“American Idol” Field Narrows to Eight

Idol alumni Casey Abrams and Jessica Sanchez return to perform.

Photo by Michael Becker/FOX

Well, American Idol producers have got to be pleased. Not only does it look like a woman is going to win this year, it also looks like there are four really strong female contestants. 

Unfortunately, we can't say as much for the guys, whose numbers are rapidly dwindling after tonight's (March 21) results show.

Jimmy Iovine started his usual spiel off with some business about "Critique is good as long as it's consistent. What you can't do is coddle people." Which is all fine and well, but coddling is a time-honored tradition of Idol, OK? To his credit, Jimmy felt Lazaro Arbos had the worst performance of last night. He also noted that early favorite Angie Miller might be too dramatic, which could hurt her later on in the show if she doesn't correct it.

Then it was time for the clunky group number by the boys, who carried over last night's Beatles theme with "Got to Get You Into My Life" with lots of screeching and hollering. 

Paul Jolley was on the receiving end of a mean little trick, after Ryan Seacrest gave him a proclamation from Dresden, Tenn., where a day was held in his honor. The next moment Ryan told him he was in the bottom three. Hey, here's your certificate, and by the way, you may be going home. (He was going home, but more on that in a minute.)

The great weirdo beardo Casey Abrams, a season 10 runner-up, did his crazy beatnik poet thing on "I Saw Her Standing There." And it was apparently alumni night, because season 11 runner-up Jessica Sanchez came back to perform her new single, "Tonight," with a little help from her friend Ne-Yo. She was singing about dudes who got money and ain't afraid to spend it. Isn't she, like, 18? Actually, I checked and she's 17. Honestly, people.

The talented girls got the lovely "Here, There and Everywhere" for the group sing. Mercifully, they didn't have to do any awkwardly choreographed dances—just sit up there and sing. And they sounded pretty great.

It went quickly from there. Devin was the second guy in the bottom three. Lazaro, in spite of a lousy performance, was safe. Kree was in, as well as Candice, Angie and Janelle. Whoa, ladies!

Then a slight twist: Burnell Taylor was safe and Amber Holcomb ended up in the bottom three, which shocked Randy. 

But he had no need to worry, because it was Paul singing for the save at the end. He went back to Heart's "Alone," but it wasn't enough to keep him from being sent home.

We'll miss you, Paul. Keep on singing.

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