"It's been an honor for me to be on American Idol and to share this time with you straight judges, with the exception of Ellen, and I have really had a marvelous, marvelous time," Connick deadpanned, while good pal Ellen DeGeneres pretended to look appalled.
Oh, if only the whole night could have been devoted to such levity, but sadly, one of the contestants had to go.
A night devoted to the original sultan of swagger didn't do the resident 17-year-old any favors.
Aaron Kelly was sent packing Wednesday after falling into the bottom two alongside Michael Lynche, whose "The Way You Look Tonight" was right up there with supersafe Lee Dewyze's "That's Life" as far as performances went last night.
Meaning Casey James was in the clear following what Randy Jackson called his "worst performance," a week after being punished for wowing the judges with a spot in the bottom three.
After Ryan Seacrest delivered the news, Big Mike enveloped the wee Aaron in a big bear hug and offered some words of encouragement.
"I've had a blast," the teen said simply.
And although the departing contestants haven't been forced to redo the songs that got them booted, Aaron chose to close out the show with an encore of "Fly Me to the Moon," despite the fact that the Sinatra tune did nothing more than earn him a plane ticket home.
Channeling Franco-era Spain, Gaga whipped out "Alejandro" and a flock of male dancers who looked ready to eat her alive for the adoring crowd. Then, after their mentor sang his cover of the Beatles' "And I Love Her," off of his new album, the top five regrouped to do a somewhat anticlimactic medley of Connick's music.
Next week, the top four will sing songs from the cinema, with the help of returning guest mentor Jamie Foxx.
Do you think America got it right, or was it Casey's turn to ride off into the sunset?
(Originally published May 5, 2010, at 7:05 p.m. PT)