Tonight's pre-credits opening is photo-themed, segueing from one of the finalists' endlessly redundant photo shoots to onscreen text about how a photograph captures a moment, and the top five's moment is now -- but! "Someone's moment ends tonight." Maybe get a better camera, then.
After the credits and the entrances, Ryan tells us that Coldplay and Carrie Underwood are performing tonight, and then directs our attention to the top five, looking rather sheepish as they already sit on the front row of the couch-bleachers. Ryan wastes less time than usual, calling Joshua to center stage. After clips of his performances and gushing praise from last night, Jimmy says Joshua was the one to beat last night. He's most amazed about what Joshua did with "To Love Somebody," kicking its ass after spending fifteen minutes learning it, a feat he compares to Randy Jackson going out and winning the Kentucky Derby. After that, Ryan chats on the stage with Joshua, who is somehow both being modest and talking about what kind of records he'll want to make at the same time. Then, when the lights go down, Ryan doesn't even bother coming up with a suspenseful announcement -- just a long pause before giving the un-shocking news that Joshua is safe. So that means everyone else but one will be in the bottom three, right? That seems like it'll get harder and harder to avoid.
Okay, these Ford Music Videos have got to stop, seriously. This one is about how they drive out to the country and step through a magical door that turns them all into Renaissance drag queens or something, chasing after a golden guitar and a golden egg. I keep thinking they'll run out of ideas for these things, but they're clearly running with absolutely anything they can come up with.
Here's a little blasphemy for you: I neither love nor hate Coldplay. I can take them or leave them most of the time. Their performance tonight of "Paradise," on a set covered with fluorescent graffiti that looks like the paint-party scene in Miss Congeniality, does nothing to change that. Pretty much the only thing that holds my attention is trying to figure out why Chris Martin appears to have a The Matrix cable jacked into the base of his skull.
More results: Ryan calls down Phillip and Hollie, and I guess we're not doing a bottom three any more, otherwise we'd already know that at least one of them would be in it even before Ryan rolls the clips from last night. Jimmy thinks she pulled off "River Deep, Mountain High" by paying homage to Tina Turner rather than taking her on, and gives her a little less credit for her version of "Bleeding Love," but thinks she's safe this week. Ryan asks her about her boost of confidence, and she says she realized it was time to step it up. On to Phillip's clips, and after a replay of his ear-punishing "Time of the Season" from last night, Jimmy starts out by giving Phillip credit for not quitting the competition despite his "health problems," which, as far as I can tell, aren't keeping him out of anything but the Ford Music Videos. Dude is sick like a fox. That said, Jimmy thinks both his songs were bland last night, and that he's been coasting. He thinks Phil will be in the bottom two but survive the week, even though he seems to think Phil should be gone based on last night's performances alone. Back from the clip, Ryan confiscates the gum Phil's chewing. Phil puts it on the envelope in Ryan's hand, Ryan pretends to throw it at Jimmy in the audience, and Jimmy pretends to catch it and chew it. "Still there," Ryan says. Thanks for destroying the magic, Seacrest.