American Idol Top 4 Elimination: Everyone goes home! (Don’t tell Jessica she’s not getting a parade)

If you think I wasn't gonna run this one last time you don't know me.

If you think I wasn’t gonna run this one last time you don’t know me.

Nice to have a controversy-free show.

We got the Ryan Seacrest fakeout – saying “The first person headed to their hometown with a big parade … IS … gonna find out after the break!” YOU TRICKY BASTARD. Love it – and we got everything going exactly the way it should have.

Wednesday’s best performer – Geena Gina Jena Irene – was safe first.

The second best – Caleb Johnson – was next.

The third – Alex Preston – was saved from the bottom two

The worst of Wednesday – Jessica Meuse – was sent home.

Maybe the only surprise was America not switching their votes from Caleb to anyone else solely based on RetardGate, but like I tweeted – America really doesn’t care if people casually throw that word around. If Caleb was really ballsy, he starts a post-show interview with a “I told you those retards didn’t know what they were talking about.” Rock man, rock.

Now let’s talk about the dearly departed.

Jessica was a heck of a contestant. I picked her to go out ninth overall because I didn’t think America would really get attached to the intimidated rock girl. The last one – Amanda Overmeyer from Season 6 – finished 11th and while I thought Jessica had the talent to do well, America usually gets turned off by performers like her.

But why she made as far as she did shows where Idol is; if you’re a country artist or can fake country, you’re going to do well. Jessica, from Slapout, Alabama (new AP style IN YOUR FACE), wasn’t pure country but her southern rock style fit well and she managed to outlast the guys in her genre – Ben Briley, CJ Harris and Dexter Roberts – which was something nobody predicted.

What was her downfall? I don’t know that there was one. She made some truly horrible picks Wednesday night with Kelly Clarkson and Pink but showed us what she was all about with her final performance. Even if she was good for all three, it would have been tough for her to be better than Jena and I don’t know that it would have given her the boost to pass Caleb or Alex.

I applaud Jess for her showing. She stayed true to herself, put up with a whole lotta bullshit from the producers and judges during the height of the SamSpiracy and managed to be Final 4.

Now my only hope is I’ll get backstage in Boston and we can have a beer together.

So what happens next week? Something I didn’t think was possible.

We have a competition.

Alex isn’t the slam dunk he was two weeks ago. Caleb is still rocking out and while RetardGate didn’t send him home, it probably hurt him a little. Jena has come on with force and might be the favorite.

What needs to happen next week is we need these contestants to take a page from the past.

Candice Glover won the show with her Week 3 performances, stealing it away from Angie Miller. Phillip Phillips had one of the show’s best-ever performances with “We’ve Got Tonight.” Kris Allen came up with the most clutch performance in the history of the show, singing Kanye’s “Heartless” and moving past Danny Gokey into the final and then stealing first from Adam Lambert.

I don’t know who’s the favorite. If I’m betting money, I’m putting Jena and Alex in the final with Jena winning.

But there isn’t a combination I couldn’t see in the final. Hell, I’m not even ruling out the producers eliminating two and putting Sam Woolf in the final.

We’ll know our winner after next Wednesday. The final week doesn’t matter much unless you totally, totally screw up.

Excited for the performances, not excited for everything else.