Simon’s prediction that Adam, Lil, and Danny will be the final three in danger after actual singing by two of them

Appearing on the Tonight show Monday, Simon Cowell and his echo Randy Jackson predicted–no, declared–that the winner is “going to be a guy this year. Danny, Adam, with Little Rounds representing,” Simon said of the final three, with Randy parroting all three assertions.

Alas, two out of those three chosen ones disappointed Simon during Motown week. What’s an American Idol conspiracy theorist to make of the actual competition in light of what the judges said Monday night? I suppose they can read into everything. For example, Simon tried to pump up Danny Gokey, whose Idol star is fading fast, even while cutting him down: “We know you’re a good singer but I thought that was clumsy and amateurish.”

Simon also had to work hard to keep “Little” in the competition, telling Lil, “You are–let me remind everybody–one of the best singers we’ve got in this competition. I am dying for you to do what you did a few weeks ago when you just blew everybody away.”

He tried to set up Megan Joy for elimination instead, saying her rendition of “For Once in My Life” was “an atrocious song, it was a horrible arrangement, the vocals were just all over the place, and you know what, I think you could be in serious trouble after tonight’s performance, Megan–I really hate to say that, but I think you could be.”

Likewise, it seems as thought the judges have finally tired of Scott MacIntyre; he’s a nice guy but it’s time for him to go home. “There was a line in the song, ‘How much more can you take?'” Simon said, adding that was pretty appropriate for his performance.

Although neither of them were mentioned in the Tonight Show final three, Randy told Allison, the last person to perform, “You’re one of the dopest singers in this whole thing,” while the first person to perform, Matt Giraud, learned from Simon that he is “one of the front-runners in this competition.” Why no Tonight Show love for him, then, Simon?

Adam–with his slick new suited-up style–did live up to the prediction that he’s on his way to the finals, as a super-excited Kara DioGuardi responded to his unplugged version of “The Tracks of My Tears” by jumping up and saying, “I’ve got six words for you: One of the best performances of the night!” Um, is that really a complement when nearly everyone else has stumbled? Simon improved on Kara’s remarks, saying, “I’m going to disagree with Kara because it was the best performance of the night.”

The Men of Idol (3/23/09) [NBC]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.