a not-too-riveting JUDGES’ CHOICE moment. Great, thanks, guys! Glad you hyped this up so much. And Steven Tyler had even foreshadowed Jeremy’s demise earlier in the show — Seacrest had asked which Bottom 4 guy would be in trouble and Steven dully and dutifully delivered the answer, “Jeremy,” as if he was a machine spitting out the mathematical results of a survey. A fabulous machine swathed in feathers and silkyscarves galore, of course. But come on, judges — Ryan needs a playmate! He’s having way too much fun toying with the contestants on his own and is going to burn out early without proper peer stimulation.

Ryan, absolutely giddy because the live results are finally his time to shine, needs to work out some kinks in his fake letdowns and surprise life-changers. His “America did not like what they saw. They LOVED it!” to Colton Dixon was harmless enough (and reminded me of the G.O.B. Bluth/Steve Holt exchange about whether Steve Holt liked magic on Arrested Development), but here was Ryan’s attempt to toy with DeAndre Brackensick: “DeAndre, you didn’t make it into America’s Top 10 last week, and I’m sorry to say…you’re gonna hafta…..endure the stress of the competition some more because you. are. SAFE!” That kid had no idea what was going on! He looked almost as baffled as when Steven had complimented his Jamaican patois the night before.

The pinnacle of Ryan’s sneaky delight, though, was when he nestled his way into a Joshua Ledet and Erika Van Pelt sandwich, gripped each of their thighs, and announced that they were being so silly for perching themselves on the stools of doom — because these two members of the bottom six were actually safe! “GET TO THE COUCHES!” he bellowed. “On this show, anything can happen, and it will!”

In that spirit, how the heck did Shannon “I cracked on only one note” Magrane get more votes than Elise anyway? Do you think Elise’s week-long stinkface hurt her chances with viewers? Will America think her post-performance reaction from Wednesday — “So the judges gave me some s— tonight…” — is totally stank instead of reasonable and frank? (I do.) It may just be that Elise and Erika are doomed to be bottom-dwellers because they’re “the two old ladies,” as Ms. Van Pelt joked.

NEXT: Colton Dixon emerges from an underpass; Lauren Alaina flips her hair Just so we’re clear: The second least-voted guy and girl — rounding out the Bottom 4 — were Jermaine Jones and Shannon Magrane. I was not a fan of the way Jermaine hollered his approval re: his chance to stick around into Shannon, Elise, and Jeremy’s faces. Wait until you’re back on the couches to do that, fool! Or better yet, entirely off-camera.

Let’s see, what else? Jimmy Iovine popped up again to fill some airtime with some nasally bonus commentary, the most memorable of which was the resounding declaration, “I LIKE nasal!” in defense of Skylar Laine. I also remember that Jimmy got especially deep on the topic of Colton Dixon: “I don’t think he’s found his truth yet.”

The truth is that Colton Dixon is why there’s traffic.

Ugh, I hate underpass giants. You’re scaring the other local skunks, sir. Just hide out somewhere else!

Lauren Alaina sauntered out to reveal her new Carrie Underwood makeover and attempt awkward, way-too-literal choreography during her single “Georgia Peaches.” Her transformation from Full House-era Candace Cameron to a bleached-blonde crispy brown churro actually made me gasp. “Oh, Deej! Put down the spray tan!” Her voice is still strong, but Lauren’s performance just made me more excited for what Skylar Laine can bring to Country Idol this season. I still don’t feel like L’Alaina knows how to let loose.

Wednesday’s special guest mentor, Mary J. Blige, performed her latest single, “Why,” off her album My Life II: The Journey Continues (Act 1). This had been my favorite album title of this decade until yesterday, at which point I learned about Fiona Apple’s upcoming 23-word prose poem. Anyway, I think Mary always sounds better in the studio, but it looked like she was having earpiece issues, and the energy she brings to the stage is always so ladybusiness-funktastic. She’s always bopping around wearing some sort of smart diva suit with…wait for it….

….something truly special, like a NECKLACE TIE. Brilliant!

Are you happy with the Top 13 results? Who’s in the most trouble heading into next week? Where can I buy a necklace tie? Discuss!

Follow @EWAnnieBarrett

Read more:

Wednesday’s ‘Idol’ recap: Oh the Stevie Wonder of It All

Jessica Sanchez covers ‘I Will Always Love You’ — VIDEO

Deandre Brackensick, Jessica Sanchez early frontrunners for hairography, cuteness

Which past ‘Idol’ contestant sang the best Whitney Houston cover? — POLL

Judges — not voters — will decide who goes home from Top 13

Ask Annie anything about ‘Idol’ (or whatever) in the video player below. To see her answers to previous questions, click on the text links below the picture.

Ryan Seacrest hosts as Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan guide aspiring singers on their way to superstardom.
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