Last Thursday I told you that Haley Reinhart, Jacob Lusk and Stefano Langone would be in the Bottom 3 and that Stefano would likely be the one eliminated.

I did not have to listen to the performances or listen to the judges' feedback. I did not pass GO and I did not collect $200.

Still want more proof that American Idol is based more on popularity than talent?

It didn't matter if Stefano had an improved performance this week, which he did.

It didn't matter if the judges praised him and bashed other performers, which they did.

It wouldn't have even mattered if the Easter Bunny himself had come on stage and bribed people to vote for Stefano with a basket of fresh Peeps... OK, that could have made a difference.

But at this stage of the competition most of the American Idol voters already know who they are going to vote for each week, regardless of how good or bad they perform. Not exactly an encouraging thing for a talent contest that is supposed to judge the contestants on a week by week basis.

That is why so many people were so shocked when Pia Toscano was eliminated two-weeks ago despite having another solid performance. They didn't think they "had" to cast their votes for her so early.

But Stefano clearly does not have star quality. His stage presence is not commanding and his voice isn't one that you would buy an album just to listen to.

And he knows this, which is why this was the first results show in weeks that he wasn't stupefied by not getting eliminated. Tim Urban frequently had the same reactions during his Idol tenure last season.

Maybe the two of them should join forces on a project - in "From Justin to Kelly" fashion - as a way to thank the teenage female voters for keeping them around as long as they did.

On second thought, that is probably the worst idea I've ever had. And I once tried to melt vanilla ice cream in the microwave to avoid making a run to the store when we were out of milk. Trust me, that was a terrible idea.

The eliminations will follow a similar pattern during the next few weeks.

Jacob or Haley will go next week. The other will go the week after that.

Then it will come down to whether Lauren Alaina finds enough confidence in herself to graduate from an "OK" performer to really good, and if Casey Abrams can finally settle down and just sing.

But, as of right now, I think there is no avoiding a Scotty McCreery and James Durbin finale. Both have solid voices, for their genres, and have yet to have a really bad performance.

I know I'm getting greedy by laying out these predictions so far in advance, after nailing them this week.

But what the heck, "let it ride!"

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