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'American Idol' Recap: Cut Down to Size

Top Four remain; Coldplay and Carrie Underwood stop by

May 4, 2012 9:25 AM ET
skylar laine idol
Skylar Laine performs before being eliminated on 'American Idol.'
Michael Becker / FOX

It's the dwindling hour of American Idol, when one of the final five drops, leaving what Ryan Seacrest calls the "coveted" top four positions. Quit trying to make the Top Four happen, Ryan. If you wouldn't get a medal at the Olympics, it doesn't count. Seriously, Top Four is not a thing.

That said, Coldplay and Carrie Underwood are most definitely a thing a thing that will finally be together! Finally! It's what the world has been waiting for, right? Wait, they aren't going to sing together at all, are they?

Before my dreams of an "Every Teardrop is a Cowboy Casanova" performance can be dashed, Ryan pulls Joshua Ledet out into the middle of the stage. The chances of Joshua going home after the judges declared him the best singer in America – present company and their friends and spouses excluded, of course – are pretty much zero. However, there were a lot of weird performances, and America has some strange voting tendencies (insert your own political joke here!) and anything is possible.

Jimmy Iovine reports from his luxury Armageddon bunker that Joshua nailed it last night, and then he mumbles something about the unlikelihood of Randy Jackson as a jockey winning the Kentucky Derby, which I think we can all agree is unlikely to happen but we would totally watch. Joshua is safe, and Jimmy pinky-swears with America as his witness that he and Interscope are going to do everything they can to do right by Joshua, who stands there as blank-faced as ever. Kid, The Man just offered you a job. Smile! Then Ryan asks Joshua what kind of album he wants to make and Joshua announces right there in front of everybody that he doesn't want to make an album for radio. A slow wail issues from Jimmy's bunker.

Now that we are in the final stretch of Idol, the Ford commercials are really kicking into gear. I guess they just take a while to get up to full speed, you know, like an Escort. In this ad the Idol contestants get to wear real costumes and "act." Once again Phillip Phillips is missing. Maybe he gets his medical care during Ford commercial filming? That's sneaky. Now don't all rush away at once, but you can watch all of the American Idol Ford commercials on Idol's website.

Coldplay plays their song "Paradise" in what looks like the blacklight, graffiti-splattered bathroom of a dive bar. Well done, Idol set designers. You sure know how to bring it when it comes to atmosphere. No Gwyneth sighting.

Ryan then calls Hollie Cavanagh and Phillip up to center stage. It's an intriguing combination, like staring at a freezer with only a meatloaf Hungry Man dinner or a Salisbury steak Hungry Man dinner. Both are only so-so, so which do you eat first? Phil-Phil gave a mediocre performance yesterday, while Hollie is on the rise, but also forgettable. Before we can find out, Jimmy generously reminds America that Phil-Phil has been very sick and a lesser man would have dropped out of the competition. That said, he sucked last night and should be packing his bags.

In response, Phil-Phil hands notorious germaphobe Ryan Seacrest his gum, and Ryan chucks it at Jimmy Iovine on Phillip's behalf. Ryan finally gets around to telling Hollie that she is in the bottom two. Phil-Phil is safe to ignore a melody another week. Ladies, HE HAS A GIRLFRIEND.

Carrie Underwood and a giant fan show up on stage to sing the title track off her new album, which is either called "Blown Away or just has "blown away" as the chorus over and over again. The judges get off their duffs for her, because respect yo, even though two of them had nothing to do with her success whatsoever. Ryan jokes that the results just blew away, a joke that the contestants politely applaud from the sidelines while giving Ryan the death stare.

That's when Ryan calls up Skylar Laine and Jessica Sanchez. Ryan asks Jimmy for his opinion on which of these unlucky ladies will join Hollie in the bottom. Jimmy thinks Skylar is a fighter who suits up (in Nana's bedazzled afghan) and prepares for battle. That said, he didn't like her rendition of Dusty Springfield. However, technically Jessica is the best singer in the competition, despite the fact that she murdered Tina Turner. While he has our attention, though, he would like to point out that Jessica's dress was too mature for her, and then he calls out the stylists for dressing a tiny teen in a racy ensemble that could put Middle America off their supper or land all of Middle America in the confessional. Dirty-minded Middle America.

J.Lo and Randy agree that the dress was a little over the top and tight. "It was tight!" J.Lo adds, while Jessica stands and nods as the big scary grown-ups tell her she was dressed inappopriately. Good grief, it was a sheath dress covered with modesty beads. I've seen worse on practically every episode of Toddlers & Tiaras, and we would never judge those little ladies. The best thing about this conversation? None of it matters, because Jessica is safe. Whatever social commentary J.Lo was making about Middle America (and why they won't watch Q'Viva!) was for naught and will probably just make Middle America never watch Q'Viva even more.

Either Skylar or Hollie is going home, but we won't find out until Coldplay does another song. They are doing "Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall," which is a fine song, but I like Robyn's version so much more that it's always slightly disappointing to hear Coldplay sing it. That said, Chris Martin does some excellent yoga moves on stage, so clearly Gwyneth is having a positive impact on him. Or maybe he just subscribes to Goop?

As Hollie and Skylar stand arm in arm awaiting results, Hollie looks like she's going to yarf on Ryan's shoes. Even in Sofa City Joshua has his head in his hands.

Randy knows they "sang their faces off" last night, which I don't think is a thing that people say. Steven Tyler, who has been especially quiet tonight, sadly notes that the Top Five has never been better than this, which is a hilariously endearing thing for Steven to say. I mean, what are the chances he could name anyone in the Top Five from two years ago? Or last year? Or anyone in the Top Thirty from this year? Oh Steven, just go back to counting in prime numbers or meditating, or whatever it is you do there.

Finally Ryan, announces that Skylar is going home. Hollie and Skylar hug each other for a long long time. Then Skylar tries to comfort Hollie, and then she pries her friend off of her and sends her to the couches, because it's getting a bit awkward. The judges stand up and applaud Skylar and her journey.

Then Skylar grabs the mic and sings about going home to load her shotgun, which are the actual lyrics to "Gunpowder and Lead," though they still sound kind of ominous, considering the circumstances. J.Lo is crying, because whatever it takes to get rid of the water weight. And then there were four.

Last episode: Five for Fighting

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