Note To Readers: There is a Lafayette in Indiana as well as Louisiana, and that's probably where Amanda wants to sing in a bar when she grows up. I actually should have known that, but thanks to all the readers who wrote in an (very politely) pointed out my dunderheadedness. As a way of making amends, I picked Purdue to beat Baylor this week in my bracket pool.
So Ye Olde DVR didn't start recording tonight's episode until a few minutes into the show (Top Model and Survivor wait for no man), so I come in in the middle of Seacrest announcing the mentors for this season. Mariah Carey, he says. Andrew Lloyd Webber, he says. Neil Diamond (!!), he says. The prospects for Neil Diamond night are pretty well limitless, I think, though the elimination at the end of this episode dampens that a bit for me. I think I also saw a photo of Dolly Parton in there, which is something I've been waiting a long time for on this show. So awesome.
Ryan then plugs this season's songwriter contest. Blah, blah, "This Is My Now," et cetera.
Group Sing! I don't know if I can take the Top 11 singing "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." Apparently the rule for this song is that all the boys have to be seated while they sing in awkward pairs (David Cook and Jason are both trying so hard not to look smug/retarded that they're barely singing). Now everybody stands, and Brooke and Ramiele sing together, though I suspect Ramiele's mic isn't turned on because you can't hear her at all. They're on "Here, There, and Everywhere" now, and when it comes time for Kristy Lee, the cameraman totally stumbles and the frame goes all askew. I can't think of a less appropriate contestant for the camera to lose its shit over. Then it's back to sitting again, as the six girls take to the couch and sway. This is all go goddamned stupid. Get to Neil Diamond night already! Amanda could not have any less interest in singing right now. Does she know what's about to go down or is it just her usual baseline contempt for this whole process? I don't think she's alone in the latter.
Ryan introduces the rundown from last night, and you know, see the weecap for that, but basically Michael Johns is still terrible, Syesha's fake emotion is more galling, and Jason Castro's twee abomination gets more hypnotizingly dorky every time I see it. Ryan then asks us to regard the furniture onstage. ...Wait, hold up...okay, I got it. Two sofas, three moon stools. The stools are for the Bottom Three and the couches are for the Top 10, and Ryan will not begin placing the contestants in their proper spots, like he's the world's most meticulously groomed Sorting Hat. First up? Brooke White (who looks effing gorgeous and pretty much erases my memory of that awful performance/outfit last night). She's totally safe, come on. Ryan has a little OCD moment when Brooke doesn't proceed to the exact right spot on the couches, but she rights herself before he has a panic attack. Then Carly, and Ryan reminds her that Simon didn't like her song choice. And apparently neither did the voting public because she's Bottom Three. Wow. I figured this would happen soon but not this week. The crowd boos, Randy and Paula strenuously object, and Carly manages to keep her hysterical crying fit at bay until she reaches her seat. Next? Archuleta. Totally safe. Then John Michael Australia, who I thought might be Bottom Three for such a shitty performance, but now that Carly's already there I bet he's safe. He totally thinks he's fucked but he won't back down from his song choice even when Ryan practically begs him to renounce "A Day In The Life." But what does it matter? He's safe. So with three people on the couch and our Carly gently weeping alone on the stools, Ryan says we'll get back to this later and sends us to commercials.