You just couldn't do it, could you, America? You couldn't simply let the aging, grumpy British man have his way just this once, could you? Whatever, it's still the best Top 2 they've ever had on this show. But I'm getting ahead of myself: as expected, we see more of the hometown visits, which are as boring and useless and filled with local TV anchors and politicians as ever. Jordin hams it up like crazy in Glendale, visits no less than six dozen schools, cries a bunch, and hugs her best friend like she's her...best friend. I keep hearing how Jordin's supposed to be this awful, spoiled, untalented blight on the show this year, so I'm prepared to hate her, until I remember that that's all the lunatic ravings of Yaminions (we'll get to him later) and she's actually adorable and great. Ryan tries to pretend that he's going to tell us whether Jordin's safe or not, at the 20-minute mark, with Blake and Melinda back on the couches. Like we've never seen this or any TV show before, ever. And then after he "fakes" us out, he does the same thing with Blake, and then Melinda later on. Lame, Ryan.
Blake is Chatty Cathy tonight, even moreso than usual, because somehow he's lost sight of the fact that he really, really does not want to win this show. Think about it for three seconds, Blake, then tell me you wouldn't trade places with LaKisha right now. Anyway, Seattle loves Blake, Blake flies an airplane, he and his dad bawl for a few hours, girls scream, and then he sings an ill-advised National Anthem at a Mariners game. Then: Elliott shows up. Actually, Elliott's veneers show up, and Elliott follows about five minutes later, looking like he's fresh off the set of Frodo And Sam Meet The Wolfman. Hope you'd already put the kids to bed by that point. Anyway, he sings a terrible song that lasts a million years, and then he dares the Top 3 to stare into the face of what they might become by this point next year.
Melinda returns to Nashville and insists on thanking each and every resident for their support. The mythmaking becomes a runaway train somewhere between church and the "Melinda Doolittle Way," but whatever, I want to spend a Melinda Doolittle Day hanging out with her. Then Maroon 5 shows up and it gives Adam Levine a chance to try out his new coat rack impersonation. Ryan Seacrest might not eat again for a month. Then: the world gets a little bit sadder. Jordin is safe, so it's down to Melinda and Blake. Melinda is...going home. Shoot! I mean, like I said, still the best Final 2 ever, and Melinda will do just fine, and your world really shouldn't be crashing down around you at the news that, after six seasons, the best singer doesn't always win. But I was so hoping to be able to see her win. She is utterly unflappable at the news, which comes as no surprise, and her singout redeems all that was subpar about "I'm A Woman" last night. See you on the tour, girl.
Ryan Seacrest has really let himself go between Tuesday and Wednesday night. He's all doughy and his hairline looks to be receding, and he either got a bad batch of Mystic Tan or else he's jaundiced, because...oh wait, I'm sorry, that's Homer Simpson. Man, The Simpsons have cranked up the intra-network cross-promotional stuff this month, haven't they? Anyway. Homer's doing the pre-credits patter that Ryan always does, and his summation is that "Some people were mad, others were happy, Simon was scary, Paula was nice, and Randy forgot to button his shirt." Actually, Paula was scary, Randy was nice, and Simon forgot to button his shirt, but that's really not the point. "This is...um...oh, American Idol!" he says, then asks if it's too late to vote for Fantasia. Har, har. After the credits, Ryan comes out and gets all humorously territorial about how it goes, "This...is A-MER-ican Idol!" but you know deep down inside he's honestly bothered by this. That intro is his and his alone! He introduces the Top 3, and it looks like Jordin is pointing out someone in the audience to Melinda, and they both wave at whoever it is. I'm assuming it's LaKisha or Brandon or any of the other dozen eliminated contestants who have shown up tonight. By the by, Melinda's shirt reads "Death Cheater." Oh, girl.
Ryan wonders how things will shape up for next week, and as usual, he does it in the most reductive way possible: gender politics. "Will it be Blake versus one of the girls?" Or will it be an eye-scratching, hair-pulling, beer-in-the-weave catfight between Melinda and Jordin? Also, Ryan tells us that Elliott is here. AAAAHHHHH! On wait, he's not here here. But he will be. I am understandably freaked out. I only just recently stopped receiving daily letter bombs by angry Yaminions. I'm none too jazzed about that starting up again. Also, Maroon 5 is here. As well as Brandon Rogers. Hi, Brandon! If I'd have picked Haley instead of you in my pool like I almost did, I'd be winning it right now. ["You still might. You just need that save from you-know-who." -- Miss Alli] No, no, don't apologize. We also have judges, but we don't want to talk to them right now. We want to recap last night. There isn't a whole lot of editorializing beyond what went on last night. Melinda took Round 1. Ryan did his adorable Randy Jackson impersonation. Blake was great, Jordin was great, Melinda was great. Simon pussed out and called Round 2 a tie. Melinda disembarks the stage and is like, "One more song? Seriously?" Simon says he wants to award Melinda a place in the finals. Blake was having a lot of fun up there. Jordin gave her best performance of the night. Randy says two girls should make the final. And Simon wants his girl Melinder in the finals. Me too, dude.