Mario welcomes us to the show from a stage fake-littered with autumn leaves, and is in time to welcome Simon to his spot at the judges' table. Usually it's Paulina sneaking in at the last second when the cameras go live.
We start right off with an infomercial where the top eight are all hanging out on the backlot together, as I'm sure they totally do. They supposedly think they're being dragged off to yet another wardrobe fitting, only to be led around a corner in a clump and find themselves face-to-face with their families, thanks to a certain car company that isn't paying me for advertising. That same company also invites them up to a banquet hall for a big, multi-family dinner around a giant table. It's a bittersweet moment for Jeff Gutt, whose son Talon hasn't been able to make it… until he does. Because Jeff and Talon are always good for a little extra tear-jerking. Dammit, why couldn't that kid be an asshole?
The top eight then get to put on a group sing of "Somewhere Only We Know" by Keane, backed by blown-up versions of family photos behind them on the projection screens. Then we go to ads with little video greeting cards from the top eight and their families, from their families to ours.
Fast-forward of last night's proceedings, which were almost 100% positive except where Simon was involved. When that's over, it means it's time for the first elimination. Mario brings out the four mentors and their two remaining acts each to announce who's going to be leaving first tonight, and it's…Lillie McCloud. Sucks to be 54 on a televised singing competition. Kelly accompanies her to center stage, and Lillie's keeping it positive, saying she's learned a lot and "God knows what he's doing." Kelly takes it pretty well too, considering her only shot of winning this season now rides on Jeff Gutt.
Mario comes back to us from the audience, with his arm clamped around Josh Levi's grandmother. He introduces Demi singing (or at least lip syncing) her new single "Neon Light." The highlight of their performance is when ultraviolet lights illuminate the day-glo stripes of body paint on the back-up dancers, as well as her own lipstick on her blue-lit face. It's very "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go," but updated since the nineties!
Then Mario brings back the mentors again for more results. There aren't as many pauses between names, so they have to be longer, but we eventually find out that the safe ones are Carlito Olivero, Ellona Santiago, Alex & Sierra, Restless Road, and finally Jeff Gutt, of all people. That leaves Josh Levi and Rion Paige in the bottom two. Mario calls them to center stage, and believe it or not, they both say that they're ready to bring it.