(Heck, we were ready to faint when his name came up as the week's lowest vote-getter.)
Shaking and pale after having his sing-for-your-life performance cut off early by the judges' announcement, the unique performer double-checked with them to make sure the save had really happened. "It's Top 11 — why would you do this to me? I can't believe it," Abrams said, referring to the fact that the save might affect the Top 10 summer tour roster.
Abrams fell to his knees upon his return to the stage and had to take a seat on the steps with Ryan Seacrest as he recovered from the shock. The host explained the ramifications of the save: It had been determined in advance that if the save came at this point in the competition, the tour would have 11 performers instead of 10. And next week, two performers will get the hook.
Fans might remember that Michael "Big Mike" Lynche got the save last season when there were nine contestants remaining — only to be eliminated eventually when the field was cut from four to three.
Watch the results segment, including a birthday tribute to Steven Tyler led by Stevie Wonder, below. Casey's save, and shocked reaction, is around the five-minute mark. To read all the details instead, hit Show Tracker for the recap.
Were Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and the birthday boy right to use their one save on Abrams, who they've praised as one of the most talented musicians to ever appear on "Idol"? Scroll down and vote in the poll.
--- Christie D'Zurilla
Photo: Casey Abrams at the party for the "American Idol" finalists on March 3, at a moment when shock hadn't turned him pale and shaky. Yes, he got even more pale on Thursday night. Credit: Mario Anzuoni / Reuters.