Ne-Yo and Jessica Sanchez perform on "American Idol." (Michael Becker / FOX )
The "American Idol" voters finally had enough of Paul Jolley. No sooner had Jolley been informed that a town in Tennessee had named a day (last Saturday, March 16 -- so I guess he missed it?) after him, than he got word he'd landed in the bottom three. He was soon joined there by Devin Velez and (sadly) Amber Holcomb. But the latter two soon discovered they had survived to sing another week: It was Jolley who had come in dead last -- ending the long run of white-guy "Idol" winners.
He sang for the save, though he couldn't have thought the judges, who hadn't been digging him for weeks, and in fact, back in Hollywood, almost didn't put him through to Las Vegas, would use their one and only save of the season on him. The four people who held his fate in their hands tried to make it look like they were deliberating. But when called upon to render a verdict -- nope, no save -- Randy Jackson couldn't have looked less sorry to see Jolley go.
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True to his name, however, Jolley chipperly declared that, since he had his own day and all, he was "pretty great." Aw, we wish him the best of luck (and pants with strong seams) as he works toward realizing his dream of becoming the male Taylor Swift or Carrie Underwood. Like the judges, we've never really felt the country vibe from him, but whatever. It's all water under a small-town bridge now.
Interestingly, the producers opted not to show us the ranking of the contestants this week, which I, personally, am pleased about. It's still kind of a drag that the cat's out of the bag about the frontrunners -- Kree Harrison, Candice Glover and Angie Miller -- after last week's more-revealing-than-necessary reveal. I'd like to think that the voters' allegiances can shift and build as the weeks roll on and the singers earn their admiration, but who knows? I wouldn't be at all surprised if the vote comes down to those three in the final weeks. On the other hand, I could see Janelle Arthur -- who Jimmy Iovine called a "dark horse" -- or even Burnell Taylor sneak in.
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Heaven forbid Lazaro Arbos sticks around beyond the next week or so. Iovine -- who, after we watched calmly ripping his engineer a new one, we know is not a guy we want to work for -- said that Arbos was "the bottom of the pile" this week, no matter how the audience voted. I completely agree. Yet for whatever reason -- sympathy, the cute-guy factor, cotton in their ears, all of the above -- they spared him even a bottom-three spot. Seems like a sweet guy, I guess, but voters, really, it's time for him to go. You're not doing him any favors by keeping him around to sweat it out until his inevitable (here's hoping) loss.
What did you think of the results? Were you happy to see Jessica Sanchez show up with Ne-Yo and some new moves and Casey Abrams return with his bass and scat-singing intact but his beard partly missing? And do you agree with Iovine that the judges are being too complimentary, and not critical enough, across the board this season?