We begin with a long, emotional rehash of Shannon’s departure at the end of last week, edited as though she’s been killed instead of coming in eleventh on American Idol. Only the music for this segment, Billy Joel’s “And So It Goes,” seems to have any perspective (unless it’s intended as a Slaughterhouse Five reference), as the onscreen titles talk about the remaining top ten like they’re the survivors of some horrible massacre. Which will actually be happening in slow motion over the next two months.
Ryan’s dressed up his standard Wednesday night three-piece suit with an actual tie tonight, as he tells us that Billy Joel also just happens to be tonight’s theme. Ryan asks for Steven’s opinion on Billy Joel, having sung with him, and Steven says, “If you can’t sing Billy Joel, you can’t sing at all.” The perfect proving ground, then. Ryan says that for Billy Joel week, Jimmy Iovine brought in as his co-mentor…Diddy. Because that makes perfect sense.
But when we start with DeAndre’s intro reel, the first mentor he meets with is the one for style — yep, Tommy Hilfiger. Tommy makes DeAndre take his hair down, and from there he and the Idol stylist talk about creating a look. Whatever, it’s content-free and no one cares. Then on to the studio, where DeAndre meets Jimmy and Diddy to rehearse “Only the Good Die Young.” DeAndre is pretty down after last week, and the mentors tell him to cheer the song up already. Diddy tells him to think about it in terms of all the expensive stuff in young Billy Joel’s life, because he’s Diddy.
After they’re done getting all method with him, DeAndre comes out onstage, entering through a silhouette of himself that splits open to admit him. He sings all bouncy and jazzy and not really stretching, but the song doesn’t really call for much stretching, so what’s he going to do? The audience loves it, though. Steven says of the song’s title, “I guess that’s why you and I are still here, Randy.” Jennifer thinks he did a good job, and Randy thought it was good but not great, which earns Randy a wave of boos. Apparently DeAndre stacked the stands tonight. After the ads, DeAndre says backstage that you can’t please everybody. When did “not great” become “bad?”