This week might be the first American Idol round in a while to see an actual twist – and it’s still just the second round of eliminations. The unfortunate Idol wannabe to end up on the chopping block was Emily Piriz, despite getting almost rave reviews for her performance of Jennifer LopezLet’s Get Loud the night before. The other two contestants to end up in the bottom three were Jena Irene and MK Nobilette, who had to sing for her life for the second week in a row.

Emily Piriz
Competition was tight, but Emily Piriz ended up going home.

Before going home, Emily sang for her life, choosing Stars by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.

Apparently the judges had changed their minds from Wednesday, when Keith Urban said that Emily had secured her spot in the Top 11. On Thursday, Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. decided not to use the Save option, with Connick announcing the verdict in a the gravest tone possible – appropriate for the occasion.

On Wednesday, Connick proved himself to be the harshest judge and came out with pointed criticism for almost all of the contestants. But he took the time to explain his approach last night, saying: “"I was not hired as a mentor. I was hired as a judge. I have a very short amount of time to be very specific with information I think will help you grow.”

Harry Connick Jr.
Harry Connick Jr. is a fan of constructive criticism.

Thursday night’s guest performers were Season 11’s Phillip Phillips with his new single Raging Fire and Irish band Kodaline performing All I Want.