Tonight's group sing begins even before the top 13 make it to the auditorium, as they make their way from the bowels of the building to converge onstage while singing "Radioactive" on wireless microphones. Didn't we get enough of that song during the auditions? I notice that they're all wearing at least some white tonight., probably because one of them is going to be renewing his or her matrimonial vows with obscurity by the end of the show.
After the credits, Ryan boasts that there were more than 71 million votes cast. I guess that's what happens with multiple voting methods and a voting window that's 15 hours long. Then, instead of a recap of last night's show, we follow the top 13's activities after it, as they leave the studio and ride to dinner and joke around and shoot the shit. All of which is way more interesting and informative than the results of last night's alleged "this is me" theme. They could have saved everyone a lot of time just showing that. But, to be fair, I suppose it hadn't happened yet.
Ryan starts calling out names for people to come from the lounge to join him on stage. The first group is Malaya, Jena, Ben, and Alex. And the bad news starts right away. Yes, Jimmy Iovine is gone, and instead we get the fascinating thoughts of Randy Jackson in their place. I know the show has improved in a lot of ways, but that is a high price to pay. This is the kind of bargain that normally has either Satan or Rod Serling behind it. Of Malaya, Randy wanted her to control her enthusiasm, but she didn't pull it off. Yes, we noticed. He thinks Jena did well, and he thought that Ben's "Folsom Prison Blues" was a little too fast, but it was even faster before Randy had him slow it down. And then Randy invents the word "subtleness" to describe what he liked about Alex's performance. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that Randy Jackson is not familiar with the term "subtlety." Back on the stage, Ryan tells us that at least one of these four is in the bottom three. But it's not Ben, and it's not Alex, and it's not Jena, so that's Malaya, becoming the first person in the first bottom three of this season. Ryan has a seat with her and turns to the judges -- whose table has rotated on a turntable to face the stools like they're the members of some sci-fi tribunal -- and Jennifer says she's upset that Malaya's here because she's better than that. As for Malaya herself, she admits that she didn't like her own performance after watching it back, so there you go. I wonder who she voted for instead.