American Idol recap: I Know You've Gone Too Far

The weakest three performers from Wednesday night are Thursday's bottom three? Are you sure I'm watching 'Idol'?
Ep. 18 | Aired Mar 13, 2014

Fox

Whoa! A stunner! Well, sort of.

After two weeks of all females in the bottom three, this week's stool-dwellers surprised us by being a) two-thirds male and b) the legit weakest three performances of Wednesday night. America is voting on quality instead of cuteness? Are you sure I am still watching Idol?

Ben Briley, he of the "lackadaisical walk" on last night's "Bennie and the Jets" cover, could not save himself with a last-minute performance of Grace Potter's "Stars" -- and the judges opted not to save him, either. Goodbye to deviled egg enthusiast Ben Briley. It's sad, but it's also a fantastic excuse to run out to the late-night supermarket and buy a four-pack of deviled eggs. What, you're doing something so much cooler with your Thursday night?

"Ben we love your voice, but we wanna see artistic growth," Keith Urban let him down gently.

Do you think the lack of his "signature" (heavy air quotes on that) baseball cap did Ben in? It was either the lack of hat or the unappealing musical performance. Gotta be one of those two.

I'm surprised I never noticed before tonight that Ben looks a bit like Avery from Nashville in the face. (Are y'all readin' my Nashville recaps?)

Majesty Rose and Sam Woolf joined Ben in the official bottom three. This is very interesting, that people are voting based on the quality of the most recent performances instead of longstanding favor. I'd never have guessed that either Majesty or Sam would be in danger three weeks ago. After Wednesday's blunders, I'd have picked them as part of my bottom three, but I still wouldn't have bet money on them slumming it stool-style.

Once again Harry Connick Jr. transported me to a level beyond the Idol stage merely by playing the piano during his "American Idol Medley 2014" sound-explosion. Dozens of musicians on that stage and I'm blown away by one guy at the piano! The man is a sorcerer of charm, and ivory. He also exhibits tremendous "duck face" sometimes as he sings. This I did not know.

I loved Caleb Johnson's solid and endearing impression of Harry: "Why don't you watch my PG-rated family films? [Scat-a-la-dee-doo-bop-bop or however you would text-ify scatting, which clearly I cannot.]

Harry's never had an issue with nerves! He knows a lot of people wrestle with that. You guys, he is the perfect human. Imagine never being nervous! I CAN'T.

That cute little weirdo Munfarid Zaidi returned (did Ryan say he was visiting from his spring break in Austin?) to let Harry pick him up like a baby as Munfarid sang Harry's tune "Every Man Should Know." Harry's ease and total comfort with this super-fan stranger (with a suh-weet voice, by the way!) was almost as fascinating as the "Yep, definitely, this is completely normal" facial reactions from Keith, Jen, and Ryan. Season 13 really is its own particular beast, huh? There are these moments of pure WTF-greatness…. and a lot of stretches of time that are just long yawns.

"Why are you not in Hollywood, you are fantastic!" Harry raved. To his baby.

Harry's strong! That was my biggest takeaway from this ridiculata. Guy didn't even flinch while lifting a college student for more than a minute. It's probably because he flexed his glutes.

Best Seacrest Scare of the night was to M.K.: "You're going to have to endure the stress……….. of the competition."

J. Lo is always on the lookout for what's new -- and it's not just a  "surprise" snippet of her new single "I Luh Ya PaPi," which features a dramatically more mature version of her infamous chest-less Green Versace Grammys dress from 2000. In the spirit of her graffiti headband, Jen professed her love for hip-hop music and introduced Mali Music, who performed "Beautiful." What a beautiful creature this Mali Music is, for real. I loved his "scarf play" and elaborate drapery over the microphone! Check out the gospel artist's full music video:

Theme for next week: "This week's Billboard charts"!

I don't think anyone will get dinged if they try this:

Was Ben the right choice to go home? Discuss!

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