We’re Live-Blogging The Top Three ‘American Idol’ Performances!

Jim Cantiello

Tonight’s “American Idol” live-blog is dedicated to Allison Iraheta, my personal Idol. In honor of the recent oustee, I expect all of you to refuse to give me any credit I might deserve in this live-blog. Your comments should be comprised of backhanded compliments, faint praise and “that ones” while you over-praise other bloggers who are lazy and aren’t deserving of their unstoppable success. Deal?

Check out Jim Cantiello’s video recap of the show below!

show||video|380903

We now resume with our regularly scheduled live-blog.

And then there were two…with a third wheel.

Yes, in a season that’s felt as endless as “The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons”, the finale is approaching faster than Kara can say “Here’s the thing…”

The three remaining contestants had their hometown visits last week, which I imagine was a great morale booster. Although we all know one contestant doesn’t need any more help in the ego department. (I’m refraining from typing His name tonight unless I absolutely positively have to. Still bitter about His inexplicable survival despite squawking one of the worst, insultingly dismissive performances in “Idol” history last week. But I’m glad He thought it was SO FUNNY!)

Don’t worry, His fans. I’m taking a chill pill. This isn’t the Bash The Guy Who Delivered A Subpar Performance For His Hometown Fans Live-blog. This is the “American Idol” Live-blog. And if He performs well tonight, I’ll be a big boy and give him props. He will, after all, probably win this thing next week. (His fanbase is more rabid than Old Yeller. Pun intended.)

So let’s get right to it! The live-blogging begins…now.

7:51 pm – Miss last week’s Rockfest? Check out the latest “Idol in 60 Seconds” here.

7:58 pm – Almost there… Why do I get so nervous before every “Idol” episode? I need a life.

7:59 pm – Sigh. Paula just tweeted about Danny Gokey’s song choices tonight. She didn’t tweet any of the other contestants’ song choices. FAVORITISM ALERT!

8:00 pm – 15 seconds in and Seacrest already spouts a grammar error. “These are your bottom 3!” Shouldn’t it be “This is your bottom 3?”

8:01 pm – Groan. Seacrest just called the top three “The Three Amigos.” Adam is definitely Steve Martin, the genius. Kris the teacup is definitely Martin Short. And Voldemort is DEFINITELY Chevy Chase.

8:03 pm – Danny Gokey is up first – in the death spot! Paula picked Terence Trent Darby’s “Dance Little Sister.” I have newfound respect for Paula. Terence Trent D’Arby is a guy who ruined his career by his massive ego. (Dude actually said his debut album was better than “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” Uh-huh.)

8:04 pm – Oof. This is rough. He is shouting, and he keeps going sharp.

8:05 pm – Stanley from “The Office” is now on stage laying out a saxophone solo. Remember when pop music featured saxophone solos? Ah, the good old days.

8:06 pm – This song sucks. I feel bad that Paula saddled Gokey with this clunker.

8:07 pm – That being said, if the judges don’t call out this guy for his shouting, I’m gonna have a stroke.

8:07 pm – Randy, you’re dead to me. (Again.) Kara hated his dancing, and said his performance was forgettable. She also said something about his voice being in a “money spot.” Gross. Paula, obviously, liked the performance AND his dancing. And Simon just dissed “So You Think You Can Dance” while saying, “vocally it was very very good.” Sigh.

8:08 pm – Simon: “My problem is the toy saxophone solo in the middle!” Also, he thought Paula should have picked a “better” Terence Trent D’Arby song, which prompted Paula to shout something about not wanting to give Danny a ballad. (Because “Wishing Well” was such a slow-burner?)

8:09 pm – Once again, Danny Gokey is monopolizing the post-performance conversation. Danny is the new Lil Rounds. But without the talent. Snap! (Just kidding, Gokey fans. Danny has a lot of talent…when it comes to talking about himself. Okay, I’ll stop now.)

8:09 – We interrupt this Gokey-Bash for an important news break. Simon Cowell is trying to kill Paula Abdul while Ryan Seacrest is reading Danny’s numbers. Kara can be heard shouting “Help! Help! Help!” off-camera. What is going on down there??

