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Joe Perry Gives Steven Tyler an Early Birthday Present on ‘American Idol’

steventyler
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

On Thursday night, 10 became nine on ‘American Idol,’ and Steven Tyler got a huge surprise when a very familiar face showed up to help him usher in another year.

For the ‘Idol’ guinea pigs, the big prize for surviving this week’s cut is moving into the ‘Idol’ mansion. During the first few years of the show, they piled all the finalists into one giant zillion-dollar pad in the Hollywood Hills, but they quit doing it when a few of those prime pieces of real estate wound up looking like a frat house after Rush Week. Looks like they’re ready to take their chances again.

But before we found out who would need to sign insurance waivers, there was all kinds of filler, including a live performance from Lana Del Ray. Never heard her big hit, ‘Video Games’? Let’s put it this way: if suicides had a soundtrack, that song would be on every single one of them.

When she was done making everyone reach for the Xanax, host Ryan Seacrest mentioned that Steven’s birthday is coming up (it’s Monday, March 26, by the way), and that the show had a special surprise for him.

And suddenly? There was Aerosmith‘s Joe Perry on stage, playing ‘Happy Birthday to You’ while the contestants, audience, Ryan and the other judges sang along. Meanwhile HAPPY BIRTHDAY written in comic sans (oh, the humanity) bounced around on the screen.

Joe came down and gave Steven a bro-hug, and when Ryan asked the guitarist if he knew how old Steven was, he replied, “He’s about a day older than me.”

“I’m a Rip Van Winkle, so I’m told, I’m much too young to be this old,” Steven riffed, and explained, “Lyric time for the new album.”

So! Sneak-peek, kids. (And you thought ‘Idol’ was worthless.) Joe then took a seat at the end of the judging table next to Steven, but stop screaming already — he’s not there permanently.

With those festivities aside, it was back to business.

As always, producer and mentor Jimmy Iovine pulled no punches as he talked about each contestant’s performance from Wednesday night. When it was Heejun’s turn, Jimmy agreed with the riot act Steven read him the night before, saying Heejun’s schtick was like “a bad Adam Sandler movie that goes straight to DVD” and “a stunt gone wrong.”

And sure enough, the idiot wound up in the bottom three. Sometimes the voters do get it right.

But then we were once again shown how often they get it wrong when Heejun was spared and poor Erika — who just a couple days ago chopped off all her hair and dyed it black in the quest for a new image — was sent packing. Thanks, voters. You’re awesome.

Anyway. There you have it. Nine move on to next week. See you then.

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