'Idol': Jeremy Rosado First Finalist to Go, Lauren Alaina & Mary J. Blige Perform
'Idol': Jeremy Rosado First Finalist to Go, Lauren Alaina & Mary J. Blige Perform

In the end, not even J-Lo could save Jeremy Rosado.

After earning a spot in the Top 13 via Lopez's wild card pick (and bringing the judge to near-tears last week), the smooth-voiced 19-year-old became the first "Idol" contestant eliminated since the male and female contestants were combined into one group.

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Unlike last week, Rosado was able to keep his composure upon hearing the news this time around, as the season's cast-off song, Scotty McCreery's "Please Remember Me," played over a montage of his accomplishments on the show. It's an interesting song to pick for sure, because I have a feeling we'll be having that memory issue with a lot of contestants this year -- including those already eliminated.

Ryan Seacrest promised a showdown between the girls and boys, declaring that the least-voted-for of each group would be subjected to the final judgment by the judges. It was 28-year-old Elise Testone, who always has the best hats, that squared off against Jeremy in the show's final minutes. "We're going to save Elise," said Jennifer Lopez in a small voice. Hat power!

Seacrest made it rough for four other contestants Thursday night (Mar. 8), all of whom were among those who received the lowest number of votes. Jermaine Jones, Shannon Magrane and Erika Van Pelt's low vote numbers were not surprising -- but they were flanked by fire-and-brimstone shouter Joshua Ledet, who is arguably one of the best singers in the male crop. Looks like Joshua may be having trouble connecting with audiences, as I feared Deandre might have been.

In between the results, viewers were treated to two live performances -- one by season 10 runner-up Lauren Alaina, who smiled and strutted through new single "Georgia Peaches," and only made the comparisons between her and this year's contestant, Skylar Laine, more immediate. The previous night's guest mentor, Mary J. Blige, also appeared to publicize her new single "Why," showing all of the would-be stars on that stage how to do things right.

The Top 13 also performed the obligatory group number -- this time Stevie Wonder's "As" -- and starred in a Ford commercial in which they stomped through a city like Godzilla. Boy, if THAT doesn't make you want to buy a car...

Did the judges make the right choice in sending Jeremy Rosado home? Should Elise Testone or one of the other bottom vote-getters have gotten the axe instead? What did you think of Lauren Alaina and Mary J. Blige? Can we kill these Ford commercials already? Let us know in the comments, and tune in again next Wednesday at 8 p.m. on FOX as the Top 12 take the stage.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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