8:09 pm – TiVo remind moment. I still don’t know what’s going on! Seacrest made a joke about second base and harassment. Then he said to the director not to take a shot of Paula and Simon, who were doing something suspect at the judges’ table. And then Seacrest said “we’ll be back…if Fox lets us.” Can’t wait to read the “on the scene” reports tomorrow!

8:11 pm – Oh, PS – have I not mentioned that tonight’s episode is “Judge’s Choice/Contestant’s Choice?” Sorry. I’ve been bad about recapping. Yep, each judge gets to pick a song in round one, and then round two it’s up to the Top 3 themselves. Fun fact: Randy and Kara get to pick together. How pissed you think Randy was that he got put with the New Girl?

8:14 pm – Kris Allen’s thumb is covered in chipped blue nail polish. My mind is blown.

8:15 pm – Kris is at the piano! And he’s shaking like a little lamb.

8:15 pm – Jackson and Kara said they picked this song because it’s “open to interpretation.” And Kris is singing it pretty much the same way we all know it. Also, remember when David Archuleta and OneRepublic sang this on the finale last year? It was a lot better. Sorry Kris Allen fans.

8:16 pm – Also, his fingernails are dirty. :(

8:17 pm – Kara called it “competent.” I wouldn’t go that far. (See Gokey fans? I’m being hard on other people, too!)

8:18 pm – Paula and Kara wishes he took a bigger risk on the arrangement. Paula also pointed out a loud bum note before wrapping up with a “I’m so proud of you!” So…she’s proud that he learned how to sing bum notes from Paula?

8:18 pm – Simon: “Paula, how can you say, ‘There was a bum note, I’m so proud of you?’” I don’t know, Simon. How do you say, “Matt Giraud, you have no chance in winning, but here’s the judge’s save anyway?”

8:19 pm – Simon is pissed that Kara complained about Kris’ straightforward take. “You can’t choose a song for him and then blame him for doing the song!” You tell her Simon!

8:19 pm – And now Kara’s fighting back. This is intense! Do we think all of the behind-the-scenes dirt is going to come out right now? I would die right now if Simon said, “And it’s Studio Fifty FOUR! FIFTY FOUR!!!”

8:20 pm – Kara has mounted Simon Cowell’s head. Hey judges. Here’s a newsflash! This show ain’t all about you. It’s like they’re taking notes on Voldemort’s on-camera etiquette. $50 says that a cake will be smashed in Randy’s face the next segment.

8:25 pm – Wow. Simon said he had to call Bono personally to ask him to clear the rights for the show. And Bono said he’d be honored. Adam Lambert is gonna win!

8:26 pm – He’s singing “One” like he’s headlining The Rainbow Room. SO cabaret.

8:27 pm – Eek – the rest of the band has joined him and now it’s like he’s singing at a Christian Rock rally. “My God is an awesome God he reigns from heaven above!”

8:28 pm – His vocals were spot-on. Again. Arrangement was a tad cheesy tonight.

8:28 pm – Randy thought he changed it too much. But the rest of them are flipping over it.

8:31 pm – I love Adam Lambert. He’s telling America to go back and listen to the lyrics of the song because they’re beautiful. This guy is amazing! He just subtly told America that the LGBT community deserves equal rights. HOLY CRAP! I wonder if Miss California picked up on that.

8:35 pm – “Idol Gives Back” update. Corporate shout-outs galore. Carrie Underwood went to Malaria. The editing is hilarious. First shot: sunrise. Second shot: baby tigers! Third shot: giraffes! Fourth shot: Ford Focuses driving in Africa. FAILFAILFAILFAILFAIL.

8:36 pm – As a commenter just pointed out, apparently those weren’t tigers, but lions. Sorry, folks. I’m a New Yorker. If it’s not a rat or a cockroach, I’m out of luck. Just be glad I didn’t call them hippos!

8:37 pm – Am I having an acid flashback or did I just hear a cover of Toto’s “Africa” on the soundtrack?!

8:38 pm – Whew! I’m so glad we’re done with all those dying African people so we can get back to something REALLY important: WHAT ARE THE TOP THREE GOING TO SING FOR ROUND TWO??

