Well, if you were waiting for "American Idol" judge Harry Connick Jr. to say he's sorry for being overly critical or harsh with his feedback, then the Top 12 results show was not the episode for it. And even if there might have been a "watched it back" moment where he might have given one or two finalists a little praise (like Jessica Meuse, whose rendition of Dido's "White Flag" was skewered, even though it was one of the night's best performances), that was nixed when host Ryan Seacrest decided to get a little something started between old judge/new mentor Randy Jackson and old mentor/new judge Harry Connick Jr.
Michael Slezak at TVLine noted March 6 in his Top 12 results recap that Judge Harry made a not-so-subtle dig at Randy by saying if he were mentor, he'd be with the contestants until 5 each morning. The dig (perhaps a bit of commentary on the finalists' seeming lack of preparedness?) came as a result of host Ryan Seacrest asking Season 13 mentor Randy Jackson if he thought the judges were hard on the finalists the night before. Randy hemmed and hawed but basically said "a little bit," but pointed out that Harry may have been the toughest -- but it might have been due to "indigestion" (an allusion to Seacrest passing out deviled eggs to the judges after Ben Briley's performance. If that had been the case, only one finalist would have heard "Harsh" Harry's indigestion-driven criticisms, because Ben was eleventh in the performing line). And that's when Judge Harry laid down the law and let everyone, including the Top 12, know that there was a difference between being a mentor and judge -- and, by the way, he was there to judge.
But after Judge Harry Connick Jr. flat-out defined his role as a judge and basically told the contestants he thought they were talented and that he wasn't there to babysit or tell them what they wanted to hear, Ryan decided to stop trying to cause trouble and get down to the business at hand -- getting the line-up of finalists trimmed down to eleven.
So he called Emily Piriz, Sam Woolf, Jessica Meuse, and Ben Briley to stage center. Without wasting any time, Ryan told Emily she was in the bottom three. Apparently, the "American Idol" voters agreed with Judge Harry's assessment of Emily's performance the night before (and certainly disagreed with his assessment on Jessica's -- because with possibly the only undeserved negative review he gave, she very well could have been in the bottom three as well). He then tapped the others out, sending them back to the the lounge.
Then it was time for Phillip Phillips to perform, the "Home" singer (clever the way the producers had him perform during "Home" week, huh?) come back to show the contestants that they, too, could one day have it all. We're all given a few minutes of the Season 11 winner's time to catch up on a few comments on the work he's doing for his follow-up album to the platinum-selling The View From The Side Of The Moon. And then he was live and on stage, rocking, even dancing a bit, belting out his latest offering, "Raging Fire." With the way judges Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez were getting into the song, swaying and singing and chair dancing, it looks like it just might be a hit. (And according to the iTunes chart, it just might be as well. It peaked at No. 9 for several hours on the iTunes Hot 100 Song list after the show before slowly making its way up to No. 6, where it stands at the time of this posting.)
After the rollicking performance, it was back to the cutting...
The next four to learn their fate: Jena Irene, Dexter Roberts, Majesty Rose, and Alex Preston. Dexter, who may have had the overall best performance on Wednesday night's Top 12 performance show, was told he was safe. Majesty Rose, upon hearing her name, placed her hands over her face, but after asking if she was okay, Ryan told her she was safe as well. Jena was then told she was not safe and Alex made his way over to the group of six that so far had definitely made the Top 11.
As part of the results show for Season 13, there is a "Tastemaker" segment, where one or more of the judges and mentor Randy Jackson picks an as yet mostly unheard of artist and gives them a shot at performing for the "American Idol" audience. This week, it was Kodaline, an Irish band already charting in Ireland and the United Kingdom. They performed a nicely turned alternative tune called "All I Want" that featured a little Edge-y guitar work that paid tribute to the iconic U2 sound.
Then it was time for the last 4: Malaya Jackson, M. K. Nobilette, C. J. Harris, Caleb Johnson. Caleb was quickly told to head back to lounge. C. J. was told to follow him. And then Ryan delivered the news that the final person in bottom three would be M. K. for a second consecutive week.
After the break: Jena is told she is safe.
Then: M. K. is told she is safe.
The finalist headed home -- maybe: Emily Piriz.
Emily Piriz performed "Stars" by Grace Potter for her "Save" song. Just listening to the first couple lines, you knew she was headed home. And it looked as if the guys were trying to get Judge J-Lo to give her the bad news, but all Jennifer Lopez had to say was that the decision was not unanimous. Harsh (but Honest) Harry delivered the bad news and Emily Piriz ended her journey on "Idol" as the credits rolled.
The Top 11 return next week when the theme will be "Soundtrack To Our Lives."
"American Idol" airs on Wednesdays and Thursday night at 8 p.m. (EST) on Fox Television.