AMERICAN IDOL SEASON 11 TOP 3


She can't make you love her if you don't. Here in the dark and twisted minefield of the American Idol results show, in these final hours before the three chosen ones would embark on their Hometown Hero Visits, Little Hollie Cavanagh laid down her heart.

I think we all saw an elimination coming for sweet Hollie, she of the sparkly and pehhhhr-fect #holliepops species. What I didn't expect was to cry so hard during her farewell song. Everything about it was truly perfect, starting from the way she had to jump in late, because she couldn't hear the backing track over the cheers. Cool as an electric blue cucumber, our Alice in Wonderland wandered first over to season 11's Top 3: Joshua Ledet, Jessica Sanchez, and Phillip Phillips for a quick hug, then eventually approached the judges for some light hand squeezes and a "Hi baby" from Steven Tyler.

J. Lo's mouth twitched from a saccharine smile to a "yeah, girl" scrunch as Hollie sang "I Got to Be Strong." Jessica Sanchez leaked out her second visible tear of the week on "just keep on pushing on." Joshua was a wet mess the whole time, of course. And even Phillip had watery eyes as he began to sing "It's…" with Hollie on her last line -- before immediately wising up that he was about to sing the title of a Miley Cyrus song on camera. Good save, P.P.! By the time Hollie went for the big finish, her tiny arm outstretched until she let it fall limp -- what's the use? -- Joshua had drowned in his own tears and the judges were on their feet.



Maybe I was just avoiding my recap, but I ended up rewinding Hollie's whole performance seven or eight times. I love to get a good reality TV sob in once and a while, and apparently Joshua and Jessica's showstopping moments during last night's The Song I Wrote to Bring You to Tears round weren't enough for me. I was so happy to see Hollie -- who really has "grown up with us," as Ryan Seacrest said -- in complete control while everyone else wept for her.

Good for you, Hollie. Now eat the little cake so you can get big enough to sing to us again.

The rest of the show was long and terrible, except for season 7 winner David Cook's performance of his new self-released single, "The Last Song I'll Write For You." It's beautiful, just beautiful. Let's all download it. Thanks to the production team for hooking up someone's Mac to the giant Idol oval -- I've never seen the "Flurry" screen saver look quite so majestic.

Oh wait. I did like that dance number with all the ripped men in tight silver jeans and zero shirts. J. Lo, who wanted to dance again and loves to make love to you, baby, emerged from a cocoon of torsos with bedroom hair and a sparkly sapphire boobotard to mouth some words, show off her hot bod, and grind up on her new ghost friend Casper Smart.

I know it's not about the lyrics, but I have to hand it to "Dance, Yes / Love, Next." for taking every J. Lo dance hit and boiling them down to life's four essential elements, if you're J. Lo.
Time flies when you're J. Lo, huh? It seems like just yesterday she was PDA-ing onstage with then-husband Marc Anthony as he performed his single, "Something in Spanish," during last season's Idol finale. These kids grow up so fast.

I hope Hollie was watching! She needs the "experience," remember? I'm pretty sure J. Lo meant "sexual."
Two somewhat hidden gems tonight: Steven Tyler mouthed (I think) "Hi grandma" a second before David Cook's performance, and someone edited out the "kinda" from J. Lo's "Joe kinda Cocker" comment last night. Blasphemy! How dare you mess with the original?

WHO WILL BE THE NEXT AMERICAN IDOL?

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