Tonight's previouslies do what last week's live elimination episode couldn't: show all the shocked reactions to Lillie McCloud's summary elimination. They were manifold, as we now see. But let's move onto this week. The top six will each perform two times tonight: a round of songs by "divas," and an "unplugged" round. Seems like everyone will be able to pretty much coast through that, right?
After Mario presents the judges for the evening, he tells us that it's going to be another double elimination tomorrow night, leading to the semifinals next week. Nobody's pumping the brakes here, are they? Simon starts off the evening's introductions with Restless Road, making sure to add a little dig about how he's still got two acts in the competition. We're reminded of the country trio's triumph last week in the intro reel, as well as the overwhelming support they're receiving from all three of their teeny-tiny hometowns. For the diva round, Simon's given them a Taylor Swift song, which is generous to both Restless Road and Taylor Swift. This time they're going all harmonies (almost) all the time, which sands off what little edge the song ever had. Kelly, however, thinks they worked it out and have tightened up their vocals, though she still wants more energy from them. Demi agrees that they've improved, but wants more solos. Paulina gets one of their names wrong, naturally, and says that Simon picked the song under the influence of alcohol because it was amazing. What's amazing to me is that Paulina ever claimed to not drink. Simon tells them they deserve to be in the finals, as though he'd say anything else. Mario puts them on the spot to explain why they should get votes and we get a little speech about how far they've come from not knowing each other at all, courtesy of Colton. Or Colin, as Paulina called him a minute ago.
Moving on, Demi introduces Rion Paige, who survived the trauma of being in the bottom two last week, and now has to relive it through most of the intro reel. She's also getting support from back home in Jacksonville, as well as from her parents. Demi tells us in the intro reel that she gave Rion a big song by a big vocalist, and it turns out to be "See You Again" by Carrie Underwood. I’m not sure they're actually allowed to mention the names of American Idols on this show, now that I think about it, because nobody did. Rion is perched on top of a circus pedestal and seems to be struggling with the song a bit. She's not having as much fun as she usually does, and there are some pitch issues. Kelly appreciates how genuine she is, which may be her nice way of saying it was genuinely not that great. Paulina loves the tone of her voice and advises her to always wear her hair down, helpfully. Simon doesn't think it was the best song to pick, though he appreciates her returning to her country roots. Demi steps on Rion's explanation of how she was singing to her dad, by talking about how nobody has the fire in their eyes like Rion does. Mario asks Simon what he would have picked instead, but Simon isn't playing along with being put on the spot like that. And he calls Mario "Marry-O" like he usually does, just to remind him who's boss.