For the contestants who have made it this far on “American Idol,” going home has a different meaning than being eliminated. That’s because the top three finalists get to go home and enjoy a special day in which they perform in front of fans in their city, appear on radio and TV and usually have the mayor of said city give them a “key” to said city. Pretty heady stuff. But as always, it took the producers an hour to tell us the result that they could have delivered in a few seconds. And without DVR, it would have been excruciating.

To kick things off, Season 3 champ Fantasia performed her new single, “Bittersweet.” It was pretty good and she no doubt has a remarkable voice, but other than that, the performance was sort of bland.

Then the Top 4 lined up on stage and Ryan Seacrest brought their families up on stage to sit where the contestants usually sit. The results would be given “in no particular order.” So the first one to safety? Casey James. The guy I thought would be eliminated this week. Uh-oh.

Then former Idol finalist Chris Daughtry performed, along with the band that bears his name, their latest single, “September.” This dude has pipes and is clearly better than this year’s Daughtry/David Cook hybrid, Lee Dewyze.

Then back to the results. Big Mike….hang tight. That wasn’t a good sign. Lee Dewyze, on his way back to Chicago, but in a good way….safe! Down to Mike and Crystal, and you could already see it in Mike’s face that he knew he wasn’t going to take down Mama Sox.

But first, a performance from legendary rock band Bon Jovi, who sounded pretty good and strangely look like they are 20 years younger than they are. Mrs. Mike pointed out two things–that they have the money to look however they want, and Richie Sambora’s vocals were too loud. And she was right on both counts. Regardless, this band sounds pretty good for a bunch of 50 year olds, and their new song, “Superman Tonight,” wasn’t too bad either.

Back to the results……the person joining Lee and Casey in the Final 3….Crystal Bowersox. Big surprise, eh? Big Mike, heading home. He thanked the judges for keeping him in this thing, but dude should have been sent home when America said so. They need to ditch that save, it’s just so annoying.

So we have a Top 3 of Crystal, Lee and Casey. I’ve been picking Crystal and Lee for the finale all along, and I’m not going to change my stance now. What do you all think? See you next week…