April 14, 2010 and “American Idol” eliminates 2 of the remaining 9 finalists.  Adam Lambert, this week’s mentor, as the show opens says, “You have to believe in yourself.  You have to trust your instincts.” Thirty-four million voters picked the losers this week, and, as far as I’m concerned, they got it right, culling Andrew Garcia and the often tone-deaf Katie Stevens from the pack.

I’ve not understood how Andrew Garcia survived this long. His personality was non-existent onstage. As for Katie Stevens, she was off-key at least as often as she was pitch perfect, although her most recent performances admittedly have been among her best. It was with bewildering speed that Ryan Seacrest summoned Andrew Garcia, Aaron Kelly and Casey James to one side of the stage and quickly let the axe fall on Andrew, who sang one last time and thanked all in a fairly classy display of magnanimous behavior.

At the beginning of the show, there was a medley of Elvis classics sung by the 9 remaining contestants (“Teddy Bear,” “Return to Sender,” Viva Las Vegas,” etc.).  When that was over, Andrew was out. Gone, till tour time.

There was a quick bit of film shot in Africa featuring Kara DioGuardi and Elliott Yasmin as a build-up to Idol Gives Back, which is a program coming up soon, I am happy to report, with Will I am, Fergie & the Black-eyed Peas and Sir Elton John involved.

Then, Ryan couldn’t wait to get to the dream-crushing, this time declaring Crystal Bowersox, Siobhan Magnus and Lee DeWyze  safe. Left standing on the stage at the very end were Katie Stevens and Big Mike Lynche, with Katie ultimately being told to sing her final song (“Let It Be”) and Mike going to the safe section with the comment that he wasn’t among the bottom three this week.

The highlight of the night, for me, was the return of Adam Lambert to perform. He came out enveloped in a green misty cloud of lasers and fog and sang his hit song, “Waddaya Want From Me?” It was always such a thrill waiting to see what Adam would think up to do each week on “American Idol.” That thrill remains.  He owned the stage, striding it amid the fake fog and clouds in a gray sharkskin suit that reflected the green laser lights and generously saying, “I owe the show everything.”  [It was nice of Adam to give credit to “American Idol” for ultimately putting him over the top, but a performer as vocally talented  as he is, who has already been cast in Broadway productions, probably doesn’t “owe it all” to “American Idol.”

Nevertheless, this night, the losers left with grace and class. Katie’s finale song (appropriately “Let It Be”) was a little rough, but who can blame her? (Frankly, a lot of her early performances were equally rough.) Crystal and Siobhan were seen watching in tears from the sidelines.

It is now down to only 2 female performers amongst the 7 finalists. Considering that, at the outset of this “American Idol” season, nearly everyone proclaimed the girls to be far stronger vocally than the boys (and this includes the judges), it is remarkable that a middling talent like Tim Urban has supplanted a Lilly Scott, an Angela Martin (who never even made it to the final 24) and/or a Katelyn Epperly.

But now we’re down to Seven Little Indians and they are (in no particular order) Crystal Bowersox, Lee DeWyze, Siobhan Magnus, Tim Urban, Aaron Kelly, Michael Lynche, and Casey James.

Now, THAT’s what I’m talking about!

Bring it on!