"American Idol" staged a reunion Thursday. Former judge Paula Abdul made a surprise return. Jordin Sparks was in the audience. Clay Aiken sang a soulful “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” A passionate Fantasia delivered her latest single, "Lose to Win."

But the results were the main business. Ryan Seacrest dragged them out by recounting how each of the five finalists had performed Wednesday, then made the hopefuls wait to the show's end for the news.

SPOILER ALERT: Candice Glover was first to learn she was safe, followed by Angie Miller, then Amber Holcomb. 

Kree Harrison and Janelle Arthur, both country singers, were in jeopardy, Seacrest announced.

Janelle sang for the save, the last time the judges could use it this season. Randy Jackson revealed they would not use it, because the judges were divided, 2-2. The decision had to be unanimous.

And so Janelle was gone.

Otherwise, the judges were in a generous mood. Three of four, but not Mariah Carey, gave a standing ovation to the finalists' Donna Summer medley. Three of four, but not Carey, stood for Aiken. All four judges stood for Fantasia.

So many standing ovations, so much time to fill.

In a memorable moment, Nicki Minaj took exception to Jimmy Iovine's criticism of Angie's performance of "Halo."

"Jimmy has no idea what he's talking about," Minaj snapped.

Janelle drew an admiring review from Dolly Parton for performing Parton's "Dumb Blonde." (Parton sent a note.) Abdul was back to praise Candice's rendition of Abdul's "Straight Up."

The final four perform at 8 p.m. Wednesday on Fox.