Now that everyone has had a turn -- and when I say everyone I actually mean one quarter of the semifinalists because this is all going to take forever -- we come back to the dramatic reveal of the five stools on the stage, and the judges rise into view from beneath the floor again. Randy says they have one split decision, so that one will be up to Jimmy Iovine. Ryan asks if it was as hard tonight as last night, which Randy unconvincingly affirms. Nicki cops to having had to fight for a couple of her favorites, so we'll see how those worked out.
The first to be called out for judgment is Curtis. Nicki tells him to drop the act and says, "You know damn well you going through." Excellent, let's keep all of it moving this fast. Jimmy Smith is brought out and Randy deploys his doctor-voice to say Jimmy didn't make it. Not really a shock. Mariah is the one to deliver the bad news to Kevin Harris, although she says he's one of her favorites. Much good that did him, as he hugs Curtis before leaving the competition for good. Keith tells Elijah, "I so wish that we could keep you and I'm glad that we are." Ooh, Keith Urban with the fake-out! Elijah gets a stool next to Curtis while Ryan giggles impishly. Nicki gives the speech to JDA about how wonderful he is and how much she loves him before saying that they couldn't keep him. Ryan goes on about how original and unforgettable JDA is, by which he means, "So long, weirdo."
Paul is next and he's the one that the judges tied on. Ryan calls out to Jimmy Iovine, who stands up from his seat in the audience. Jimmy releases some of that pent-up snark he's been sitting on since last May, saying that Paul sounded like he was "singing a Keith Urban song while auditioning for Phantom of the Opera." Ouch. He warns him against oversinging and says he has a great instrument -- which is why he's breaking the tie in favor of Paul. So does he take someone else's spot, then? Ryan bows to Jimmy's curveball skills, which rival his own.
With two spots and four guys left, Chris Watson and his headscarf are brought out to face the judges. Randy says it was tough tonight, but Chris isn't going through, so I guess Nicki lost that fight. Though it can't be a surprise -- you never want to be fourth from the last, because the third-from-last is always going to get the second-to-last spot, just to maximize the suspense between the last two. Still, when Charlie is called next, he looks as though he's going to his death. Mariah says they've been generally keeping the "vocalists" and axing the "performers," but Charlie is staying. I think she just called him a non-singer, but he's too relieved to care, as he hugs each judge for approximately forever.