American Idol downsizes to Top 12, who was let go?

American Idol judges, not American Idol voters, were given another opportunity to control the fate of the contestants. Was Jeremy Rosado or Elise Testone sent home?

Mario Anzuoni / REUTERS
Judges Randy Jackson, Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and show host Ryan Seacrest pose at the party for the Top 13 finalists of Season 11, 2012 American Idol in Los Angeles, Calif.

Ah, another American Idol Ford commercial.  

Sure, you can roll your eyes and joke about their intrinsic corniness, but they are a fixture in the American Idol experience and seeing them is a reminder that the show has come full circle again.  New faces, new names but the same corny commercials and the same outdated songbooks, both of which, on some level, we love to hate. It's like going home and enduring the never-ending stream of opinions that your mother offers. You hate it . . . until one day it ends and you realize that the silence isn't all you hoped it would be.

Thankfully, there was little silence or reflection in the action-packed hour of Idol's 401st episode. Both last year's runner up, Lauren Alaina (see video below), and Wednesday night's mentor, Mary J. Blige, took to the stage to perform.  But the real noise in Thursday night's episode came from American Idol's very own Wizard of Oz, Jimmy Iovine who for reasons unknown, shuns the live cameras and offers only pre-taped segments for public consumption.  

First came Jimmy's incredibly awkward and baffling prologue about the mass production of humans, then the critiques of the contestants sprinkled with bizarre attempts at humor. Like his response to Steven Tyler's statement on Wednesday night, that the Stevie Wonder song fit Jermaine like an Armani suit: "Steven, Armani doesn't make suits that big."  (Pause for crickets)

Hey Jimmy, this is American Idol not American Comedian, remember?  

If this is the best Jimmy can do with multiple takes and an editing crew, maybe it is best that he stays away from live TV.

The American Idol judges were also a rather verbal lot Thursday evening.  Their obvious disdain for some of Jimmy's pre-recorded critiques combined with Jennifer Lopez's constant muttering under her breath, provided a somewhat unsettling soundtrack.  The crescendo of that soundtrack came when Ryan Seacrest announced the bottom four contestants:  Jeremy Rosado, Jermaine Jones, Elise Testone, and Shannon Magrane, and asked Judge Steven if any of the four contestants on stage deserved to go home.

Obviously, Steven forgot rule No. 1 of American Idol judging: always evade questions with nonsensical gibberish.  His failure to adhere to this rule was a real shock, since he's shown such promise in meaningless articulation up to this point.  Maybe he cracked under the pressure of having the reigning champion of jibber-jabber, Mr. Randy Jackson a few seats down. But whatever the reason, Steven paused momentarily and then responded, "Jeremy."  

A silence fell over homes across America as people struggled to make sense of what they had just witnessed, a judge answering a question with candor.  (To be fair, it is an election year and Americans are particularly unfamiliar with forthright responses right about now.)

By offering his opinion so freely (an opinion that was a complete 180 from his opinion on Jeremy's performance the previous night) Steven seemed to suggest that if Jeremy was the boy with the least amount of votes, he may be in real danger.  

Of course, those of you who read the predictions in Wednesday's blog, already had it on good authority that Jeremy Rosado would, in fact, be up for elimination and that the girl joining him would be Elise Testone.  What you may not have been prepared for was the judges' final decision to save Elise and send sweet Jeremy Rosado home. 

Feel free to leave your messages of gratitude, for not spoiling the surprise, in the comment section.  

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