Enter Mario. I noticed this last night too, and I let it go, but now I just have to ask: is wearing two tie pins a thing now? It makes his chest look like scaffolding.
Mario introduces the judges, then tells us that they'll be completely superfluous tonight because the final-three selection will be determined entirely by votes. We're starting off with the last-ever performance of the final four, who are doing a slow, dramatic reading of "Stronger," a song Kelly Clarkson performed on this show two years ago. As the one remaining female in the competition, Sierra seems to do the best with it. But I think the point of it was to remind the acts that it won't be the end of the world when one of them gets the boot within the hour. After that, Mario gets some anodyne comments on the upcoming evening from most of the judges -- aside from Demi, who when asked who her money is on says it was on Ellona. So her money's gone now anyway.
Now that nothing has happened, we get the recap of the previous night's show, which as always makes me feel like I wasted three hours the night before. In fact, tonight it's so long I feel like I wasted another three hours just now.
Then Mario conducts a short remote interview with the final four, who are backstage with some well-rehearsed non-answers to Mario's halftime questions. Twenty minutes in, and still nothing has happened.
Now let's watch a segment that's essentially a four-act intro reel, which is about how the final four want to win and their families support them. Did you know any of that? Why didn't anyone mention it before?
Finally Mario presents the remaining three mentors still in the competition: Paulina with Carlito, Kelly with Jeff, and Simon with Restless Road and Alex & Sierra. As always, he's got the numbers on his side, at least. I feel like the X-shaped stage should be tipping in his direction right now. Mario stretches out the announcement of the first act going through to next week almost until next week, and then finally says… "We'll find out right after the break!" If there's not a riot in the studio, that is.
Coming back, Mario reminds us that the results are in no particular order, as though they've been in any order at all thus far. But finally, after a very long time, he announces the first finalist: Carlito Olivero. Simon actually turns his back on this, knowing that he's now got a two in three chance of seeing one of his acts go home tonight. Maybe he shouldn't have given Carlito that sympathy vote last week then. Paulina says this is "one of that experience of your life" and that Carlito is "such a talent guy," and then Mario introduces Carlito to sing a song, right now. I think it's called "Suavemente, Bésame," because those seem to be the Spanish words he sings the most. And he's actually having fun this time, rather than just pretending to. At least now that we've seen that every finalist gets a victory song, we know how the rest of the hour's going to get filled up.