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'American Idol' results: And the summer tour will include ...

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Holy "American Idol" bleep sign! E to the Z and the tweedlydees or whatever insane thing Steven Tyler might say in this situation. "American Idol" really ripped itself a new beauty mark on its top 11 results show Thursday night.

Ryan Seacrest warned us right at the start that, after more than 30 million votes poured in to determine who would stay and who might be denied a spot on the "Idol" tour this summer, the outcome of that vote "may shock you."

But we've heard hyperbole from Ryan before, and plenty of it, so perhaps we can be forgiven for not getting too worried about our favorites as we contentedly watched Jennifer Lopez's husband, singer Marc Anthony, give the "Idol" contestants a lesson in using the in-ear doohickies that kept the judges from having to use the word pitchy even once on Wednesday night's show.  Then we were treated to a group number that culminated in Stevie Wonder singing "Happy Birthday" to Steven Tyler (who turns 63 on March 26) as a bunch of the female contestants presented Steven with a colorful cake and an even more colorful Warholesque Tyler portrait. (What was that painting? Did Naima paint it?)

Steven was surprised but, I'll tell you what, he wasn't the only one who was shocked by the goings-on on the "Idol" stage Thursday night. (If you haven't watched the show and you like surprises, you might want to hold off clicking through to the rest of this post until you do. Don't say you weren't warned.)

Still with me? OK, so one forgettable recycling-themed Ford music video later and Ryan requests the requisite pre-results light dimming.

"We're looking for the bottom three," he reminds us, gathering Lauren, Pia and Scotty on stage.

"The judges all had positive things to say about you," he tells them, "but because of the vote, I'm afraid you'll all be packing your bags …" [cruel pause] "… in a few months" -- they're all going on the "American Idol" tour.

A shot of the stools, empty, awaiting the bottoms of bottom three; a commercial break; Sugarland performing "Stuck Like Glue" (Does Jennifer Nettles need a new stylist, or what?); and a long video about how much James Durbin – and to a lesser extent, Paul McDonald – loves pro wrestling and idolizes Hulk Hogan. 

We finally get a couple more contestants -- James and Paul -- called to the center of the stage for their results. Ryan positions them carefully, a few feet apart.

"The nation has spoken and both of you guys are not safe," Ryan says. Then adds, "I mean, you're really not safe tonight."

Enter … Hulk Hogan. Paul is excited, but James appears to be having a heart attack.
Then Hulk growls, "I've got some really, really good news and some really, really bad news – the good news is that both of you guys are safe and both of these guys are going on tour. And the bad news is you, Mr. Ryan Seacrest, you're not safe."

Hogan chucks Ryan into the audience and rips off his shirt, the scraps of which are later given to James as a special keepsake as we get more results.

Jacob, Thia and Stefano are called to the stage. Jacob is quickly sent back to the "safe" zone, while Thia and Stefano are both sent to perch on the stools of doom.
 
So there's one chair left as Ryan calls up Naima, Haley and Casey. Naima and Haley have both been in the bottom three – Haley twice – but Casey, an early favorite, never has.

Naima is sent to safety, while Haley and Casey are left to sweat it out. By now, you've probably figured out what's coming, and you're right. It's Casey who's in the bottom three.

"Idol" alum Jennifer Hudson sings a grammatically incorrect but impressively performed song and Thia is sent back to safety.

Leaving Casey and Stefano.

Surely it can't be Casey, right? He's so talented. But we've increasingly got a bad feeling. He's pushed "Idol" boundaries by singing Nirvana and his "Heard It Through the Grapevine" really wasn't terribly good on Wednesday night. Plus a commenter on my recap Thursday totally predicted that he was in danger.

And yes, Ryan breaks the news: "The person with the lowest number of votes and in danger of leaving us tonight is Casey. Stefano, you are safe."

Stefano gets Casey in a clinch, and when he finally lets him go, Casey looks completely shocked. He sings (oh, the irony) "I Don't Need No Doctor," returning to form. Then Randy stops him short. They know what Casey can do, Randy says. He doesn't need to sing.

Steven says, "This is crazy wrong. We made a decision here to keep you on."

The judges have used their one save of the season (of course they did) but Casey starts to hyperventilate and I suddenly become deeply concerned about his health. Maybe he really does need a doctor. "Are you OK, buddy?" Ryan asks.

But Casey recovers enough to chant "I can't believe it. Oh my god. I can't believe it." He thanks the judges, later explaining that he'd never imagined they would use their save for him, especially so early in the season. He hugs his mom and tells Ryan that when Randy stopped him from singing it "scared the stuff out of" him.

