Ryan Seacrest teased a surprise departure.
In one sense, it was a surprise because there seemed to be a trend toward ladies getting cut.
But tonight, two out of three in the bottom were guys. And the third was Majesty Rose, someone I didn't expect to get so little support.
In the end, Ben Briley - after his disastrous Elton John "Bennie and Jets" lounge act - got the fewest votes and misses the "American Idol" tour.
I give Ben a lot of credit. He tried different things on the live show. He took a major risk last night and failed. It happens. He wanted to show he wasn't just a country crooner. Unfortunately, that jacket, the piano, the whole schtick, it just fell flat.
The bigger surprises were Majesty and Sam Woolf in the bottom three. Both were early favorites to win the entire competition. Why? They're young, pretty and talented.
But they've been making poor song choices. Majesty had trouble handling a difficult song last night. Woolf also took on a classic Beatles song and while it wasn't bad, he clearly has a long way to go to become an artist, far longer than we had presumed entering the top 13. His shyness and inexperience is hurting him. Majesty probably hasn't figured out who she wants to be yet as an artist.
Both are very young and they can certainly improve. Perhaps tonight's results will be a motivation for them to push and give us a great performance next week. We can only hope.
If either had been the lowest vote getter tonight, I'm certain the judges would have used the save. (Apparently, it was pretty tight, too: about a 0.7 percentage point difference between him and Majesty.)
I thought MK Nobillette was in trouble but amazingly, she made it through. Jessica Meuse has also been struggling but she, too, made the cut. I'm less surprised that Malaya Watson survived only because she got the "pimp spot" and she sang in tune and with some gusto.
So I finally got it wrong. I predicted Ben in the bottom but not eliminated. I figured he had enough fans who would have voted for him, aware how badly he screwed up. But alas, those fans didn't help him enough.
Ratings last night were 10.27 million, down from 10.51 million a week earlier. The 18-49 ratings fell even more: 2.7 to 2.4, behind both "Survivor" and "Modern Family."