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'American Idol' results: And 12 become 11


Before the lights dimmed and we learned the fate of the final 12 "American Idol" contestants on Thursday night's results show, we learned a few other things:

We learned that back when these young singers were even younger, they aspired to careers like pro wrestler (James Durbin), astronaut (Scotty McCreery, admitting, "My brains weren't astronaut material, though"), journalist (Jacob Lusk), veterinarian (Naima Adedapo), comedian (Paul McDonald) and, of course, singer (Thia Megia and Pia Toscano).

We learned that when they sing together on group numbers (in this case a peculiar mashup of "Born to Be Wild" and "Born This Way") sometimes they remind us of "The Brady Bunch" and other times of "Up With People."

We learned that "American Idol" is not just celebrating its 10th anniversary this season, but also its 250 millionth download. "Yeah, that's a lot of music," Ryan Seacrest reminded us.

We learned that Ryan doesn't get as excited as Oprah when he tells the studio audience that the show has left them a little gift under their seats –- "Idol's" just-released 10th anniversary compilation CD. (What, you were maybe expecting the keys to a new Ford?)
And then we learned some things we'd rather not know –- like that Karen Rodriguez can make weird noises with her throat and that the "Idol" editors are already punchy enough at this point in the season to bleep out the breed of Pia's singing dog (a Shih Tzu).

But then, finally, after the lighting designer playfully wished the world a happy St. Patrick's Day via lights and music, we finally found out who had the luck of the Irish and who didn't.

Bit by bit, Ryan collected the bottom three in the swivel chairs of doom.

First, Casey Abrams, Jacob and Lauren Alaina are called to the stage. They are all safe. Casey looks particularly relieved to learn that his Nirvana performance did not smell like blasphemy to the "Idol"-voting public.

Then Haley Reinhart and Paul step forward.  As soon as Ryan lets them know that one is safe and the other in danger, Haley leans forward with an expectant look, like she's resting her head on the chopping block. Ryan's ax falls swiftly. Yes, Paul is safe. Haley heads to purgatory.

She'll soon be joined by two others -- but before we learn who, we learn that last year's winner, Lee DeWyze, who performs "Beautiful Like You," has gained only slightly more confidence onstage since we last saw him perform on the "Idol" stage, which is both endearing and disappointing.

Scotty, Pia and James? All safe. (Will Steven's promise to sing with James if he stays in it to the finale keep him in the running? Discuss!)

Stefano Langone and Naima: He's safe; she's sent to keep Haley company in the misery zone.

Karen and Thia: One of them has to be in trouble, and yes, it's Karen, just as you predicted.

And after the Black Eyed Peas fill a few minutes with what Ryan tells us is the world premiere of "Just Can't Get Enough," which they dedicate to the people of Japan, we learn that the contestant who must sing for a chance to stay alive (via the judges' save) is …


She gives a solid performance of "Hero," sounding better than she has in weeks, but it's not enough to keep her (or sadder still, her mother's) dream alive.

It's not unanimous, Randy tells Karen, but the judges will not cough up their one save for her.

Oh well. Here's hoping Ryan at least introduces Karen's sister to Nick Jonas. What do you say, Ryan?

And what do you think? Do you think the voters sent the right contestant home?

Full Show Tracker coverage of "American Idol"

-- Amy Reiter

Photo: "American Idol" final 12: Top row from left: Pia Toscano (holding Casey Abrams' photo), James Durbin, Paul McDonald, Jacob Lusk and Scotty McCreery. Bottom row from left: Haley Reinhart, Karen Rodriguez, Stefano Langone, Naima Adedapo, Thia Megia and Lauren Alaina.

Credit: Michael Becker / Fox

Comments () | Archives (24)

Based on Wednesday's performances,I thought Naimi A was going to be the one leaving on March 17. Her vocals were not sharp, though she always provides a 'colorful' performance.
Karen R did perform well on Wednesday, and her singing of 'Hero' was just beautiful ( on Thurday's show)
Hopefully, doors will open for Karen in the music world!
Her voice is lovely!!

