‘Idol’ Recap: Who Got a Ticket to Ride (Home)?

"American Idol": Devin Velez, Amber Holcomb and Paul Jolley. (Michael Becker/ FOX)

The first few minutes of “American Idol” results shows are now officially the best part of my week. In that time, the great record exec Jimmy Iovine delivers a dose of truth that is mean, true and so very satisfying.

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Thursday night’s show opened with a video in which he lambasted a technician because he couldn’t hear Janelle Arthur in the recording booth. After threatening to fire him, he capped it off with, “Put that on your bleeping show.” Now, that’s the way to open “American Idol.”

But it didn't stop there. Jimmy's recap of the previous night's show felt like he had a direct line to my brain. Beatles night was "confusing," he said, and he wondered why the judges kept doling out good feedback when people were just plain bad. "You can't coddle people," he told them. Looks like those judges have a judge of their own. They need it.

Jimmy also called out all the singers who had never heard their songs previously. "This whole thing about not knowing Beatles songs puts me off a little bit. 'American Idol' is a job, like singing is a job. In order to get that job you have to prepare." Thank you!!!

About the contestants, he said Kree Harrison actually deserved her praise, but tends to oversing. Burnell Taylor recovered from not knowing his song, but Lazaro Arbos most definitely did not. He also pointed out that Lazaro was wrong when he excused his bad performance by saying he learned his song the night before, because they had rehearsed it together five days prior. See! I knew there was something sort of shady about that guy, and now it turns out he lies.

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Amber Holcomb, too, got a reality check. She seemed to indicate she did not choose her own song, but Jimmy said she most definitely did. Candice Glover got one of the few raves, and he called her the best of the night. Paul Jolley, however, is “not ready for primetime” (more on that later).

Regarding Angie Miller, here’s where I’m convinced Jimmy and I are somehow related, because I hated her weird “Yesterday” last night, and thought I was crazy for a minute when the judges went all praisey on her. But Jimmy compared her to all these kids right out of high school who want to sing and are way too dramatic. “Everyone’s saying how great she is,” Jimmy said, “but I’m telling you, there is something wrong and we have to fix it.”

Devin Velez, he said, has a great ear, but is middle of the pack. And Janelle Arthur, he called his dark horse.

And really, that's all anyone needs to know, because Jimmy is right. Jimmy is truth. Jimmy is everything on this show.

But there was still the matter of the next 40 minutes, in which two group sings split the guys and the girls up, further cementing “Idol”s evil plan to showcase how terrible the guys are and how great the girls are.

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Casey Abrams came by to show these prospective Idols what can happen when you don’t do super well on this show. You turn into a caveman. At least he’s a bass-playing, grandpa-sweater-wearing, jazzhouse caveman, which was surprisingly cool. He seems to be doing ok! Behind all that facial hair, it looked like he was smiling.

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Jessica Sanchez, who did do super well on this show, went in another direction entirely, teaming up with Ne-Yo on a dance track called “Tonight.” In the video intro to her performance, she showed more personality than in the entire last season put together, and then for her number, did all sorts of neat tricks, like wear age-appropriate clothing, not stand in just one place, and seem like there was some fun to be had in this world. Hearing her sing “We’re on a planet where the dude’s got money and he’s not afraid to spend it,” was, just, wow, different. I can get behind this.

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Finally, results: Though Lazaro, Paul and Devin deserved it to fall into the bottom three, Lazaro was returned to safety. The other two were joined down below by Amber, which actually makes sense since these three do have the lowest number of Twitter followers.

We did not learn the rest of the rankings this week. Which is probably because they are almost exactly the same, and therefore would be about to make this show even more boring than it already is, because we'd already know the ending right now.

Anyway, “not ready for primetime” Paul Jolley got the boot from America. He sang “Alone” again, but convinced no one he was worthy of continuing. His key was all over the place, and I think we all realized that no one really wants another Taylor Swift in this world, male or otherwise.

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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