Yes, it's time once again to try and figure out who will be going home tonight, joining the illustrious company of former 6th place finishers Christina Christian, Carmen Rasmussen, John Stevens, Constantine Maroulis, and Kellie Pickler, and former 5th place finishers RJ Helton, Trenyce, George Huff, Scott Savol, and Paris Bennett.
With this week's vote totals combined with last week's totals, literally anything could happen tonight. Are we in for a shocker?
As I have done since the beginning of the Top 12, I think the best way to make a prediction as to who is going to get kicked off tonight is by process of elimination -- figure out who is most likely to be safe, and go from there.
I've identified three zones: Green (safe), Yellow (not on solid ground), and Red (danger danger danger!) Here goes...
Read my Recap of the Top 6 Performances: Hail to Bon Jovi
Green Zone: Safe
Starting next week the Green Zone will probably disappear, since when we hit the Top 4 nobody is 100% safe (think Tamyra, Latoya, and Chris Daughtry), but for this week, however, Jordin is standing alone in this category. The combination of her stellar performance last week with the drubbing she took from the judges last night will likely earn her enough votes to sail into the Top 4, but when you add on top of that how cruelly she was treated at the end of the "Idol Gives Back" results show, there is no chance she's going anywhere tonight. She is as safe as safe can be.
Yellow Zone: Not on solid ground
Blake did the smartest thing he possibly could have done last night -- he reminded us why we fell in love with him in the first place. Even though his performance of "Imagine" last week was a little lackluster, he proved with his Bon Jovi performance that he is far and away the most original of all the contestants, and even if, like Simon said, 1/2 of the audience hated the performance, the 1/2 that loved him should have spent enough time dialing last night to propel him forward. I think he beatboxed his way right into the Top 4.
Melinda is making her second straight appearance in the Yellow Zone, and this time I'm afraid she's actually bordering on Red. Her remarkable consistency may be starting to work against her, especially on a week where she chose one of the lesser known of Bon Jovi's songs. Hopefully her fantastic inspirational performance last week gave her a bit of a voting cushion and she'll cruise on into the Top 4, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a bit worried about the girl.
Phil Stacey, meanwhile, sounded outstanding on "Blaze of Glory," continuing the momentum he started with his strong country week performance. As I said in my recap of the show, I think Phil could be this year's Vonzell or Elliott -- the underdog who picks up more and more fans along the way. That momentum is huge at this point in the competition. After all those weeks in the Bottom 3, who would have thought Phil would make it to the Top 4? Right now, it's looking like it's going to happen.
Red Zone: Danger! Danger! Danger!
That leaves us with Chris Richardson and LaKisha Jones -- in my opinion the likeliest candidates to be eliminated tonight (I'm guessing Phil or, possibly, Melinda, will take the third spot if there is, in fact, a Bottom 3).
LaKisha is now making her third straight appearance in the Red Zone -- and with two contestants eliminated, it's looking like this could be the week she goes home. Even though the "old LaKisha" was back last night (she was better than she's been in weeks, and she finally didn't choose a song that had been previously sung on the show!) I think she's still in serious danger this evening. If the votes from last night were taken on their own she might've had a chance, but when you combine this week's votes with last week's (where she was surely in the Bottom 2 after butchering Fantasia's "I Believe") the uphill battle Kiki faced coming into the night was nearly insurmountable. And while she was good, and her fans probably knew she was in danger, I don't think she was good enough to pick up those all-important "undecided" votes and overcome those obstacles. If she does go, like I think she will, she will have been the biggest victim of the non-elimination debacle.
Which brings us to the king of nasal -- Chris Richardson, who I also think will be going home tonight. Chris wasn't bad last week, and he wasn't bad this week -- he's just seriously outclassed in this competition, and it's time for him to go. There's really not much more to say about that -- I'd be shocked if he somehow avoids elimination.
So there it is...LaKisha Jones and Chris Richardson are getting the boot.