Jennifer tells Casey to knock off the growling and "just let people feel your soul" and he'll be OK. "You deserve to be here," she says.

And as the credits roll, Ryan explains that Casey's save means two contestants will be sent home next week, but that Casey will go out on tour this summer with the top 10 finalists, making it a top 11.

For me, the biggest surprise was how badly Casey actually seems to want this "American Idol" thing. I think the voters were punishing him for what has come off in recent weeks as overconfidence and a refusal to kowtow to mainstream tastes. If that's true, his (hospital-related) absence during a results night and Steven's comment about his ego this week probably didn't help.

What about you? Where you surprised by "Idol" tonight? Or did you see it coming?

Full Show Tracker coverage of "American Idol"

-- Amy Reiter

Photo: AMERICAN IDOL: Final 11. Clockwise from top left: Pia Toscano, Stefano Langone, Lauren Alaina, Paul McDonald, James Durbin, Scotty McCreery, Naima Adedapo, Jacob Lusk, Casey Abrams, Haley Reinhart and Thia Megia. Credit: Michael Becker / FOX.

 
Comments () | Archives (85)

Casey doesnt deserve to be saved at all.....he should go. Why do the judges save him?? That is not far at all clearly he is not what America is looking for! YOU ARE OUT NEXT WEEK BUDDY!

Re: love to see him perform with Diana Krall.

Give Kdoog a prize for his comment. Yes Sir, Diana Krall -- what a perfect match.

The great Poet, Thomas Gray once wrote "...Full many a gem of purest ray serene The dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear: Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, And waste its sweetness on the ..."

Casey is like that gem in a cave somewhere down at the bottom of the ocean.

I'm not really a fan of Casey Abram's (rooting for James), but I think the judges were wise to use their save. He did not deserve to go home at this point in the competition. He's very talented, and to put Thia up there, and send Casey home, was just wrong on SO many levels.

Tylerfan.....If you don't think that David Cook has mega-talent, then you don't KNOW talent. Period.

Week after week, how do we know which artist will start and end the show? It seem like the bottom three should be last the following week. Most folks miss the first contestant. Just saying.

Edge of seat "almost gave me a heart attack and brought me to tears! Me too Heart felt Thank you so much" to judges!
Wow and a double perc "Stevie Wonder"

I understand the vote. It was about appeal and Casey not 'grabbing' the voters. It might also have been a backlash against his 'growling' and his 'way out' song choices which musicians understand and appreciate and few others do. But I understand the save too. Casey has talent, no doubt, but he'll have to make an effort to be more appealing to the center of the appreciation spectrum. He exudes arrogance, and i doubt if there's a quick cure for that. An artist he may be but he isn't a star. He'll have to 'play the game' a bit if he wants to go farther into the competition but even then, I don't think he'll ever be the next American Idol. He's got a lot of good stuff for sure, he just doesn't have the 'right' stuff.

The judges don't get it. Casey has no following simply because he's not singing he's just SCREAMING and SCREECHING though with tone. And the people watching him are more than scared rather than amazed. He maybe a talented guy (which i agree by the way) but common, do you think he's marketable? Just saying :)
Also, I thought he really deserves to leave tonight. No offense meant but I'd rather be bored hearing Thia's song over and over again, rather than having my eardrum shattered by casey and james.
Lastly, the result show was so staged (just a thought). And also, I thought that Thia was really not one of the bottom 3, a lot of people will agree on me on this. She was put in there INTENTIONALLY just because of the fact that she gets the most number of voters and by putting her there means doubling up the number of voters coming on the next elimination rounds because Thia's supporters will vote TRIPLE more times than before just to save her. I also hope NO VOTE MANIPULATION will ever happened this season. An OHH isn't it an insult to the voters? It was said that the voters this season were smarter compare to the previous seasons.

Wow! Wow! Wow! That was way to intense!!! I passed out and just woke up.

Casey disappointed the last two performances, and although he didn't belong on the bottom (Haley,Naimi and Stefano were far worse) I agree that he was punished for not living up to what the audience felt they deserved from him. I had a sense that he was riding on his laurels, took his own popularity for granted, but there is a price to pay for crowning yourself a winner, we will be the judge after all. Humilty plays a big role in garnering votes. I'm glad he will still be around though, cause he really is one of the more entertaining and talented performers on the show, and he could make a fine comeback.

The show last night was probably by far one of the best I have seen in all the years I have followed it, faithfully. Just outstanding, entertaining , and kept you guessing till the very end.

