Thursday night was results night on 'American Idol' -- with a twist. Instead of a straight audience vote-out as is usually done during the final rounds, the judges were again in charge of the death of a dream. Let's see how resident nice-guy Steven Tyler handled it.

The voters did have some say -- they chose which male and which female finalists got the fewest votes, and the judges were charged with taking aim and firing at one of them.

But before that, each performance from Wednesday night was recapped, with super-producer Jimmy Iovine giving his unrelentingly blunt assessments. He never pulls punches, and he didn't start tonight. This week's Jimmy Gem: "He had an internal battle between tuning and feel -- and he lost both."

And of course as each singer was spotlighted, Ryan Seacrest delivered their results (safe or bottom three) with his typical ridiculousness -- "America didn't like what it heard last night ... [silly dramatic pause] ... America loved what it heard last night. You're safe!" -- while the singers defied the odds by not passing out cold from fright.

The actual mechanics of an 'Idol' results show take about 10 minutes, but since Fox ceding a moment of ad time would add another horseman to the riders of the apocalypse, an hour it is. On the upside, though, it meant we got to see the sublime Mary J. Blige perform. Afterward, Steven jumped to his feet to give her a standing O, further proving he has impeccable taste. (You can watch it for yourself over at Popcrush.)

Normally Tyler isn't asked who he thinks should go home, but when Ryan pointedly put the question to him, Steven unflinchingly gave a name. And lo and behold, when the judges delivered their final verdict a few minutes later, it was that person -- Jeremy -- who was sent home.

And then there were 12. See you next week.