'American Idol': The Sixth Sent

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Well, we are now down to the top 5! Which means we are so close I can almost taste the confetti. Summer is almost here and soon we will have forgotten all about these people. Won't that be terribly liberating? It most certainly will be. But for now! For now they're still here, and we're still here, so let's discuss what happened last night.

Another day, another young dream crushed. And no, I am not speaking about Stefano Langone. Although... good grief. I know there was obviously going to be some trouble in marketing a guy like Stefano — he's handsome but not like dreamboat handsome, he's talented in a rather bland way — and short of slapping on a pair of hotpants and performing in the afternoon lounge on a budget Atlantis cruise, he doesn't really have a perfect niche. But he at least needs a style, a thrust, an angle. So, with that in mind, two options presented themselves: Would they go sensitive crooner or cool-cat club kid? I'm afraid they went with the latter, and last night Stefano performed a new jam called "I'm On a Roll," a title that flies in the face of truth in songwriting. In the song, which begins with a series of high-pitched owl hoots, Stefano brags about cutting the line at the club and drinking Sprite. Yeah. "If I played the lottery I'd probably win" is a lyric in the song, right before the chorus "I'm on a roll!" begins. Also "My ex wants sex tonight / I must be doing something right." Really Stefano? Are those things true? I don't know that the stories in this song are true. I believe the Sprite thing, that seems believable, but the rest? I'm just not sure. Also, he goes by Stefano now. Just Stefano. So. Yeah. "I'm On a Roll." Really, though? I mean... are you sure you are?

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Just prior to Stefano's number, a seriously bedraggled looking Casey Abrams showed up on stage to talk to Ryan for no apparent reason. He said hi to the kids and, when prompted to give them advice about the summer tour, said "Watch out for pranks." Which... thanks? OK, sure. Good advice. Not "Don't eat the sandwiches they give you, they're made from opossum meat and look what happened to me after I ate too many. I live in an abandoned sewing machine factory and am married to a raccoon. Thank god Ryan found me and brought me here tonight." That would be helpful advice. But "wattch out for pranks" is not even really advice. Especially when those pranks are "something involving ice cubes and the shower." Oh! Ohhh. You threw ice cubes at someone while they were in the shower. Quite a prank. OK, Casey. OK. Back to the factory with you. It's time.

Katy Perry also performed on the show last night (though I suppose it could have been pretaped), singing that new-ish single of hers that has the military themed video. The performance was also military themed, with Katy and her dancers descending from the ceiling on ropes as if from helicopters and then at one point everything went into night vision mode. So whatever, who cares, it's just Katy Perry mistaking shtick for style, same old same old. But then at the end she and her dancers did like a serious military salute and oh hell no, come on Katy Perry. Don't get all troopsy on us now. Show me Afghanistan on a map and then you can do a serious salute. Hell, show me the Middle East on a map. Jesus show me a map. Show to me that you even have a map. C'mon, Katy Perry. You know, you don't have to do everything your handlers tell you to do. BTW, the video for this song is about a girl who "joins the Marines" because she's mad at her boyfriend. Terrific as always, Katheryn.

OK, really there's no need to delay this any longer. The kids made a Ford video about magic that Phil Phillips wasn't in because he was back home, um, thinking about J.Lo. Then they were all shipped off to TMZ for a bizarre segment in which they listened to bad things about themselves and chuckled awkwardly at jokes about Jennifer Lopez's romantic history and basically the whole thing was miserable and served no purpose. Much like TMZ itself! So yeah that's the other stuff that happened in the episode prior to elimination. Now: Elimination!

The horrible thing that happened was that Skylar was in the bottom three. Good grief what is wrong with you, America? How can you seriously like Jessica Sanchez, who's about as exciting as a Triscuit (no offense to Triscuits, they are a fine product, they're just not that exciting), more than the electrified rhubarb stalk that is Skylar Laine? It just does not make any sense to me. It also makes me worry that Skylar will go home earlier than she ought to (she ought to win) and that we'll be stuck with some horrible finale. Imagine a Sanchez/Phil Phillips finale. Oh god, just imagine two hours of that. Good grief. And, actually, that's probably what we're gonna get. Unless Skylar fans are now scared. We'll see. ANYWAY, the other bottom three were, duhhhhh, Elise and Hollie. Neither looked terribly surprised to be there, Elise shrugging her broad shoulders and doing that unhappy, pained smile that she always does. Elise, what's wrong? Just in general, what's wrong? She's never seemed like she wanted to really be on the show, but then gets upset when people say she might be going home. I don't really get it. Elise is weird.

Hollie is less weird and mostly her reaction was to, just before the cameras cut to commercial, turn to the rest of the kids on the Couches of Satisfaction and give a little cartoony nervous face. She didn't seem that actually nervous just then, maybe a wave of "Eh, nothing I can do" helpless calm washed over her just at that moment. Whatever it was it was charming enough that, upon the show's return, the gods had blessed Hollie for another week. Elise was given the bad business and she smiled her sour smile and halfheartedly sang her Queen song and that was it. The old lady, the creaky ancient 28-year-old, is gone. She's probably gotta be at least a little relieved, right? Hanging around all those 19-year-olds all the time, constantly being in the bottom, getting flack from the judges. If you were an already sour person like she seems to be, I'd imagine this Idol experience would just make you even sourer.

So, cease your pickling, Elise. You are released. (Relised?) Well, for now. Sorta. You probs have to sing at the finale and then, heh heh, there's the matter of the grueling summer tour to be dealt with. (Remember Casey's advice: Avoid pranks! And, never talk back to a roadie, as it is perfectly legal for them to kill you.) But after that! You're done, girl. No more of all this nuisance. So turn that smile-frown upside down into a frown-smile and think on the bright side!

And the rest of you kids, you remaining little ones? The night is dark and full of terrors and next week another will drop. Beware. And remember Casey Abrams' last words (what, you thought someone could live in an old abandoned sewing machine factory and live a long and healthy life?): "Please god help me I have three kinds of lice." Words to live by.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.