Hollie Cavanagh's Time Runs Out on 'American Idol'
Hollie Cavanagh's Time Runs Out on 'American Idol'

Final Three Is Set: Jessica Sanchez, Joshua Ledet and Phillip Phillips

Hate to say it, but last night's "Idol" felt more like an exercise in prolonging the inevitable than an edge-of-your-seats reality show thriller.

In the case of "American Idol" Thursday night (May 10), it was not a question of who would exit the competition, but when Hollie Cavanagh would be handed the microphone to sing her departing number on the show. The Texas-via-England singer, while a stellar artist in her own right, could not hold a candle to her peers at this point in the competition, a fact only spurned on by Phillip, Jessica and Joshua's knockout performances the night before, while Hollie coasted through with little to show for it.

'Idol' Recap: Jessica Shines & No One Flops

Take a look at Hollie's face throughout the entire episode. Even she could tell the odds were stacked astronomically against her. And in the end, America didn't surprise, with Hollie Cavanagh finishing in fourth place on the 11th season of "Idol."

Her sendoff song, unsurprisingly, was "The Climb," the song that put her through on the competition to begin with one season ago, and the song she did great justice just weeks prior. Since I think she knew the elimination was coming, Hollie didn't seem too upset during the song -- in fact, Joshua Ledet probably shed the most tears at her exit. She ended the performance having taken the hand of each judge in succession, as if thanking them for the opportunity, which was honestly a pretty cool moment.

As usual, the show had an entire hour to fill, so we were treated to performances by former winner David Cook and current judge Jennifer Lopez along the way. Host Ryan Seacrest was even able to prolong the actual results a bit by bringing each contestant to center stage to talk about the previous night's performances, to hear Jimmy Iovine's reaction, and to send them back to the couch without so much as a hint at their eventual fate.

Really, if you've got this thing DVR'd, fast forward to about 10 minutes to go. Trust me, you'll have missed nothing -- that is, unless you're a fan of the aforementioned Cook and/or Lopez.

Cook returned to the stage to premiere new single "The Last Song I'll Write For You," which kind of reminded me of his last major single, "The Last Goodbye." Dude sure does like singing in terms of finalities, eh? Nonetheless, Cook's tune will be sure to please those looking for a breakup song that's quite easy on the ears -- adult-alternative, they call it.

On the other hand, J-Lo did new single "Dance Again," a.k.a. "On the Floor Pt. 2." I use the word 'did' not because I couldn't think of a better synonym, but because 'sang' doesn't feel right -- as in, I don't think any of us are going to believe that she was actually singing live. I sure don't. But hey, I'll give the lady props where props are due -- she looked stunning. And the production of the whole performance was really a sight to see.

This makes Joshua, Phillip and Jessica your top three, and the contestants who get a hero's welcome in their hometowns next week. I honestly can't even imagine who will be going into the top two... can you? Let the speculation begin!

Was Hollie's elimination business as usual, or were you truly shocked by the results? Who do you think will be the final two of this group of three? Have an opinion on the Jennifer Lopez and David Cook performances? Tell us in the comments!