Elvis week! The last time Idol dipped into this well we witnessed the shocking defeat of Chris DAUGHTRY at the hands of Katherine McPhee. And tonight there will be a double elimination! This means chills, and thrills, and hips, and excitement, am I right? No, I am wrong. Although Our Lord Lambert gives it his best shot.

We begin by revisiting washed out slo-mo footage of the night AI changed world history forever for the second time, with the triumph of Big Mike over the American people. I cannot wait for enough years to pass so we can get the epic poems and ballads and film dramatizations of the Savings of Matt Giraud and Mike Lynche. Children will be so excited about learning history; it’s gonna be great.

Safe Sound

Until then, results show. The kids went to Vegas this week to soak up some Elvis at the Cirque du Soleil’s extravagant revue, and verily lives were changed forever. Season 9’s recent uptick in good-enough-to-watch performances continued apace this week, as Elvis’s diffuse pop appeal and genre-switching mastery coupled with Our Lord Lambert’s mentorship inspired many of them to be less dull and more good than usual. Evidence? Seacrest finally has a high enough vote total to report to us: 34 million.

Group sing. Sadly, I can no longer herald these with an exclamation point, because of the pre-recording/lip synching abomination. But even if this group sing were live, I’d be disappointed, because it’s one of the dullest ever. I know it’s pollen season, which may explain why Katie on “Burning Love” looks and sounds like she’s just had a Benadryl, but the rest of the crew go through “Teddy Bear” as if they are actually teddy bears lying on your pillow waiting for bedtime. Andrew leads “Return to Sender” like a march to Dreamland. And I’ve run out of similes for frakkin’ boring, but it should be enough to say that Siobhan and Casey, and Crystal hitching her leg up Big Mike’s thigh couldn’t even make “Viva Las Vegas” sound exciting after all the previous cough syrup.

Green and Giving and Gone

Pimpmercial: Vision of a concrete jungle, wherein lesser cars turn to dirt, and the Idols water said dirt into lovely trees, while singing the Polyphonic Spree’s “Reach for the Sun.”

And we now begin the rigmarole, as Ryan directs Casey, Aaron, and Andrew to stand center stage. He rehashes their criticisms and the explicit negativity of Andrew’s pretty much seals the deal of Andrew’s going home. Ryan then asks Andrew how he feels about two people being eliminated, which pretty much puts the stamp on Andrew’s being eliminated. Andrew says he’s ready. And then Ryan announces that Andrew is eliminated. Chop, chop, chop. Poor Lee is over in safety putting on a brave face; he must have known in advance as well as all the rest of the world. Andrew sings something I don’t remember, but that he must’ve sung here on the show before; everyone crowds in to hug him, and then he is no more.

Post-commercials let’s remember Idol Gives Back. Season 5’s Elliot Yamin! went with Season 3 champ Fantasia to an orphanage in Angola, and verily, it was an extremely affecting journey. Sadly for this return trip Elliott has traded ‘Tasia for Kara, but the return is still triumphant when I ignore that she is there. It's pretty difficult, because most of the segment is just Kara being patronizing, and being a shining example of What Not to Do when offering service or aid. However! The orphanage is breaking ground for a new malaria-proof dorm, and Sister Dominguez who founded the orphanage speaks very sincerely with Elliott for like a second about how much good they’ve been able to do and will be able to do with the orphanage, and then they all pass out malaria nets.

By the way, many superstars are in line to appear on this year’s IGB, but as we’ve just learned, it’s not about them.

Sweet Nothings

The parade of past contestants continues: Brooke White is back! Season 7’s skittish songbird has returned with a singing partner named Justin in tow, from some web show, and they now offer a rendition of “If I Can Dream” in tribute to Elvis. And perhaps Elliott, who sang this during Season 5’s Elvis night and is in the audience. It should’ve just been Brooke, alone, because this Justin guy is truly sorry. And it should’ve been a more up-tempo song, because this is truly sleepy. Brooke however, is composed and controlled, and she gives a performance strong enough to make me wish she had been this composed during her season. And she’s still a total sweetheart, as she bears Ryan’s painfully awkward post-chat with good grace, even when he implies that Brooke’s new partner might want to be more than friends. I’m worried about Ryan.

But, it’s bottom three time. Ryan drags everybody remaining out to center stage. Again, a no-brainer. Ryan recounts how much love there was for Lee, how little for Katie, and how tiresome weird little Autobahn is becoming. Big Mike is super grateful and full of love and appreciation for life after last week’s near-death experience. Crystal rocked hardcore and will doubtless be safe tonight. Tim Urban sucked less than usual and with his swirly hair has hypnotized us into believing that is good. So, Ryan sends Crystal, Siobhan, and Lee back to Safety in that order, leaving Katie, Mike, and Tim out on stage to stew in their own misery while Our Lord Lambert performs.

This Is a Message from the Emergency Broadcast System

This is NOT A TEST. An Adam Lambert glitterstorm is here to save this broadcast from its boredom emergency. He appears silhouetted in the center of a tornado, with tons of fog and lightning lasers all around him singing “Whataya Want From Me,” which is not one of the two songs I like from his album, but which is enough of an oasis in this night of nothing to get me revved up. How much more when I peep his sparkly studded jacket and sky high pompadour. Lambert always has style, that's for sure. I’m also happy he’s singing wonderfully, since the only other time I’ve seen him on live TV post-Idol he did not.

When he's done he geeks out adorably with Ryan over the lasers, and says some gracious things about the contestants, and how different the real industry is from the show, and how much he owes to the show, and out.

Baby Blues

After the commercials, center stage has been cleared of all the rhinestone-studded tree limbs and power lines the Adam storm left in its wake. Mike, Katie, and Tim stand there quivering with ennui, and then Ryan says, “Smile,” and sends T-Urb back to Safety. Someone other than Katie returning to Safety first probably clues her in to what’s actually happening. And then we learn that of Katie and Mike, one was not even in the bottom three, which clues us all in to what’s happening. While the third member of this week’s bottom three is, in fact, a mystery, what’s certain is that Katie Stevens leaves us tonight. Sorry, Katie. You seem like a cool girl and all, but you tried and failed at that sassy neck rolling attitude one too many times. Her singout is “Let it Be (Katie’s remix),” which features stiff upper lips and notes choked stabbed with sadness. It’s hard not to be at least a little touched, as her grief is just so evident. Crystal and Siobhan shed tears from Safety, Big Mike looks ill, and Kara is disgusting.

When she’s done she hugs Ryan for dear life, and is consumed by the rest of the contestants so she can get her face together in time to watch the Andrew and Katie Double-Retrospective Spectacular. Aw, look. More personality in 60 seconds from the both of them than we’ve seen on stage all season.

Next week: Idol Gives Back III: The Reckoning. The theme of course is Inspirational Songs, and if you don’t think that means we’ll be hearing more about various weather formations, you don’t know Idol. Tune in next week while the lovely MsFroggy and I serve as your guides through the inspirational skies.

And just who was the missing bottom three member? Siobhan Magnus. You’ll never know.