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'American Idol' 5th Judge: Lionel Richie Interrupts Top 10 Reveal to Save Contestant

America put through seven of the Top 14, leaving the judges to fix their mistakes and round out the Top 10.

The new "American Idol" results show isn’t just an hour or two of padding and results; we got the entire Top 14 performing again before they were pared down to our Top 10.

In fact, the paring happened throughout the live production, and it definitely led to some awkward moments. For one, Ryan Seacrest was giving the contestants their results before sending them out to sing.

For a show that relies on trumped up drama, they’re doing this totally backwards … leave us hanging while they perform wondering their fate. Plus, it leaves the singers unnerved seconds before they hit the stage.

And then the production is clunky getting them into those performances, leaving the whole show looking far less polished than "Idol" faithful are used to. Did ABC slash the budget so much they’ve got the high school A/V Club running things behind the scenes?

It was a wild night of results, though, with some of our early favorites failing to get America’s vote. One was such a travesty of justice, Lionel Richie jumped out of his chair and ushered the singer directly into the Top 10, giving his pick right away.

America put half of the Top 14 through automatically, but the final three slots were for the judges to fill. And after Lionel’s impromptu move, there were six performers and two slots to fill. And let’s just say there were some definite surprises along the way.

Fair warning, since I’m safe at home, I’m probably going to be a little harsher than my colleagues Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan.

Only ten will survive the night, so we’re going to rank the Top 14 from bottom to top to see which four didn’t make our cut and see if you agree with us, i.e. get it right.

Eddie Island [DANGER]

"Use Somebody," Kings of Leon

A great song choice, but it proved to be too much for Eddie from the first "Oh." None of it sounded sincere, and he was squeaky and voice-cracking throughout it. The song was just too big and rather than rearrange it to fit what he does, he strained and reached constantly, missing just too many times. It should have worked so much better than it did. Even Lionel basically told him, yeah, you’re done here.

Riley Thompson [DANGER]

"It Must Be Love," Don Williams

With America only picking the Top 7, Riley probably came just short, so it should be interesting seeing her fate in the hands of the judges. She had a very rough start getting into the song and it didn’t get much better as she got deeper into the song. It sounded very amateurish and her stage presence was boring at best. This looked like a very young girl at a county fair somewhere performing for her family and friends, but nothing like something deserving of the "Idol" stage. Did nerves destroy her? She’s better than this.

Madison VanDenburg [SAFE]

"You and I," Lady Gaga

Madison clearly had no idea how the show worked because she was totally confused when Ryan told her he wanted her to perform after revealing that she was safe. She thought she was done for the night, but there’s still a competition and just ’cause you’re safe now doesn’t mean you’ve won the show. She quickly got into her groove, though, and brought her usual energy to this Gaga song, even if her effervescent tone didn’t match the lyrics at all. She made it a vocal showcase and by the end was overwhelmed with her own excitement about carrying on.

Walker Burroughs [SAFE]

"Lovebug," Jonas Brothers

From "The Sound of Music" to the Jonas Brothers, Walker is definitely going for a wholesome image with these song choices. It put him in the top half of America’s vote this week, and the combination was pretty smart. It showed that he can be timeless and more current at the same time, though he was surprisingly stronger on "Music" Sunday night. He sounded like he was straining a bit here and almost a bit squeaky at times. But perhaps the most important thing to Katy Perry was the bucket of ice cream from Walker’s hometown. Honey Nut Cheerios, vanilla ice cream and peanut butter.

Ashley Hess [DANGER]

"Sir Duke," Stevie Wonder

This wasn’t Ashley’s greatest performance or showcase for her abilities. She stepped from behind the piano to try and bring some energy to this Stevie Wonder classic, but she fell a little flat and the whole thing just came off as repetitive and a little dull. It lacked genuine enthusiasm from her vocally or in her stage performance. By the end, she was even losing notes she normally nails effortlessly. Whose idea is it to give them results beforehand?

Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon [SAFE]

"Almost Heaven," Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon

His audition song reprise wasn’t quite as strong or effective this time. It started more tepid and actually got a little shrill toward the back third of it. It’s still a powerful song, beautifully written, but he’s performed it better. Luckily, it doesn’t mean as much for his overall standing. It does prove that he’s a bona fide artist and talent with a voice that could carve its own niche into the singer-songwriter market.

Alyssa Raghu [DANGER]

"The One That Got Away," Katy Perry

After a very solid performance Sunday night, it’s a little surprising America didn’t have Alyssa’s back more, but we know the judges like her. It would have been nice if she could have sang the whole song in full voice, but she still brought a powerful quality to her overall performance. The song spotlighted all the different qualities to her voice, but it wasn’t quite as strong as we’d have expected from her. Probably nerves and anxiousness taking over a bit after finding out she’s in danger. Alyssa is one of the biggest classic voices in the competition and it would be a shame to lose her.

