If you didn't believe that the ladies have this season of "American Idol" on lock, then Thursday night's (March 21) elimination show was proof positive that the chain of white guys and their guitars may be broken.
That gender imbalance showed when Paul Jolley, 23, was sent home after an uneven performance night that had the judges and mentor Jimmy Iovine once again predicting he'd be on the bubble.
And, unlike last week, nobody was threatening to walk off the show in protest to save Jolley's hide. His run ended after host Ryan Seacrest presented Jolley with a proclamation from his hometown of Dresden, Tennessee, which declared a Paul Jolley day.
"Unfortunately Ryan it's not unanimous, no, thank you Paul, good luck, baby, good luck," Randy Jackson said in denying a save for Jolley, who gave it his best with Heart's schmaltzy "Alone" in an attempt to live another week. But, it was just more of the same, as Jolley over emoted and came off as more Broadway than pop star. While he was singing, you could almost see the future as his fellow contestants tried to put on brave faces, even as they sensed his effort was not nearly enough.
"I have my own day, I think I'm pretty great," Paul said with a smile after getting the bad news.
Earlier in the show, mentor Jimmy Iovine took a slap at the judges, lashing them for handing out participation ribbons and not giving the contestants real talk about their performances. "What you can't do is coddle people," he said, defending his prep sessions with the contestants. "This was easily the worst performance of the night," he said of Lazaro Arbos' shaky "In My Life." He also dubbed Jolley "not ready for prime time" and said the male Carrie Underwood wannabe chose the wrong songs and didn't really get the lyrics.
Jolley was joined in the bottom three by Devin Velez and Holcomb, who will both get another shot next week.
With Jolley's ouster, that meant that despite Iovine's harsh words, Arbos advanced, along with fellow top eighters Kree Harrison, Candice Glover, Angie Miller, Janelle Arthur and Burnell Taylor, as well as Holcomb and Velez.
The show also featured the return of former "Idol" contestant Casey Abrams, singing a jazzy take on the Beatles' "I Saw Her Standing There," and last year's runner-up, Jessica Sanchez, who performed her clubby new single featuring Ne-Yo, "Tonight."
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