The most exciting performer heads home; finalists advance; Adam Lambert trespasses

By Annie Barrett
May 18, 2012 at 05:10 AM EDT
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Well, third place and the esteemed titles of Best-Dressed and Mr. Congeniality ain’t bad. Joshua Ledet, the 20-year-old pride of Westlake, Louisiana, headed home on tonight’s results show. It’s not right, but it’s okay. There’s certainly no rule that says the best singer and performer will win American Idol. I’m not surprised we’ll have a Jessica Sanchez vs. Phillip Phillips finale.

Instead of crying for Josh, I’m just glad he made it this far and got to bring his mom onstage for his swan song, “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World.” I almost threw my water bottle (full of tears I’ve collected over the season) at the TV when the credits brutally cut off the end of his performance. But no. Happy thoughts. This was the Top 3! Anyone could have gone. I’m not mad. Besides, where would the episode have been without J. Lo rambling for 45 seconds about NOTHING before Ryan delivered the verdict? I know I needed that. “Big moment.”

Even though Jimmy Iovine thought Wednesday was “not Joshua’s best night,” he called him “the most exciting showman we have” and argued that “100 percent he should be in anyone’s finale.” Anyone’s! Do you have a finale? Joshua should be in that one instead.

EW.com readers agreed with Jimmy: At post time, 60 percent of you thought the wrong contestant went home. But in a poll that asked who gave the best performances Wednesday night, Joshua lagged behind Jessica by 10 percent and Phillip by 15. Interesting. Since when am I obsessed with stats? NO MORE NUMBERS. No more numbers in this recap.

I thought Jessica was going home tonight. The judges and Jimmy have set up a nice little comeback arc for her for next week — all she needs to do now is choose the right songs (or have them chosen for her) and she can wildly outdo herself compared to this week’s efforts. Phillip, on the other thigh, may have peaked performance-wise on Wednesday with “Beggin'” and “We’ve Got Tonight.” I predict Jessica will ramp up the energy big time next week and Phillip will maintain his usual temperature of “totally chill.” So Jessica could definitely appeal to viewers looking for an exciting finale. But if Phillip accidentally starts caressing his chest mid-song on Tuesday instead of his upper leg, then forget it.

Esteemed Colleague’s Mom Email Interlude: 

Why thanks, Kristen Baldwin’s mom! The cat really drives home the strength of your opinions.

NEXT: Adam Lambert trespasses; Lisa Marie Presley goths outAdam Lambert, glamazon priestess of neon yellow accents and pompadours, beamed down from Planet Fabulous to inject some much-needed life into this sorry-ass hour of filler. I’ve been admiring Joshua’s stage presence compared to his season 11 cohorts, but “Never Close Our Eyes” reminded me just how talented and lively some of our former idols have been. Adam had the confident yet classy swagger of a current artist in his own right instead of a scared little reality show contestant creeping back onto the big stage. (I felt the same way about Haley Reinhart’s return earlier this season and David Cook’s last week.) He’s very compelling! I was also a big fan of all the androgynous stylemonsters in his band. Was that a girl or a guy behind him with the orange hair and neon yellow polka dot eyebrow? I loved…that person. (Update: Duh, it’s Tommy Joe Ratliff, the guitarist Adam kissed on the AMAs!)

The rest of the results show was as ridiculous as ever. The terrible Ford Music Video of a “silent movie” featuring Joshua as an old man and Jessica as a small, skinny man was probably one of the most embarrassing moments of Phillip Phillips’ life — and he wasn’t even in it!

We also got an extended advertorial for Ice Age: Continental Drift, also known as Ice Age 4 or J. Lo Gets a Paycheck. The final four (hi Hollie!) joined a woman I could have sworn was Kandi Burruss from The Real Housewives of Atlanta (it was actually singer-songwriter-record producer Ester Dean) to tour the recording studio and try out a track from the movie in the booth and…..

Oh wow, I’m so sorry, I fell asleep. That is so unprofessional.

I’d been wondering for awhile what “the opposite of a Tim Burton movie come to life” would look and sound like, and now I know because it was Lisa Marie Presley’s performance on the Idol stage. I actually liked her low-toned and somewhat haunting vocal on “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” but it seemed like she and her Mad Hatter-costumed band members were performing in an disenchanted forest far removed from humanity. If you told me they’d filmed it in an actual forest and just sent this in as a creepy music video, I’d buy it. Well not BUY it.

Rita Wilson and Carole Bayer Sager joined Jimmy Iovine in the audience to help Ryan Seacrest pay tribute to late disco legend Donna Summer. Can anyone else see Jessica Sanchez singing “Last Dance” to close Tuesday’s performance finale? Could be a “moment moment moment”!

We’ll always have this moment.

Bye, Joshua!

“You guys have a dream,” said Steven Tyler. “If you don’t have a dream, there’s no way to make one come true.”

Got that? Get used to it because you never will.

.

Ready for the finals Tuesday? Ugh, the Tuesday thing. Why does Idol think that’s cute? We’re not all automatically free that night. EW’s Jessica Shaw will be filling in here as I have to recap the Dancing With the Stars finale. She’s way funnier. You’ll forget I even existed.

Did the right one head home? Can Jessica edge out Phillip in the finals?

Follow @EWAnnieBarrett

Read more:

‘American Idol’ Top 3 recap: Imagine All the People

Is J. Lo leaving ‘American Idol’?

‘American Idol’: Name your Top 3 Power List!

Hollie Cavanagh talks to EW after Thursday’s elimination — VIDEO

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. This is *not live*!

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