I think one reason Karen might have been the loser tonight was her singing to much Spanish every week. The name of the show is "AMERICAN IDOL." A lot of viewers might think this way. If I want Spanish singing I watch Telemundo, or something.

I think they should have sent Naima home. She might have been good when she auditioned but she hasn't brought much as far as what American Idol is about.

Ohhhhh, I fell bad for Karen but, this week I DON'T think the right person went home. If the voters think that someone who is hoarse or has a cold can sing better than you, that just proves that each week that getting enough votes to remain in the competition is a hit or miss situation.

I like American Idol.

Based on the Yahoo responses...Karen Rodriguez didn't get the vote because - she sang in Spanish. It's "American" Idol afterall so many tell us. Wow. Seriously? And then, of course, there is the bashing...like this girl was no good.

Please. A graduate of NY's famed School of Performing Arts, like Pia, that's absolutely ridiculous. Karen could sing and perform as few have on this show. The Selena song was off but every other TV performance was very good. She has a beautiful voice, controlled ornaments and put herself out there for the world to judge her.

Regardless, this is not the end of Karen Rodriguez singing and performing journey. Surely this beautiful 21-year old will be taken under someone's wing and have more opportunities.

It appears America did not want to hear her sing Spanish anymore...it got annoying.

I think Karen knew the score, she hooked her hitch on too specific of a voting block too early, by blatantly trying to raly the hispanic vote, she in effect alienated non hispanic voters. thus limiting her voting pool.

I think this may come into play soon with others who were not so blatant, but still may be undone by being too specific....Scotty? Jacob? and even though he is one of my favorites, James? and if she doesn't start taking some risks, Thia?

Did anyone else get the feeling Naima, was sure she was gone? She had a "OK I'm gone" feel about her. (Based on her performances, I would have that attitude too)

I wish Lauren was just a bit older because she has the whole package, just not sure, someone so young can handle the pressure. Even though she has had a fairly strong string of performances, she always looks like she's barely able to hang on during the elimination shows. She and Pia have the best potential for the widest voting base I think. The more I see of Pia, the more impressed I become. If she wins, it looks like it will be because she has put in the work, somehow it shows.

Yes! They got it right! Although for my money they could have sent all the girls home.Naima is awful,Pia is pretty ,has a good figure and a pretty face and voice...but she has zero sex appeal .The 2 blondes are way out of their league and the 15 year old should be home preparing for college

Hey, what you're weird photo? It looks like Casey's head is floating while Pia holds it like a balloon with his tie! Weird man, really weird! ;-)

Up with People loves that you mentioned us in the same article as America Idol! Long before AI, Glee and High School Musical came on the scene, Up with People was the original musical showcase for young people 17-29. And we are still alive and thriving with a cast of 100 young people from 21 countries touring the globe spreading goodwill, peace and hope through music.

As with every American Idol season, there are people that go that should have had another week , or two. Our opinions are swayed by our many personal perceptions; who looks the best, who moves the best, and of course, who sings in tune. Karen would not have been my choice for this week's elimination, but she would not have made it to the final two. They way it pans out from here, well, is left to voter chance. The final three, if talent has much to do with it, will be Casey, James, and Jacob. In spite of his incredible voice, Jacob will not win. His big, beautiful sound, comes with big vocal mistakes, big flamboyant tendencies, and big color differences. Although he is the most talented musically, Casey will not win because he is a bit too "left of center" for America, ie; Adam Lambert, that leaves James, who's powerful, heartfelt vocals and backstory have America wanting to pull him from the ashes of his life.

I thought Naima should have gone.
Karen has talent and should not have been sent packing. Her bilingual presentation should have brought out a lot of votes. Guess more of the English-only folks voted. Hopefully she'll find her place on the Spanish language and English music charts. I'll miss her.

