Judging American Idol: A Curveball Is Thrown

A surprising elimination takes the field down to 8...
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The results are in and to quote the great Gomer Pyle, "surprise, surprise, surprise!" The show starts the usual way with little interviews from the contestants, a cheesy group performance (did Scotty really just mess up the lyrics to "The Letter"?), and Ryan Seacrest warning us it could be a very shocking night... hmm.

We get to see some of their session with a "charisma coach" who turns out to be Russell Brand, who gives tips and answers questions about being comfortable on stage. Jacob asks him how to go about being sexy on stage (holy hell, WHAT??) and Russell says, "take your top off" (holy hell, WHAT?) Then turned to Casey and said "I'm very happy you're here, and that you've stopped shaking. I think you're a gorgeous hairball of wonder."

Then Ryan jumps right into it and calls down Casey Abrams, Stefano Langano, and Lauren Alaina. After going through the usual procedure of reviewing performances and critiques, we learn that Stefano is the first contestant to be in danger of going home tonight.

Constantine Maroulis performs and it's worth noting that he was my very favorite on his season (Carrie Underwood won). It's also worth noting I was taking a lot of Percocet at the time. What a smarmy freak he turned out to be.

Lights dim again and we're back to business with Paul McDonald, Scotty McCreery, and Pia Toscano being called down. Oh, here's the schocking moment! Pia is a part of the bottom three. The audience boos and JLo looks pissed.

Next Ryan calls down James Durbin, Haley Reinhart, and Jacob Lusk. Let's hit our pause button for a moment: is Haley wearing stone washed mom jeans? Why is Jacob wearing a teal cardigan, hot pink polo, and too-tight jeans? What's going on here? Anyway- not surprisingly Jacob completes the bottom three. Now the conspiracy theorists can keep their blogs and forums buzzing with "all the contestants of color are being sent home one-by-one" nonsense. I'm not sure what Pia's ethnicity is but, she's spray tanned to a glorious shade of "Snookie Orange" so that totally counts.

After a commercial break Iggy Pop comes out to perform "Real Wild Child" and I'm not sure who's jumped the shark, Idol or Iggy. Probably both. Another commercial break later we learn that Jacob is safe for one more week; Stefano and Pia clutch each other, awaiting what is sure to be the obvious choice of Stefano going home. Stefano is already resigned to his fate... nodding his head with a chagrined look on his face. That look changes to complete and utter shock as Ryan announces Pia Toscano has been eliminated tonight. I immediately wonder if they regret saving Casey Abrams two weeks ago.

Pia Toscano American Idol Season 10The judges look like they were just sucker punched! JLo is in tears and Randy blames America. I actually thank America, because Pia was bringing nothing new to the table and had become a predictable, bland, snoozefest. Steven Tyler tells Idol voters that "lack of passion is unforgivable." He's right, and that's why Pia was voted off tonight. Totally uninspiring, she will be missed but not by me.

Pia goes out in a blaze of glory though, as she's allowed to sing "I'll Stand by You" one more time, so it's not all sadness and tears, ironically she shows more passion and charisma singing through tears than she had all season up to now.

Apparently a lot of people are as in shock as the judges and remaining Idol contestants. What do you think? Did America get it right? Did you vote for Pia? Was this a case of complacent voters assuming Pias was a lock for Top 3, or was it truly her time to go?