‘American Idol’ Recap: Jennifer Lopez Debuts ‘I Luh Ya Papi’ Live & MK Nobilette Leaves

Tensions are high as the total number of finalists begins to dwindle down to the single digits. On Wednesday night, the contestants performed hand-picked Top 10 songs from 2011 until the present date. As usual, the judges pulled no punches, with several contestants relying solely on America’s votes to stay in the game. In addition to results, the audience was treated to live performances on Thursday (March 20) from judge Jennifer Lopez and up-and-coming band Royal Teeth.

Host Ryan Seacrest kicks off the festivities by welcoming the three celebrity judges to the stage. Jennifer is beyond flawless in her gold lame, animal print blazer and mini dress, while Harry Connick Jr. is looking all kinds of fancy in a suit for the occasion. Keith Urban rocked his usual jeans, t-shirt and black leather jacket. All in all, everyone’s looking pretty snazzy.

After a brief recap of the previous night’s events over their after-performance dinner, the results truly get started. First up to hear whether or not they’re fated for bottom three stools are Malaya Watson, Dexter Roberts and Jessica Meuse. Florida Georgia Line give Dexter a quick shout-out in a special pre-recorded message before the lights dim and Ryan delivers the big news. Jessica is the first contestant to make her way to the lounge, safely secured in the competition. After that, Dexter finds out that he’s the first in the bottom three stools, while Malaya is still in the game and heads to the lounge.

Next up is JLo’s debut performance of her new single “I Luh Ya Papi.” The set is a throwback to the gritty fabulous Bronx in the ’80s with Jennifer and a gang of fly girls. Even though she’s pretty clearly lip-synching, I’m loving these retro dance moves and the song is crazy catchy. All in all, it feels very classic JLo. I’m waiting for the imminent mash-up, “My Luh Don’t Cost A Thing.”

Caleb Johnson, Majesty Rose and Alex Preston are called to the stage after the commercial break. Of the three, Alex learns first that he is staying. Sadly for Majesty Rose, she joins Caleb on the stools.

We return from commercial break to Harry briefly rapping. Thankfully, he’s cut short by Keith booing until Harry relents and stops. Ha! It’s just in time for Harry to introduce Louisiana band, Royal Teeth, who take to the stage to perform their song “Wild.” They’re a bunch of high-energy pixies in skinny jeans. As a whole, it’s a pretty fun song that gets the crowd dancing.

Sam Woolf, Jena Irene, C.J. Harris and MK Nobilette are summoned to hear the final results of America’s votes. But first, C.J. receives a special message from Hunter Hayes, who tells the Idol contestant he’s honored his song was chosen for a performance. Sam hears he’s safe and MK takes the final stool in the bottom three.

We learn after some delayed tension-building banter with Ryan, we that MK is up for the save. After a brief chat with the band leader, MK sings John Legend‘s “All Of Me.” Jenifer looks completely tortured during the performance as MK’s Facebook supporters float past her in the background.

After some heated deliberation with the crowd chanting, “Save her,” the judges are unable to reach an unanimous decision to keep her. Sweet MK takes it like a champ before leaving the Idol stage for the last time. Let’s pour out a little for our fallen homie, aight?

Catch you next week, guyeeez!

Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.