8:39 pm – Commercial break task: follow me on Twitter! Help me get, uh, 300 followers! In your face, Ashton and Oprah!

8:41 pm – Mid-show report. Round one definitely went to Adam. While I was lukewarm on the arrangement, he delivered another interesting performance. Voldemort and Kris were tied in second place for me. I hated V’s shouting but I was disappointed by Kris’ nerves. They better whip into shape for round 2, because right now it’s Lambert’s “Idol” to lose.

8:43 pm – Fox is letting Voldemort speak again. He’s singing “You Are So Beautiful” by Joe Cocker. Bold move, since Taylor Hicks covered this the year he won. How fitting.

8:44 pm – “You h’are [BREATH] so beautiful to me.” His brilliant phrasing strikes again.

8:45 pm – My mom is going to LOVE this. I’m just happy he’s not shouting.

8:45 pm – He’s shouting. You’d think he would have passed this kidney stone by now.

8:45 pm – He just attempted a big prolonged note, a la Adam Lambert. This guy is REALLY trying to one-up Adam. I bet next week he comes out with flat-ironed hair.

8:46 pm – The judges love it. Obviously. Simon called it a “vocal master class.” At a community college. MAYBE.

8:49 pm – Kris Allen is going to sing “Heartless” by Kanye West. That’s not a typo. I am so friggin’ excited for this.

8:49 pm – Anyone else watch MTV’s “Taking the Stage.” Mia did a pretty cool job with this song a few weeks ago.

8:49 pm – And there’s a genius lo-fi cover version on the Our Hit Parade blog posted by Clint Michigan. Download it at once!

8:50 pm – Kris Allen has come out, guns blazin’. This acoustic take on Kanye’s robot-anthem was really fun. The kids are gonna LOVE this. So contemporary. He just outperformed Voldemort AND Lambert.

8:52 pm – Randy liked it more than Kanye’s version! Woah! Will Kris Allen get to the finale??

8:53 pm – Simon had written him off after “Apologize.” But everything has changed after that performance. Will it be enough to keep him in the finale?

8:54 pm – Um…Seacrest – for the THIRD TIME – just implied that Kris Allen is getting voted off tomorrow night. “Kris, man, Thank you so much. It’s been a great season! We hope to see you again…next week. Good luck!” What a jerk! WTF SEACREST?

8:58 pm – Adam Lambert is singing Aerosmith. In your face, Danny Gokey.

8:59 pm – Note to Kara: this is NOT “early Aerosmith.”

8:59 pm – The mix is horrid. The background vocalist is louder than Adam on the chorus. How is that possible?

9:00 pm – Yeesh. I don’t know if this was the best choice. That was the most karaoke performance he’s ever done. Save for an awesome show-stopping ending, the performance was paint-by-numbers.

9:01 pm – Paula Abdul: “I hope you’re collecting frequent flyer miles. You’re gonna be flying everywhere. For free!” God bless her. All I will say is she seems to flying high herself.

9:02 pm – Simon Cowell just begged America to vote for Adam Lambert. Has that ever happened before?

9:03 pm – Adam Lambert just spent his post-performance interview talking about the other contestants. Danny Gokey fans take note.

9:03 pm – My wife, the guest commentator. (She’s been in the bedroom doing work and is just catching the phone number montage.) As soon as Danny Gokey popped up on screen: “OH COME ON!!!” Hehe. I married a winner.

9:04 pm – Rewinding my TiVo right now to watch Kris Allen’s “Heartless” again.

So what did you think, guys? This is the closest 3-way race in recent “Idol” memory, isn’t it? If you recall, Blake the Underdog pulled out the big guns the night of the Top 3 and managed to oust Melinda Doolittle! Could it happen again? Did Paula’s pick for Danny ruin his chances? Or are his fans going to attack the phone lines like Kelly Clarkson attacks a chili cheese dog? (Sorry.)

What was your fave performance? Were you as outraged at the judges’ behavior as I was? Leave a comment below and my favorite commenter will get a shout out in Thursday morning’s “Idol in 60 Seconds” recap. Thanks for reading and watching!!