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'American Idol': And the Top 4 are ...

Tonight on American Idol, two contestants will be sent home based on the past two weeks' votes combined. Host Ryan Seacrest jokes that the show will be stretched into an hour and promises "no filler" with a grimace, so at least he knows how silly it is when they spread everything out for so long.

Things get weird for a little while when Paula makes a comment about a "puppet," Ryan riffs on it, and Simon thinks they're making fun of his girlfriend. But everyone gets over it.

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Next, there is a montage from last night, but I've already covered that ground.

Ryan talks to Blake about how he figures out how to rearrange songs. He explains the technical details and says he just wanted to have fun, so he wasn't too worried. Jordin says everyone has their bad week, and she thought this might be it, but she gave it her all. Phil says his dad is a pastor, and he was discouraged from listening to pop music, but he still sneaked a little Bon Jovi here and there. LaKisha of course is asked about "the kiss" and whether Simon is a good kisser. She says he is and, "I would do it again." The camera cuts to Simon, who appears to be saying, "I would, too." Ryan refers back to the girlfriend thing from earlier, adding, "and it is VERY serious, trust me." Simon busts into laughter more than we've probably ever seen from him when he's not mocking someone, which makes me think maybe they do have more of a joking friendship than they usually let on.

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Ruben Studdard appears to implore people to continue to give to Idol Gives Back. But I guess he doesn't get to sing.

Ryan asks Melinda what kind of effect the Idol Gives Back show had on her. She says it was great to make a difference. This leads into a recap of the Idol Gives Back show. Which, again, ground covered.

Then Robin Thicke comes out to sing even more breathily than Chris Richardson does.

Fantasia then appears in a clip to ask people to give. I guess these two Idol winners don't get to perform.

Next: the usual car commercial with the kids, this one to "Paint It Black."

OK, some results. Ryan calls Melinda Doolittle, Phil Stacey and LaKisha Jones forward. The two-week combined total votes are 135 million, per Ryan. Then he tells Melinda that she is safe. LaKisha is safe, and Phil is out. Um, in a "Blaze of Glory." Which he has to sing as he reprises last night's performance. But actually, he kind of is, seeing how he's improved so much the past couple of weeks.

More results. Ryan directs his attention to the back row and immediately tells Jordin Sparks that she is safe because he messed with her so much last week. He says the producers are making him make Chris Richardson and Blake Lewis wait longer for results and throws it to a break.

(By the way, the tour is going to be at D.C.'s Verizon Center Sept. 9 and Baltimore's 1st Mariner Arena Sept. 19. Tickets for both go on sale May 19.)

Bon Jovi comes out to perform one of its not that well known songs (at least not to me), "Make a Memory." Afterward, Jon Bon Jovi praises the contestants' hard work.

Taylor Hicks also gets to make an appearance to ask for Idol Gives Back donations. But no singing.

Ryan talks to Chris and Blake about how they are best friends, and they'd go home to save the other, etc. Very sweet. But who is leaving? Chris Richardson is out.

Next week, it's "boogie sounds with Barry Gibb."

And Chris sings us out. After the song, when he's hugging the remaining contestants, his mike is still on. I couldn't quite make out what they were saying, but you kind of forget that they are probably consoling one another and saying goodbyes at that point.

I think this was the right cut to make. Blake's clearly the strongest of the guys, and a final four of him, Jordin, LaKisha and Melinda looks pretty good to me.

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