Last night on “American Idol,” the judges wielded their authority on the show by choosing the final three contestants out of eight wild card nominees who performed with their best foot forward. Only the wildest card of all was that they chose four finalists instead of three, making the Top 12 a Top 13. I actually loved that they did that, even if I didn’t agree with at least one of their selections. Here is how it went down…

Jessie Langseth kicked things off with Rufus’ “Tell Me Something Good,” a somewhat odd song choice but Jessie wanted to bring her sexiest best to the table. But it was really just okay. Randy said as much, calling it “not great and just aight,” Kara said she likes Jessie’s swagger, Paula said she likes her tenacity (uh-oh, swagger and tenacity?), and Simon said that while it was better than her previous performance, it was a bit self-indulgent.

Matt Giraud was next and he had butchered Coldplay last week, but this time he stuck to his R&B roots with a very good version of the Jacksons’ “Who’s Loving You.” Kara said Matt can riff and it was a great vocal, Paula said it was the right song, Simon said it was a billion times better than last week but that he didn’t like Matt’s outfit, and Randy correctly pointed out that everyone in the finals should be afraid of Matt right now. Well said, Mr. Jackson.

Megan Corkrey sang KT Tunstall’s “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” and honestly, I didn’t think it was very good at all. Plus, Megan does this weird, side-to-side shaking thing that some might call dancing. Paula said it was the right song, Simon said he likes Megan and that she brings something different to the table, Randy said it wasn’t the best vocal but a good choice and Kara said that we all need Megan in the competition. Talk about pre-determining the results. I’m sorry, she was not that good.

Von Smith sang Elton John’s “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word” and it was all dark and gloomy and weird. But dude has great pipes. Simon said it was a bit boring, Randy said it was pitchy at first and too serious, Kara said she wasn’t crazy about the song choice and Paula said Von didn’t “let go” enough. Dude is toast.

Jasmine Murray was next and sang Christina Aguilera’s “Reflection.” Christina would fall into that Stevie Wonder/Whitney Houston category, meaning you have to be amazing to match the original version of the song. Remember that Jasmine is only 17, and she really did a damn good job with it. But she is not quite great yet. Randy said it was pitchy in spots but 100% better than last time, Kara said Jasmine has a big voice, Paula said she looked lovely and was determined, and Simon said the other judges weren’t giving Jasmine enough credit and that he thought it was “special.” That’s Simon practically giving Jasmine a spot in the finals.

Ricky Braddy has a sick voice, and by that I mean awesome. He sang Stevie’s “Superstitious” and just nailed it. Kara said Ricky can sing his butt off, Paula said Ricky loosened up and nailed it, Simon said it sounded good but was somewhat like karaoke (yep, Simon made up his mind about Ricky before he sang), and Randy said it was not quite right. What? Guys, if Megan was better or more compelling than Ricky I will eat this blog I’m writing.

Tatiana Del Toro was next and I thought for sure she would be put through automatically. But Tatiana made a huge mistake, singing Whitney’s “Saving All My Love For You,” the same song she sang not once, but twice before. I knew the judges were going to call her out on it too. Paula said that even though she repeated the song it was powerful, Simon was disgusted that she did the same song again, Randy said it was rough in spots, and Kara called it the “adventures of Tatiana.”

Anoop Desai was last and I was pulling for him big-time. I just love this kid. He sang Bobby Brown’s “My Perogative” and while it wasn’t knocked out the park, it was maybe an inside the park home run. Simon said that Anoop isn’t the best singer around, but he is enthusiastic and that people like him, Randy said it was better than last time, Kara said she wanted to dance, and Paula said Anoop is a great showman and that everyone loves him. Judging by the studio audience reaction, I would agree with that.

So then the results, and with no America voting, the judges had very little time to deliberate. Jasmine Murray, in to the finals. Ricky Braddy, going home, and that kind of bummed me out. Megan and Tatiana were next, and one of them was through. I had predicted Tatiana going through, but not after the judges’ reaction to the performances last night. Megan, going through, Tatiana going home, but not before she bowed before the judges and started crying. Ugh, make her go away, please! Jessie and Von, both going home and neither was a huge surprise. Then they had Matt and Anoop stand up, and in the tiniest corner of the back of my mind, I had a weird feeling that they might let them both in. First they said that Matt was in, but then Simon said, “Anoop, I want you to know that……..real pause……we’ve decided to make it a Final 13 this year!” The place went crazy, and so did Mrs. Mike and I. Great job, Simon and the rest of the judges… guys, aside from Megan, picked a great bunch to compete with Danny, Alexis, Michael, Allison, Kris, Adam, Jorge, Scott and Lil. Wow, come to think of it, there are 8 dudes and only 5 girls in the finals.

But here we go to the finals starting Tuesday….are you all ready??