'American Idol' In 60 Seconds: Our Parents' Hits Can't Save Paige Miles

Miley Cyrus and the top 11's take on Billboard hits make Jim bitter.

"American Idol" in 60 Seconds has fast become an MTV News institution, but it goes by so fast that it's not always easy to catch every golden nugget. So, here we present to you Jim Cantiello's bite-size recap of this week's "Idol" high jinks.

This week's "American Idol" was a lot like watching an episode of "Cops," in that you needed to separate from the reality of the situation in order to fully enjoy its absurd pop-culture trashiness. (Unlike "Cops," nobody was half naked and handcuffed; although it's likely Kara has imagined such a scenario with Casey James.)

First of all, we had mentor Miley Cyrus, who decided to give advice to the contestants pantless. (But don't worry, she wore two crucifixes to balance out her bare bottom half.) All kidding aside, Miley turned out to be a perfectly respectable "Idol" guest. She warmly disapproved of contestants who fumbled lyrics (Andrew Garcia), urged front-runners to push themselves harder (Crystal Bowersox) and came up with a silly excuse to hug the cute boy (Tim Urban).

And then there were the performances. ... Oh, the performances.

The week's wide-open theme was Billboard #1 hits (shhhh, don't tell anyone that Miley has never had a #1 song on the Hot 100 Chart). But almost all of the contestants picked songs that were popular when their parents were twentysomethings. Aerosmith, Phil Collins, Linda Ronstadt, Percy Sledge, Marvin Gaye ... wait, is this "The Big Chill" soundtrack? Ironically, 17-going-on-70-year-old Katie Stevens was the one contestant who picked a contemporary song (Fergie's ode to blankets).

The only performance worthy of any real praise was season-nine MVP Crystal Bowersox's "Me and Bobby McGee." Let's just hope she starts bringing new things to the stage each week, other than plush carpets.

Other moments of note: Siobhan had silly hair, Didi made funny faces, Michael Lynche is still a cheeseball, Lee Dewyze can do a Box Tops song without anyone acknowledging the recent passing of Alex Chilton, Casey James does a killer Huey Lewis impression and Tim Urban slid across the stage like he was stealing third base.

On Wednesday night's results show, the contestants slowly learned who made it into the top 10, and thus, the formally beloved, now dreaded American Idols Live summer tour. But first, there were two special musical guest performances to "enjoy!" Miley Cyrus tore into her current hit, "Not the Climb," like a wolf rips into the carcass of a caribou. (One could argue it was about as pleasant to the listener, too!) Then Joe Jonas and Demi Lovato sang a song about pebbles with such a palpable intensity, I expected the Disney Sonny and Cher to rip off their purity rings and go at it live on television.

During the results reveal, we learned that Siobhan's friends are even weirder than she is (Stage blood! Shaving protests!), Didi Benami has difficulty standing upright while lip-synching (she totally fell during the group number), and Crystal Bowersox is such a beloved TV star, she's able to mouth the words "holy sh--" on prime-time television without the FCC threatening any fines.

In the bottom three: Tim Urban and Paige Miles, not so shocking since Paige croaked one of the worst "Idol" vocals ever Tuesday night. More surprising was Katie Stevens' inclusion on the chopping block, mostly because it meant Andrew Garcia was not in the bottom three, and as Simon would say, that guy "sucks ... the life out of a song."

In the end, Paige was the one who had to sing for her life, but Simon murdered that idea when he told her she had a better chance of conceiving Clay Aiken's second baby than performing well enough to justify using the judges' save on her.

Check out the latest (especially bitter) "American Idol" in 60 Seconds recap, embedded in this article. Let us know your take on this week's "Idol" episodes by leaving a comment below. And if you want more of my "Idol" and pop culture ramblings, follow me on Twitter @jambajim!

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