We're continuing the tradition of opening up the group sing, as the Top 12's version of Phillip Phillips's "Home" is recorded by themselves on cell phones all over L.A. Which, ironically, is not home for any of them.
After the ads, Ryan tells us that there were 70 million votes cast last night, clearly hoping we won't remember that last night there were 71 million. I remember, though. Out come the judges, who find bowls of gummy bears at their seats for some reason. Harry throws his into the audience and immediately regrets doing something so uncool. Ryan makes some promises with regard to tonight's show, and then we're into last night's after-show moments. At dinner in the same restaurant as last week, they talked about the judges' comments -- particularly the tough ones -- but generally ended up looking on the bright side, which means they meant nothing. After that clip, Ryan and Randy are over at the lounge, and Randy agrees that Harry might have been a little rough last night. Harry assures them all that they're immensely talented and says that he was hired as a judge and not as a mentor, so he's been using his time to give them feedback they can use. He does say this is the best group since the first season, which they may well be when one is listening to them in person, but he didn't see it last night. Ryan takes his point and then cues up a cell phone video from Harry's hero, Saints quarterback Drew Brees, telling him to lighten up. Harry takes that point, but he also points out that when Drew Brees screws up, his coach doesn't tell him how handsome he is. Harry is right, as usual -- and not just because Drew Brees isn't all that handsome.
Emily, Sam, Jessica and Ben are the first group to be called to center stage for some results. The clips from last night's show most of them struggling a bit and not getting the best reviews from the judges, but when the lights are dimmed, he wastes little time telling Emily that she's in the bottom three. Ben, Sam and Jessica, however, are safe. For a minute there I thought the whole bottom three would come from the same group. That would have saved some time.
Once again, they're doing that thing where the results show subjects the judges to a similar treatment to what the contestants received during the performance show. Keith has his own reminiscence of home, namely when he was a kid in an imaginary band he called "Rock Fever," and painted the name of the band on the side of the garage. Alas, his parents were not fans. Then we get an intro clip of Phillip Phillips, Jr., who interviews about how he's currently working on his second album. He compares returning to Idol as "like a blind date but you know who it is," which is somehow both meaningless and wrong, which takes some doing. Yes, he is back tonight, playing a new song called "Raging Fire." This new song isn't bad, actually, and sounds a lot more like what I expected him to sound like as an artist than "Home" or "Gone, Gone, Gone" did. This is less folky, more energetic and a bit more adventurous rhythmically. Most of all, with horns and strings supporting his band, it's a lot more Dave Matthews-y, which is who Phillip Phillips really was all along. Can't say he didn't keep his campaign promises eventually. And believe it or not, this is the most energetic I've ever seen him. Keith leaps to his feet at the end, and the other judges soon join him. Afterwards, Ryan gets Phillip to share about playing in Brazil with John Mayer and Bruce Springsteen. Phil, you will be stunned to hear, was in favor of it.