Last night began the portion of the “American Idol” season when they eliminate one finalist per week. And it was 30 minutes too long of an episode. It’s bad enough that they only have to let one contestant go within an hour’s time, but they manage to fill up that hour with too much crap. They also reminded us of one reason many folks hate the show–the judges’ save. In other words, from this week up until when there are five finalists left, the judges can choose to give the eliminated person a lifeline on the show if they feel America booted them for the wrong reason. To me, that’s just sticking the middle finger to America, watering down their power to vote for who they want to win. In a way, it’s a microcosm of the music industry as we know it today–“you’re gonna listen to this crap, whether you want to or not!”

After some Seacrest/judges banter, Season 7 champ David Cook and his band performed a rocking version of “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” to celebrate Rolling Stones week. In three minutes time, Cook reminded us of how weak this year’s Top 12 really is.

Then after the obligatory Ford video, it was on to business–specifically getting to the Bottom 3. Paige Miles was first….and she was the first to the Bottom 3. No huge surprise there. Lee Dewyze, safe. Siobhan Magnus, safe. Aaron Kelly, safe, thanks to the judges thinking he’s the second coming of David Archuleta. Seacrest had Andrew Garcia and Tim Urban stand up together, and then told Andrew he was safe and Tim was in the Bottom 3. So far, America’s got it right.

Then the second artist of the night, Orianthi, who performed her new single, “According To You.” As a singer, she is another Kelly Clarkson-ish shouty singer doing crappy formulaic pop songs. But man, can this girl smoke it on guitar. You might remember seeing her perform with Carrie Underwood at he Grammys, and smoking it there too.

Back to business. Didi Benami, safe. Crystal Bowersox, safe. Katie Stevens, safe. Michael Lynche, safe, because the judges propped him up as the second coming of Ruben Studdard. Down to Casey James and Lacey Brown, and you just know the producers did that on purpose to make it rhyme. Casey, safe. Lacey, Bottom 3. No huge surprise again, and exactly who I thought would be there. Then Seacrest sent Tim back to safety, and he was as shocked as much of America. So down to Lacey and Paige.

But first, a performance by Top 40 darling Kesha. Folks, I don’t want to wallow in my own bitterness here, but Kesha symbolizes everything that is wrong with today’s music industry. They took something in Lady GaGa and tried to mold a Nashville pop songwriter into that. She is just awful, and I guess if there is a silver lining here it’s that I can avoid artists like her and stay within the friendly confines of my own iTunes database. And I don’t have to listen to the radio if I don’t want to.

So, the person going home or, as Seacrest said, in DANGER of going home….Lacey Brown. Paige is safe for one more week. But now Lacey had to sing for her life on the show, and she chose Brandi Carlile’s “The Story,” something she sang recently. Randy, Kara, Simon and Ellen huddled and pretended to deliberate, but we all knew they would not waste their one save on Lacey Brown. And as Simon said, it was unanimous, and Lacey was going home. Well, duh.

So that’s it….we’re now down to 11, but still have to weed out some of the riff raff like Tim and Paige, who are not cut out to be stars. Frankly, neither is Aaron Kelly, but the judges want to see how far they can drag him along. Thanks for reading my bitter commentary today, and now let’s all watch some March Madness!