What a wonderful job...Tyler's Birthday Presentation, Talented Jennifer Hudson, and of course who could forget "The Hulk"...just an awesome show.

But above all the ending put me to tears, to see the very surprising outcome, and what the judges did with it, was just amazing. Chris does deserve to be there, and his true personality came out last night. I have to say though, health wise for a short time he had me scared. Good Luck to him, and all the other wonderful contestants.

Above all CONGRATS to American Idol, for a fantastic show !!

Am I the only one who doesn't like Scotty McCreery? Probably...

I agree with tylerfan...Scotty has no range, I liked him when he auditioned and after that no. When ever they all get on the stage to sing together, Im trying to figure out why I cant hear him and his deep vibrato. How is that possible, oh yes no talent (maybe with some training it will come). Dont get me wrong I love country music, but I can sing watermelon watermelon the whole time too. Stefano, the fact he beat out Giovanni unbelievable. Oh and Karyn is gone, oh wow. Who ever wrote that things tend to suck after the first few weeks is right. It never fails. I like Casey and Naima and Jacob. But, historically speaking, things are not gonna turn out like they should. I mean J-Hud is, personally speaking but with substance, the most talented to come out of American Idol...But didnt win. Shows what we know

First of all, this year's American Idol really have some good singers. I am so enjoying the show. However, after that SHOCKING save I think that in the future America will not be allowed to vote. I agree with an early post, IT'S AMERICAN IDOL and if the viewers are voting and the vote is over turned then what's the purpose of voting?
I like Casey but groom it up a bit...say Michael McDonald style.
Naima - this is not broadway...you can't sing and you won't last
Thia - a little to young...not mature enough to give the stage performance.
Haley - enough with the raspy voice...not sexy...you won't last either.
Scotty - love your voice...you will get a Country contract regardless...but you can't sing nothing but country and this is why you won't last on the show at least.
Stephano - YOU REALLY ARE NOT THAT GOOD OF A SINGER, but you will last a little longer because of your cuteness....the young girls will vote.
Pretty Smile - you can't sing either....but you do have an amazing smile and very nice teeth.
Pia - You Go Girl! Beauty...a beautiful voice...a slamming body. You got the package now like Randy said.....work the stage or you won't last.
James - I ABSOLUTELY LOVE YOU.....YOU HAVE THE WHOLE PACKAGE. GOOD LUCK
Lorren - I like you and you have a very nice voice...good luck.
NOW.....
JACOB-I ABSOLUTELY LOVE YOUR VOICE. LEARN TO KEEP YOUR COMPOSURE AND DON'T OVER SING BUT, YOU BY FAR SHOULD BE THE NEXT AMERICAN IDOL!

I love this year's judges....please don't take Steven Tyler off.....LOVE HIM AND HIS COMMENTS!!!!! He makes the show.

no tour coming up different types of music ,casey great for the type music he plays BUT my question is how many saves will Thia get. I think they all deserved to go on tour .Only one can gets the title ,But they all have there style of music .Casey is one of a kind on that stage,james is one of a kind ,but we have three of Thia style of music so whats going on

When Thia was sent to the stool, it wasn't a surprise for me, because she wasn't showing her full potential and I was truly surprised that despite of that, she was still SAVED!
When Ryan said that the night's result was going to be a shocker I was bracing myself to the fact that a favorite is going to the chair and true enough it was Casey.
I like him for his crazy madness and for his refusal to conform to the norm but I guess the Americans audience weren't too happy with his cocky attitude and thus punishing him tonight! Both he and James got great pipes and stage presence but perhaps Casey's came off as too 'high and mighty'.
I worried for Stefano too for his rendition of 'HELLO' was a way bit shaky and he still closed his eyes and couldn't connect. Anyway got to give him credit for trying his very best.
Other than that it was a great night to see some surprise guests appearing like HULK HOGAN and STEVIE WONDER.

The results were a little surprising last night, but I'm glad with the final results. Something everyone has to remember is that not only is this a singing competition but beauty is also remembered. Casey needs to do something with the beard and sing like he started to in his "final" song last night. Put Pia in a designer gown and have her sing itsy bitsy spider and she'll still get in the top three!

How is Casey any different that Taylor Hicks? He's another guy with a raspy voice. He'd be on ELLEN & a few shows, then never seen again. Idol is producing one-night-stands. Very few winners become truly famous.

Kudos to the writter of this article. I watched the show and some of your comments (which were exactly what I was thinking when watching) litterally made me LOL!! So thanks for the laugh this Friday!

 
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