‘American Idol’ Recap: The Three Stand Alone

American Idol finally made the cut down to its Top 3 finalists on Thursday night, finally sending one of its four female finalists packing.

With last week’s surprise save, this week’s competition was fierce for the four remaining females. Though the judges were tough on Angie Miller and Kree Harrison for their song choices, they were very proud of both turns by Candice Glover and Amber Holcomb — the two ladies who landed in the bottom last week.

Guest mentor, Harry Connick Jr., took the stage to perform his single, “Every Man Should Know.” Also on deck was Season 7 winner, David Cook, who performed his latest, “Laying Me Low.” The show also featured a pre-recorded performance from will.i.Am. and his Great Gatsby themes song, “Bang Bang.” 

With this week’s weird theme of “Standards” and “2013 hits,” the women had their work cut out from them. Wednesday’s performance night was dreary overall and the judge’s harsh critiques seemed to keep the morale low.

Nicki Minaj said she’s proud of all four women before the results come in.

“You guys can go out there in the industry right now and rival any top artist in the game,” she gushed. “I’m just happy America got the best four of the competition to the top four.”

When Ryan Seacrest called Kree Harrison to the chopping block, I was super surprised. The judges didn’t love her take on “Stormy Weather,” but her version of Carrie Underwood’s, “I’ll See You Again” was amazing. She’s been a fan favorite all season and I’d be shocked to see her go.

I have a feeling it’s Amber’s last night as her consistently strong performances have failed to resonate with voters all season.

Jimmy Iovine said she “crushed” “My Funny Valentine” and the judges agreed with their standing ovation after her solo.

Still, it wasn’t enough to convince America to keep her around another week. Amber is going home. She smiles sweetly and nods when Ryan says Kree is safe.

Amber sings Whitney Houston’s “I Believe In You And Me” for her last song on the Idol stage and brings Mariah Carey to tears once again. Nickirefuses to let the waterworks run free.

“No tears tonight.  It’s just the beginning of something great,” she said.

The three remaining women will pack their bags as well this week as they set out for their hometown visits. There, they will reunite with their friends and family and perform for fans who have been rooting for them all along.