The five remaining females did a show-stopping performance of "Here, There and Everywhere" that showcased each of their voices. The four remaining men sang "Got to Get You Into My Life." It was a capable rendition, but strangely reminiscent of the musical numbers from The Love Boat.
Based on Wednesday's performances of Beatles songs, Lazaro Arbos was perhaps in the greatest danger of leaving. The judges and mentor Jimmy Iovine brutally criticized his rendition of "In My Life." But Arbos agreed with their assessment.
"They were right for the most part," he told Ryan Seacrest Thursday. "I have to do songs that I love and that I want to sing." But would he survive America's vote?
As it turned out, Arbos was safe. He was joined by Burnell Taylor and four of the five girls, leaving a bottom three of Paul Jolley, Devin Velez and Amber Holcomb.
When Seacrest revealed that Holcomb was in jeopardy, the audience booed. Nicki Minaj also expressed her displeasure: "Amber definitely doesn't belong in the bottom three," she said, before acknowledging that Amber hadn't connected with her song.
It wasn't entirely Holcomb's fault. During dress rehearsals, she had battled an overzealous fog machine as she walked down stairs in five-inch stilettos. She was probably afraid for her life.
Unlike last week, when Seacrest ranked the performances from first to worst, this week's audience got no indication of who received the most votes. As the hour-long show came to an end, he abruptly named Paul Jolley as the contestant at the bottom. He sang for the judges' save, but the panel didn't even give a pretense of debating whether he would stay.
"Unfortunately, it's not unanimous," Randy Jackson said. "Thank you, Paul, and good luck."