"Harsh Harry" has been out in full force, but it was the fans who made the important decision of who was going home on American Idol Thursday.
"I just want them to get better," Harry Connick Jr. said to fellow judges Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban after a particularly negative critique on Wednesday night's performance show that left at least one contestant in tears.
While no contestants received universal praise from the judges Wednesday, Urban had guaranteed finalists Sam Woolf and Emily Piriz that they would be safe despite the tough criticism.
But who did America deem worthy of another week in the competition?
American Idol contestant Majesty Rose put on a brave face for the cameras while receiving a harsh critique Wednesday night, but afterwards she worked hard to hold back the tears.
"Right now I just want to cry," Rose, 21, told PEOPLE backstage. "I performed last, and I just came out of it so you guys get the raw Majesty."
After wowing the crowd with her version of Coldplay's "Fix You," Rose was met with some negative criticism from judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and "Harsh" Harry Connick Jr.
There was no place like home for the contestants on Wednesday's American Idol, as the Top 12 performed songs that captured the spirit of their hometowns.
But the judges weren't feeling warm and fuzzy. Instead they were harsh on the majority of the performers, with one of last week's standouts, Jessica Meuse, taking some of the harshest criticism after her performance of Dido's "White Flag."
"You were sharp the whole time," Harry Connick Jr. said, calling the pink-haired singer's performance "blasé". "When anybody hits a high note, people applaud … that didn't happen tonight. You were so off."
Move over, Benjamin Button. Jennifer Lopez is aging backward right before our eyes.
And then there were 12.
The American Idol Top 13 lost their first member on Thursday night just one day after wowing the judges and viewers with their strong first performances.
Sam Woolf, 17, Majesty Rose, 21, and M.K. Nobilette, 20, appeared to be early fan favorites but no one was guaranteed safe as host Ryan Seacrest informed the contestants who would be moving forward in the competition. Spoiler alert: Keep reading to find out who went home.
As a competitor, it is always good to have winners in your corner.
American Idol's Top 13 debuted Wednesday, choosing songs that expressed who they are as artists and people.
And, overall, the girls did a better job of that, according to the judges, with Emily Piriz, 18, singing Pink's "Glitter in the Air," and earning unabashed praise from tough, oft-booed Harry Connick Jr. who said simply, "I'm proud of you."
"That was big for Harry!" Jennifer Lopez laughed, with Urban immediately adding, "I was waiting for the 'but.' "
Harry Connick Jr. has only been on American Idol for half a season but he has already been booed more than his fellow judges Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban combined.
"As a performer you really hope to not be booed but here it just shows that the audience is really engaged," Connick, 46, tells PEOPLE.
And despite the negative critiques some of the contestants have received throughout the season, they remain positive about the jazz artist and his comments.
Some people wait a lifetime for a moment like this.
Just months after auditioning alongside thousands of other contestants in cities across the country, the American Idol season 13 finalists have been announced, and they are eager and ready to enter the spotlight on the Fox reality singing competition.
"There's nothing I'd rather do with the rest of my life than sing," M.K. Nobilette, Idol's first contestant to reveal she was gay while on the show says in a video documenting the top 13's first official photo shoot.
You know what they say: Kids know who they like.