American Idol Top 8: Breaking Down The Bottom 3

One of these things is not like the other ...

One of these things is not like the other …

Last night was certainly interesting.

Even though I’m pretty much the No. 1-rated American Idol expert at picking who’s going to be Bottom 3, last night I felt like everybody else because nobody had a clue. America’s voting had been pretty consistent and the three worst performers of the week had been going to the bottom with one of the worst two going home.

The performances were pretty solid Wednesday night. Usually you get one totally egregious showing, somebody sings an arrangement that sounds awful and the third person isn’t as good as the rest of the field. We didn’t have that. From top to bottom, I thought all the performances were worthy of sticking around, mainly because they were safer than taking my 2-year old on in an MMA battle.

Seeing Sam Woolf in the Bottom 3 made sense. He didn’t really stand out – except for all the lamps – and was a little on the dull side (unless you’re a 14-year old chick) so there was no doubt in my mind he was there. In fact, I said he probably deserved to go home but wouldn’t.

The other two spots were mind-boggling bad.

America’s voting pattern changed and that’s going to make things tough going forward. When CJ Harris and Malaya Watson were up, I said to my newborn daughter “they’re definitely going to use the save on CJ or Malaya, but probably not when Sam gets his name called.” She didn’t respond because she’s like 18 days old.

Using the save was ridiculous for reasons I chronicled HERE and to make up for it expect the judges to really start giving verbal blowies to whoever they think should stick around.
Now let’s figure out how the hell last night happened:


1) Malaya Watson
WHAT SHE DID: She started out as a band geek, but Malaya has released her inner songstress and was nothing short of spectacular covering Aretha Franklin’s “Ain’t No Way.” Hell, it might have been the second best performance of the night and it signaled her re-emergence as a serious contender.
WHY SHE DESERVED BOTTOM 3: Because Malaya’s fans were too busy crying and celebrating her performance and completely forgot to vote. Can’t really think of another reason.
WHY SHE DIDN’T: Her performance was too good; it might have been the second-best of the night.
WHY SHE SURVIVED: Even in the bottom three, there was a zero percent chance she was going to be physically eliminated from the show. Jennifer loves Malaya and Harry and Urban are both Malayamaniacs, so she was getting saved.

2) CJ Harris
WHAT HE DID: CJ did the most CJ performance possible, a nice hard rendition of the Allman Bros.’ Soulshine. Good CJ is the best CJ and Good CJ is my favorite contestant on the show. Bad CJ sucks though.
WHY HE DESERVED BOTTOM 3: Because he didn’t cry. Duh. (Again, I got nothing)
WHY HE DIDN’T: On a night where the elite contenders (read: Alex Preston, Jessica Meuse, Caleb Johnson) were ordinary/risky/not as fun, CJ had a chance to put on a performance to get him noticed. He sounded like he should have been, but the voters disagreed.
WHY HE SURVIVED: I wanted to see CJ get saved just for the tears. He wasn’t going home Wednesday, but I’ll say this – if next week is double elimination, I’d put the probability of his departure high enough that I’d recommend he put tissues in his pockets to wipe tears next week.

3) Sam Woolf
WHAT HE DID: Sam’s best performance of the season was his original audition, so when he got a chance to sing his audition song – Ed Sheeran’s “Lego House” – he had a chance to show why Vegas made him the No. 1 favorite to win Season 13.
WHY HE DESERVED BOTTOM 3: His arrangement was boring, his on-stage presence was similar to Michael Jackson’s today and he looked legit terrified to be singing. Not a good look when you’ve got every chick under 20 desperately trying to bang you.
WHY HE DIDN’T: Let’s be honest – he’s the most American Idol of the contestants left. Looks? Check. Voice? Good enough. Talent? We can fix that in production.
WHY HE SURVIVED: He didn’t go home because the judges are idiots.

What will next week bring? Hope you saved your money and bought plenty of cocaine and Bartles and Jaymes, because IT’S 80s NIGHT! I’m gonna try to suck down a few drinks and write a “What They Should Sing” column tonight because if there’s one thing I’m awesome at, it’s finding entertaining-as-fuck 80s songs.