American Idol Top 9 Results Recap: The Night Goes By So Very Slow

american-idol-season-12-top-9-resultsIf Jimmy Iovine ruled the world, American Idol would run like Game of Thrones.

Botch your lyrics: Get presented with a deadly crown of liquified gold. Screw up your glory note: Be forced to eat a raw stallion’s heart (right down to the last morsel). Get voted out by America (or screw up his sound-booth engineering): Find your head on a spike outside the gates of the city.

Like it or not, though, Jimmy’s approach would never work in real life: I mean, for starters, if Jessica Sanchez hadn’t survived the Season 11 finale, we wouldn’t have had the pleasure of hearing her perform her dancey-dancey debut single “Tonight” (alongside Ne-Yo) in the midst of the Top 9 results telecast. Last year’s runner-up worked the stage like a boss, and proved that not every Billboard-bound diva needs an injection of Auto-Tune to deliver note perfection with a side of sass.

And while Jimmy began the episode boasting of how he’d fired 110 assistants back in the day — “put that on your f****** show!” he giggled — his Mentor Feedback Moment (aka “A Recap of Idol Recap Comments Sections That Also Falls in Line With Uncle Nigel’s Pre-Determined Story Arc”) was fairly spot-on. Kree and Candice and Amber were amahhhzzz. Janelle has dark-horse potential. Amber Angie has potential but can’t be so high-school theater geek. Lazaro was the “bottom of the pile.” Oh, and also Jimmy said Lazaro was lying about having only one day to learn his song: ESCANDALO!

That last named contestant and his lustrous locks weren’t going anywhere, of course. I mean, his tears from Wednesday’s performance show — along with a season’s worth of good will — had to be enough for a Top 8 placing. We all knew it, even if it made us feel dismayed. And then when Ryan introduced the episode by declaring “we could be in store for a surprise,” it was clear one of Lazaro’s compadres would be catching a grenade for him (yeah, yeah, yeah).

Okay, okay let’s cut to the critical shenanigans.

SENT TO SAFETY (in no particular order)
Lazaro Arbos
Kree Harrison
Candice Glover
Angie Miller
Janelle Arthur
Burnell Taylor

Paul Jolley (as expected)
Devin Velez
Amber Holcomb (ILLEGAL! but, yeah, I called it last night despite her being in my Top 3)

Fooled ya! They didn’t reveal ’em this week!

Paul Jolley: “Alone” | Sorry, clear-voiced but passionless country dude, this rendition was as rocky as your Top 20 Results Night victory anthem. And a crumbling final note sealed the deal: No Judges’ Save for Jolley.

Good news: Ryan played a funny highlight reel from Amber’s dress rehearsal where she struggled to come down a set of stairs despite an insane amount of dry ice engulfing her tiny frame. Funny stuff, and a much needed dose of relatable screen time to make viewers fall in love with her.

Oh, and before I turn things over to you, a few more points of discussion:

* The Top 4 guys sang “Got to Get You Into My Life.” That’s all I’m gonna say about that.

* The Top 5 ladies sang “Here, There and Everywhere,” and if several (or all 5) didn’t have such promising solo careers in front of ’em, I’d suggest the ladies of X Factor‘s Fifth Harmony get to work on the necessary voodoo dolls.

* Jessica Sanchez & Neo’s “Tonight” sounds like a hit to me — even though there’s no Ke$ha gargling bile in the background or anything.

* Casey Abrams sang “I Saw Her Standing There” complete with jazzy inflections, his upright bass, some scatting and a really manky beard. It was just ai’ight for me.

And with that, let me turn things over to you. What did you think of Season 12 Top 9 results night? Did the right person go home? How’d Lazaro survive? And did you dig Jessica Sanchez and Casey Abrams? Sound off in the comments, and for all my Idol-related news, recaps, interviews and videos, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!