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April 01, 2011 at 02:26 AM EDT

According to the maudlin piano keys splashed with magenta lettering that opened up the results show, we weren’t going to “BELIEVE….WHO IS GOING HOME.” What was that all about? I’m not surprised that Naima Adedapo and Thia Megia were the sacrificial lamb chops we lost last night. Lovely singer Thia never showed a personality, whereas the freewheeling Naima offered up a bunch of different ones, including an African dancer with clownish pants and a spirited business lady from Jamaica. I’d picked Thia and Stefano to go home, but Naima makes sense, too. You either dug her or you didn’t; she could only skate by for so long.

Paul McDonald — a newcomer to the stools of doom — joined Naima and Thia in the bottom three last night. Hello, sausage fest. Three girls and six guys remain. Get ready for some more boy band performances on Thursday nights.

I liked the idea of the extra performances, by the way, even if most of them seemed wildly unrehearsed and ultimately unprofessional. (Jacob and Naima, I’m trying not to look at you.) Why not, you know? There they are. Your top 11. There’s a whole hour to fill, so why not let ’em sing? It was a good chance to compare the warblers in settings other than the often disastrous group numbers and always mind-numbing automotive music videos. Haley got the pimp center spot in “Teenage Dream,” for example, but Pia, whose solo came second, came out much stronger and clearer right off the bat. She also knew what the lyrics were. Thia, meanwhile, didn’t even get her own verse, which was fine because it was more important to have the 16-year-old save her best vocal juice for the lyric “Let’s go all the way tonight” in the chorus. Kids!

A low-energy Lauren and Scotty reminded me of two people who refuse to leave the bar after-hours on their duet of Randy Travis’ “I Told You So.” All that was missing was a high table, an empty bottle, and the last fetid wedge of a barbecue chicken quesadilla ordered so many hours ago, before the couple’s quarrel had begun. Their vocals were very pretty and even complementary towards the end, I thought, and they were wise to not oversell the performance.

Kris Allen in the audience! There he is.

NEXT: Is Fantasia Barrino the next Jimmy Iovine?

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