American Idol recap: Elevator of Terror

The judges welcome 17 of the Top 30 in a great big ballroom; M.K. Nobilette says she's 'very obviously gay'
Ep. 09 | Aired Feb 12, 2014

Fox

Jillian Jensen (pictured above) sure is the star of her very own soap opera, huh? Yikes. She can definitely sing and convey emotion, but she also strikes me as a tragic Kristen Wiig character who just had a makeover that didn't quite work. Her energy is very serious and intense; I'm exhausted even remembering it. Also, when she was "hugging" Harry and Seacrest, she lingered on their shoulders a bit as if attempting to channel a connection on some sort of deeper level -- innocent enough, but it almost seemed like they were going to make out for a second. Obviously this is absurd. I just wanted it to stop.

Madelyn Patterson was a VERY mature 15-year-old in handling her cut. Everyone got a big hug from her. She'll be back. More cuts: Michael Simeon, Lebryant Crew, Sabrina Lentini (the one who looks like Emily from Revenge). "If anything, this no makes me want it even more," Sabrina gushed as I welled up with tears, because YES, that is how you make an exit, and that is how you deal with rejection. I need to keep a better record of inspiring rejection quotes from reality TV contestants (Dancing With the Stars excluded, obviously, because who cares if you can't dance) and refer to it during times of strife.

George Lovett picked a great song in Jason Mraz' "I Won't Give Up" -- tons of room to show off his vocal range. He got so physically invested in the performance, he threatened to fling his sweatshirt from his balled-up fist into the crowd on every note. Thrilling! Standing O from Keith and J. Lo; requisite reaction from Harry.

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This is season 13 in a nutshell. Why should he stand, really? Why should he even maintain eye contact? Harry Connick Jr. will internalize your performance on HIS terms. Don't like it? "I don't care."

Cut: Connor Zwetsch, whose original reminded Harry, then Keith, of "Sweet Home Alabama." D'oh!

Keith immediately hung his head in disgrace after Sam Woolf announced he'd be singing an original -- but it was a good one, about his mom who'd moved away. Emotional yet subtle. And that face! And those green eyes! As Keith Urban might say…. "Hello."

Keith lets down an unnamed girl I have never seen before in my life, and then another, with this fun metaphor about not giving up. "Talent is very much like running water -- when it hits something, it just goes around it." Very profound, especially in this internet age. Always be streaming. I get it.

Keri Lynn Roche was brutally cut following a very soulful solo performance of "I'd Rather Go Blind" that left her sprawled out on the floor grasping at this opportunity for dear life. Why would they cut her? That's crazy. She was one of the most dynamic onstage we saw all night, and she got the "I think I'll get a spot" edit to boot, you know, where they try to make someone appear over-confident so you sort of root against her? Ugh, I hate that. You're damned if you act hopeful and damned if you don't. And suddenly, within two seconds of footage, you can go from this….

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to this:

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This is gut-wrenching! I must admit I am enjoying the drama!

NEXT PAGE: Malaya's got the runs

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