And in the final line of cattle -- a keyboard-lover's delight -- we got smiley real-deal Malaya Watson, slick and sultry performer Jena Ascuitto, and waterworks-inducing Savion Wright, whose brother had died two and a half weeks before Hollywood Week. Fierce zoom-ins on all three judges' eyes suggested they were either crying or just had super-reflective eyes that day. All three piano players are contenders in my book.
Biggest disappointment: The brutal and NOT SHOWN cut of Jade Lathan, my favorite audition from Detroit. Flower crown girl, remember? It felt like a magical lantern was glowing inside of you when she sang? What?! We didn't even get a clip. That's nuts.
Next up: Group Night! We'll see all the performances on Thursday. So far, the drama has centered around Jessica Meuse, who's getting the Big Bad Bitch edit -- I'm sure the hardscrabble working musician who's played countless sets in smoky bars at 4 a.m. isn't the easiest person to work with, but, um, neither is Stephanie Hanvey's STAGE MOM, and only one of these people is a legit contestant. The scene in which Clark King eliminated himself was completely heartbreaking. It was hard to tell whether he really didn't think he could sing anymore, or if he was just being a martyr for Jessica so she could officially break off from their woeful trio. I'm not sure Clark even knew. Tragic!
Meanwhile, a girl group appropriately named Loud and Fierce was burning my favorite American Idol character's ears.
MICHAEL ORLAND'S EYE ROLLS. Best part of the episode. Easily.
What did you think of Wednesday's "Hollywood or Home" twist? Were you as upset about Jade Lathan as I was? When Sikenya Thompson had her three group members read aloud her handwritten note that she was giving up until the last minute before showtime, did you have a loud and fierce urge to reach into your TV screen and tear it up? Why are you so freaking violent tonight?