Top 9, American Idol

Frank Micelotta/FOX

American Idol is down to eight.

But first, record producer and show mentor Jimmy Iovine gave the judges a little wrist-slap for "coddling" the contestants last night, charging that they were too complimentary across the board.

"For instance, 'You weren't as good as you were last week, but you were great.' What does that mean?!" he said, exasperated.


But America, as always, has spoken—and the fans were perfectly happy to get rid of someone, even if he or she did great-but-not-as-good-as-last-week.

 As we predicted last night, Devin Velez and Paul Jolley landed in the bottom three, but Lazaro Arbos—a fave who uncharacteristically delivered the worst performance last night—was safe. Here's hoping he steps it up next week.

Instead, Amber Holcomb joined Paul and Devin in the bottom three, the voters apparently agreeing with us that making every song sound like a Whitney Houston song isn't necessarily a good thing.

Out of the line of fire along with Lazaro were Kree Harrison, Candice Glover, Angie Miller and Burnell Taylor.

Paul wasn't just in the bottom three, however—he had to sing for survival after getting the lowest number of votes. And, tonight, a redo of Hearts' "Alone" just wasn't enough. 

So, farewell to Paul Jolley. We'll see you on the finale.

Were you surprised by Paul's elimination? Do you think someone else deserved to go home instead? Let us know!

Relive American Idol's all-time greatest hits

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