Laci Kaye Booth [SAFE]

"As Long As You Follow," Fleetwood Mac

Once again, Laci took an interesting song choice. She seemed to have some technical difficulties getting into it, but found her way within a few lines and gained her confidence. It could have used a little more power, but Laci remains one of the most consistently talented performers. She also has one of the most distinctive voices of the now-Top 10. If she keeps making smart choices and staying true to her own artistic vision, she can make a good run.

Laine Hardy [SAFE]

"Hurricane," The Band of Heathens

Now this is a song right in Laine’s wheelhouse. It fits his voice, his style and his tone. It was a mellow jam and he was able to present the vocal with almost no effort. He’s lucky in that he has a wonderful natural raspiness to his voice that is his signature sound, so he’s able to get away with a simpler vocal because he makes it sound interesting just because it’s him singing it. The song didn’t really go anywhere, but Laine is still cementing his heartthrob status with each performance.

Evelyn Cormier [DANGER]

"Dust in the Wind," Kansas

Evelyn knew she had to sing for her life at this point and she certainly gave it her all. This was a much better song choice for her unique vocal quality. She added a haunted quality to the song, making it almost a dirge. When Evelyn is on the right song she is utterly mesmerizing and her voice grabs you and won’t let you go. If she’d have done this Sunday night, she might not even be in this position.

Alejandro Aranda [SAFE]

"Cholo Love," Alejandro Aranda

As always, Alejandro is a one-of-a-kind visionary and his originals songs have proved compelling thus far. It was nice to get a deeper dive into this secondary song he performed during his original audition. He’s not quite as compelling to watch on the piano, but he arranges his music there in unique ways too, incorporating influences from across music. As always, we’re looking forward to whatever else he has under his beanie.

Uche [DANGER]

"Diamonds," Rihanna

He’s just so good, we’ve got to have Uche in this competition, right? Every time he hits the stage, he gives it everything he has and he’s able to bring compelling, rich, quality vocals to dance tracks, funk, soul and everything else. Even more impressively, we think he’s getting better each time and he still doesn’t know how good he is or where he can go.

Wade Cota [SAFE]

"Simple Man," Lynyrd Skynyrd

What do you say to this? It was perfection from the first note. Wade knows who he is as an artist and his voice is like nothing else. At this point, he can do no wrong. Okay, we lied, he could work on pushing his range a little bit, but don’t mess too much with that beautiful instrument forged by screamo. He lost his power a bit here and there but it was through joy and shock … again, why doesn’t "Idol" have them perform before getting their results?

Dimitrius Graham [DANGER]

"when the party’s over," Billie Eilish

America doesn’t quite get Dimitrius yet, as he’s yet to give us a clear vision for himself as an artist. This was a master class in vocal mastery. He effortlessly showed off his impressive range and deep passion, pouring every bit of his emotions into one of the night’s most polished performances. Clearly he wasn’t unnerved by being in the bottom, but we suspect Dimitrius is used to being overlooked. We’re not even sure the judges will vote for him because he’s just so hard to pin down. Undeniable, though, is his incredible voice.

RESULTS

If this were up to us, we’d be wrestling between Uche, Dimitrius Graham, Evelyn Cormier and Alyssa Raghu. But in the end, Raghu would lose out because she’s basically just a great, pretty voice, whereas the other three have built themselves into true artists with unique visions and approaches to music. But we know how much the judges love their sauce.

The problem is that America only put two girls through, and producers might not like that. That would be great news for Alyssa — plus, the judges like her anyway. Ashley, too, got a great response from the judges, so if their being urged to think female, the girls are in a good spot.

But before Uche had even finished hearing the judges’ feedback, Lionel jumped out of his chair and ushered him straight into the Top 10. We’re not mad about it, either, as he was far and away the strongest of the contestants in danger.

Luke kept admitting that he kept changing his mind before his final pick, but he got it right and put the well-deserving Dimitrius Graham through. It looks like talent won out over gender parity, and for once, we agree.

That left five contestants and one Katy Perry to make the final call. It was no huge surprise that the sauce was boss with Katy as she’s been on the Alyssa Raghu train all season long. And we can’t be mad about it, either, because Alyssa is talented.

Honestly, there are no good results from this point forward — or even here — because there really is that much talent. It will be difficult every week to see more people going home.

The bloodbath continues every week as "American Idol" airs Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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