A lot of country fans were shocked last night when American Idol revealed that Janelle Arthur was one of the bottom two in this week's voting.  But, the country starlet was rescued by the fact that Burnell was the lowest vote-getter and was sent packing.  Now, six contestants remain and our Idol expert Steve Thompson looks ahead and handicaps the remaining hopefuls.

Steve called he WBKR Waking Crew this morning and we chatted about last night's elimination and special guest appearances by Carrie Underwood and Casey James.  LISTEN!

From Steve Thompson:

I can't say that I'm shocked that Lazaro survived for yet another week, but I do think the fact he is in the top three is an abomination the likes of which hasn't been seen since the days of the Old Testament.  Of course, I need only go over to iTunes and see many people who claim to be singers in the top 100 who couldn't carry a tune in a lead bucket up a hill both ways.

Burnell was extremely unlucky.  He went first and totally massacred a Bon Jovi song; then, had a similar misfortune in being paired with one of the best singers in the competition.  I can understand why he left the show-- I just can't understand the fervor that would have kept Lazaro so far ahead of better singers.

The voters are nuts.  Look no further than any recent election.  The proof is all around us.

If it wasn't for the fact that (so far) The Voice and The X Factor have yet to yield a viable champion, Idol would be on its last legs.  In fact, The Sing-Off at least had Pentatonix... (Which may be why Voice producer Mark Burnett latched onto the Sing-Off in its next incarnation.)

Next week?  You better sit down for this one, kids...

Two themes.

The Burt Bacharach-Hal David Songbook.  Settle down!  I know you can't wait for Lazaro to sing I Say a Little Prayer or any other hit by Dionne Warwick...  In fairness, I'd love to hear one of the girls sing some Dusty Springfield (Wishin' and Hopin' was a terrific song.)  As long as Lazaro keeps his hands off The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance...

The second theme?  "Songs I Wish I'd Written" which sounds pretty open-ended except Idol seldom gives you an infinite list.  Maybe Lazaro can sing Bridge Over Troubled Water for a third time.

As always, we'll see next week.  Remember: Next week is the last time the judges are supposed to be able to use the save.  Keep that in mind and all shall be well.

@April 4, 2013  Stephen W Thompson