Erica, I don't understand your comment. You said Pia is pretty, has a good figure, pretty face and voice but has zero sex appeal? Translation: Pia is sexy but has zero sex appeal. I don't get it...

Karen's early exit is intriguing on several levels. I teach high school in south L.A. and I haven't heard any of my students (95% latino, 5% african american) discuss "Idol" at all. This hasn't always been the case-- when Fantasia won several years ago, the african american students especially took great pride in her victory-- several created homemade "Fantasia" shirts and wore them to school the day of the finale results show.

I wondered if Jennifer Lopez's presence would increase Latino viewership but I don't think it really has. This speaks to JLo's identity as a Latina-- she's obviously positioned herself in high fashion and has mainstream popularity, I wonder if her connection with the Latino community has diminished?

I'm concerned for our nation if people are offended by Karen's bilingualism. Karen IS America, people-- more so now than ever and that will continue to be the case going forward. She's pretty, talented, loves her mom, and is proud of her heritage-- sounds like everything we could want in terms of American values-- unless you're a racist...

Karen should apply for Latin American Idol or Telemundo Idol.

I am surprised the Hispanic population in America didn't vote for her. Come on folks that would be tens of millions of votes if they voted. Thank god the voting instructions when calling in are in English only. I remember years ago when the Hawaiins were voting like crazy to keep a Hawaiin contestant on for weeks. I think it was the year with Ruben and Clay and she ended up being third place.

Don't worry folks Naima is going soon as well. Those African clothing she always wears is getting old. Claiming the African American thing especially when she wasn't even born there is hilarious. Even a white person like Charlize Theron is more African American than her. Unlike Naima, Charlize was actually born in Africa. Anyways, I'm sure Jessie Jackson will protest when she gets voted off.

It has nothing to do with her singing in spanish. In the beginning she was good and sang great. But she just hasn't quiet been hitting it. Yes, she's a good singer...but if you compare her and the other big voice of Pia. Who are people going to vote for? Karen got stuck in those ballads and when she finally did branch out she just didn't seem comfortable. She seemed to have lost that confidence she had when she started. Not sure what happened. But definitely is going to happen is A LOT more of our favorites are going to start going home if they don't start pushing the envelope, taking chances, and rocking every song they do....by that I definitely mean, Naima. I love her..but she's gotta step it up and hit those notes.

James: Give the Hispanic population some credit-maybe they didn't vote for Karen because they thought she was just so-so. Kevin- Erica is absolultely right about Pia- but maybe the term she needs to use isn't sex appeal- it's star quality. Pia has none- and I mean no sparkle. Would not stand out in a crowd. Her voice is accurate- but not emotive-it's well trained- but has no viscera attached.
Naima should have left first-if she had not corrected her pitch problem between songs one and two- it ain't gonna get fixed.

Realistically- none of the girls have it- Lauren is like Kelly Pickler-lite and I want to scrub her face- she always looks a little dirty, Haley could do blusey jazz clubs- but won't fill a venue. Thia- a Disney future maybe?
Jacob should be singing gospel with the Winans. Country is gonna love Scotty, Casey could easily front a really, really good band; Paul and Stefano...they have solo possibilities and "star" personalities. James- he might be the one if he keeps his head and doesn't start stretching songs to where they shouldn't go. But the girls- nothing there. Being nice- being sweet having a good voice and being a beauty (anyone remember Kathryn McVee...anyone?)- having a sad story- or a degree from a great school- does not a pop star make. With each performance- say to yourself- would you buy their album?

She just wasn't very good at all and that's why she got eliminated.S he tried too hard to be Selena and JLo, all rolled into one. If she had tried to just be herself, she might have fared better.

Didn't see the show this week, but once again 3 women were at the bottom, so it still looks like the voters' are mostly female, very young and will vote heavily for young males. This year, the final 6 may well be either all male or 5 men, 1 woman. Next year everyone except that demographic loses any remaining interest and the show simply becomes a bunch of Justin Bieber wannabes in front of an audience of squealing girls. I think Simon saw this coming.

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