Thursdays on ‘American Idol‘ mean someone goes home. Or is maybe forced in front of a firing squad in the back lot, which would explain why most of the finalists fade into obscurity after being booted. They’re dead! (No no, they’re not. Only their careers.)

Let’s see how many bullets Steven Tyler has in the chamber.

Since the actual “results” part of the results show takes about four minutes, Fox has to stuff the rest of the hour with filler — so we got a terrible group sing of Pink’s ‘Raise Your Glass,’ Jennifer Hudson channeling Beyonce, and last year’s requisite ‘Idol’ rock singer, James Durbin. (If you’re upset that rock singers are showing up on ‘Idol’ now, blame Chris Daughtry. He started it.)

Then Jimmy Iovine gave his usual weekly critiques of the Wednesday night performances, and he said something rather profound. Talking about singer/songwriters, he said they’re often “character singers,” meaning they aren’t known for soaring range, but rather the emotion behind their songs (he didn’t mention any names, but it made us think about people like Stevie Nicks and Tom Waits).

So, he said, when those people are forced to sing other people’s songs, they can sound like an pale imitation or worse. Jimmy thought that was why Phillip and Elise — both singer/songwriters — struggled on performance night. And you know, he makes a valid point.

Anyway, while his predictions of the bottom vote-getters are usually pretty accurate, he missed the mark this week, saying it would be Phillip, Elise and Holly. He was right about Elise, but the other two in danger were purported frontrunners Jessica and Joshua.

Randy, Steven and J. Lo sat agape as Ryan asked for their reactions. Randy chastised the voters for getting it so wrong, Jennifer couldn’t do much more than stutter, and Steven came right out and said they’d probably use their single save of the season because of the injustice before him.

Tiny belter Jessica wound up being the one in danger of leaving (and really, that’s so, so wrong), but she didn’t even get more than a few bars into her “save me” song when the judges stormed the stage, took the mic away from her, and announced she wasn’t going anywhere because they’d unanimously decided to uncork the save. Tears and cheers ensued.

So seven remains seven into next week. See you then.

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