“American Idol” sent one hopeful packing on Thursday (February 27), as Florida nurse technician Kristen O’Connor was shown the door after her wobbly performance of Kelly Clarkson’s “Beautiful Disaster” on Wednesday.
The elimination didn’t come as a surprise, as O’Connor’s performance was the roughest on a far-from-polished night for the contestants.
Here’s how the elimination went down, as well as the other highlights from the episode.
O’Connor Sent Packing
After a reported 71 million votes, O’Connor was in the bottom three along with MK Nobilette and Malaya Watson. MK was the first one sent to safety, and then Malaya was given a reprieve. That left O’Connor to sing for the judge’s save, which can be used at any point up until the top six.
She sang Adele’s “Turning Tables,” but the judges were never going to use their save — not on her, and not this early in the season. O’Connor said she was grateful for her time on the show and that she appreciated all the judges’ feedback, as her picture hanging high atop the “Idol” studio went dark. (Is that an homage to “Big Brother”?)
Malaya Lives, For Now
Malaya Watson, who gave an altogether overexcited performance of Bruno Mars’ “Runaway Baby” on Wednesday, expressed regrets about the performance during Thursday’s episode. “Now watching it back, I didn’t like it myself,” she told Ryan Seacrest, after she learned she was in the week’s Bottom 3. “I could have done better. I think I was a little too excited, you know, trying something new.”
In his critique of her performance, Randy Jackson — who is filling the second-day judge role played by Jimmy Iovine the last few seasons — said that Watson needed to not get so caught up in the performance, which Watson understood. Before facing elimination, she was asked how she would perform on next week’s show if she were to make it. “I might calm down for once in my life,” she said.
Candice Glover, Jake Bugg Perform
Last year’s “Idol” winner Candice Glover returned to perform a pair of songs, though Ryan Seacrest introducing her as a “superstar” singing a medley of “hits” seemed like a stretch. Glover performed “Cried” and “Same Kinda Man” from her album Music Speaks which debuts at #14 on this week’s Billboard Top 200 albums chart.
U.K. singer/songwriter Jake Bugg also performed on the show, as part of what was billed as a sort-of music curating series from the judges to spotlight young artists and up-and-comers. Keith Urban introduced Bugg and co-signed the singer, who sang his “Me and You.”
Everyone Wants To See Keith Urban Naked
In a carryover from a bit from Wednesday’s show, the judges were bombarded with cameras and asked to reveal five secrets about themselves. None were very revealing — although Jennifer Lopez did say she eats a chocolate chip cookie every day — except when Harry Connick Jr. said he’s never seen Keith Urban naked, but he would like to see Keith Urban naked.
Seacrest then gave his revelations, and for his final one he said that he also has yet to see Urban naked. If this thing keeps gaining traction it’s going to end up being an “Idol” theme one of these weeks.
Idols Headed ’Home’
It’s not time for hometown visits just yet, but the theme for next week’s performance episode is “Home.”
Whether that means songs from artists from their hometown or songs that remind them of home is to be determined, but bonus points for whoever gets to sing the Phillip Phillips song.