‘American Idol’ Recap: Phillip Phillips & Kodaline Perform, Emily Piriz Heads Home

Lisa Timmons | March 7, 2014 5:10 am

Thursday night’s American Idol results show continued this week’s theme of “home,” with the show’s prodigal son, Phillip Phillips, returning home to the Idol stage for a performance. The judges even get in on the spirit, sharing some of their theme-inspired stories. In case you hadn’t noticed, Idol is serious about being consistent with this whole home theme, including sending a contestant there by the end of the episode.

After a web video montage of the kids singing Phillip Phillips’ “Home” to open the show, host Ryan Seacrest is quick to usher the three panelists to the stage. Jennifer Lopez is divine in a wine satin shorts jumpsuit while fellow judges Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. sport matching black leather jackets. Twinsies!

We get another quick behind-the-scenes of the kids hanging out at dinner to remind us just what great friends they are becoming. After that, the panel of judges face the 12 nervous contestants. It’s at this point that Harry launches into a speech to explain in great detail why he’s being honest with his critiques. Then Ryan surprises him with a strange, encouraging web video message from Drew Brees, the New Orleans Saints quarterback. I can’t imagine I’m alone in thinking this is creepy.

Now it’s time to get some results. The first group called to the stage consists of Emily Piriz, Sam Woolf, Jessica Meuse and Ben Briley. Ryan then informs Emily that she’s the first in the bottom three of the night. The rest of the kids, one by one, find out they are safe and they scoot happily away to the lounge.

In keeping with this week’s theme, Keith gives a brief interview about the imaginary band he had as a kid named Rock Fever. It’s so damn cute.

Season 11 winner Phillip Phillips has been busy since taking the crown in 2012, and now he’s back to perform his new single “Raging Fire.” It’s super catchy and has Keith slapping the table and Jennifer bobbing her head serpentinely.

Harry’s memory is of the first song he could play, “When The Saints Come Marching In.” We get treated to more cute pictures of him as a tiny musician in New Orleans.

The next group of contestants learning their results includes Dexter Roberts, Jena Irene, Alex Prescott and Majesty Rose, who gets near tears in her post-performance interview from Wednesday night. She is so sweet, I want to put her in my pocket. Dexter is the first to learn he is safe. Majesty covers her face in terror, only to find out that she’s still in the competition. Jena is then told to join Emily on the stools and Alex is ushered to safety.

Randy Jackson is excited to introduce up-and-coming band Kodaline, who perform “All I Want.” Everyone in the band has a guitar, including the keyboard player. These guys are efficient. Oh wait, I take that back. The drummer’s only drumming.

Now, it’s time for Jennifer’s story about home. She shares what it was like to grow up in New York, with her memory of singing the Chicago song “Saturday In The Park.”

It’s time for the last contestants. They are Malaya Watson, MK Nobilette, C.J. Harris and Caleb Johnson, who is the first of the bunch to hear he is safe. C.J.’s next and then after some torturous commentary from Ryan, Malaya hears she’s also staying.

The three girls in the bottom three, including MK, stand on the stage next to Ryan, waiting to hear who is up for elimination. Jena finds out first that she’s staying. Then Emily learns she is up to sing for her final chance at a judges’ save. With images of her supporters on Facebook flashing behind her, Emily sings “Stars” from Grace Potter And The Nocturnals. The judges deliberate, with Jennifer gesturing wildly. Jennifer seems pissed that they aren’t using the save for Emily, but them’s the rules, Jen.

Emily’s goodbye montage is set to Kelly Clarkson‘s “Breakaway.” Making the contestants watch their entire Idol experience edited and set to music is so clearly intended to make them cry. Cruel Idol! When they turn out the light on Emily’s picture, it’s eerily reminiscent of the Hunger Games. I can practically hear the boom of the cannon in the distance.

Until next week, may the odds be ever in the contestants’ favor!

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