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'American Idol' results: Which two contestants did Elton John trip up?


"American Idol" results are in, and the top 11 has shrunk to the top 9. In the video montage that started the show, we were warned (via graphics on a piano, in a presumed nod to Elton John, whose songs the contestants tackled Wednesday night): "And you won't believe / who is going home."

Normally, I'd assume that was just the usual "Idol" hyperbole. But after last week's results show, in which the talented Casey Abrams appeared to be in serious danger of not just going home, but perhaps going back to the hospital, when the judges breathed new life into his Idol hopes, I did have a few quivers of doubt. After all, as Ryan Seacrest reminded us, "No more saves, no more second chances, and no one can escape the outcome of more than 55 million votes … a new record at this stage of the competition."

Would we lose another favorite, rather than two of the expendables? Or even ... two favorites?

Fortunately, we didn't have long to wait for at least some preliminary results.

After Lauren Alaina and Scotty McCreery sang what was actually a really nice duet of "I Told You So," Ryan got right to it, ushering them to the center of the stage, "right up front."

"After the nationwide vote," he told them. "Both of you get another chance to impress. Congratulations, you can take a seat."

Then, after a particularly forgettable Ford music video (I remember only a falling gargoyle, caught by Casey, and a glowy-eyed Naima Adedapo) and some chitchat in which the newly trimmed Casey says he's a "beardy kind of guy" and James Durbin shows off a custom-made WWE world champion belt someone sent him, Naima and Jacob Lusk perform "Solid as a Rock." I spend the whole song trying to figure out if Naima did definitely have work done on her teeth (as well as having undergone some eyebrow-shaping improvement), and musing on how, last year, Crystal Bowersox refused to let them fix her teeth, only to have the work done once the "Idol" season was over. That unpredictable Crystal …

But not at all difficult to predict: Naima is in the bottom three. "Jacob," Ryan says. "You are safe."

Season 3 winner Fantasia performs "Collard Greens & Cornbread," looking like a million bucks in a sparkly red dress, with a giant blonde curl on top of her head, and declares her love for Steven Tyler as she finishes her song.

Ryan leads her over to dispense some advice to the remaining contestants. "Only one thing?" she asks, like she's been saving up a few tips. Ryan tells her yes, "due to time." And so she squishes it all in as fast as she can: "Love what you do and that is music … Keep good people with you … people who are going to tell you when you're wrong and when you're right … It's not always peaches and cream. It's not always good, but because you love music, you can do it."

Haley Reinhart, Pia Toscano and Thia Megia perform Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream," making me think of how great Darren Criss' performance of that song was on "Glee," but also how much better Pia and Haley are than Thia, who looks a little tacked on next to them.

Lo and behold, Pia is safe, Haley is safe, and Thia is sent to join Naima on the purgatory stools.
Look, Kris Allen is in the audience. Look, the Idols are meeting Reba McEntire, Kelly Clarkson and Muhammad Ali at a charity event. Look, there's Lauren Alaina falling down the stairs. Look, the mansion the Idols have been staying in is actually possibly made of cardboard. Look, the Idols are getting primped and spray-tanned.

Then Paul McDonald, Casey, Stefano Langone and James step up to perform a not-bad version of "Band on the Run," and Steven offers them a gig opening up for Aerosmith next year.

But before they can think too hard about Steven's (possibly serious?) invitation, Ryan gives them some results: Casey, is safe. "My friend, if you knew how many [votes] you got, you'd be proud," Ryan says, rushing to deliver the good news, perhaps for fear of a worrisome replay of last week. "You are safe. Congratulations."

James is also safe, which leaves Stefano and Paul, one of whom will be in the bottom three. And that person is – mildly surprising – Paul.

Jamie Foxx and will.i.am perform a song from the movie "Rio" featuring some Busby Berkeley-esque choreography. And Ryan finally asks for a dimming of the lights.

The two people who will go home are …

Thia and Naima.

The camera alights on Lauren Alaina, face streaked with tears, but me? I can't say I'm surprised or terribly sorry to see either of them go. And you? Will you miss Thia and Naima? Or not so much?

Full Show Tracker coverage of "American Idol"

-- Amy Reiter

Photo: Final 10 plus one: Clockwise from top left: James Durbin, Paul McDonald, Pia Toscano, Scotty McCreery, Jacob Lusk, Stefano Langone, Lauren Alaina, Casey Abrams, Naima Adedapo, Haley Reinhart and Thia Megia. Credit: Michael Becker / FOX.

Comments () | Archives (49)

I knew it would Thia and Naima this week. I'm so happy they get to go on tour, this opens so many doors for them. I would buy albums from each of them. I admire how Naima stuck to her roots and put that reggae vibe on things. Thia has great pipes and she cute, I wish them both all the best.

I really enjoyed seeing Casey show off his senstitive side and move people. He's BACK!! He definitely has his head on straight and I can't wait to see what's next from him. The next to go will be either Stefano, Jacob, Haley or Paul. Those will all go shortly, leaving the fan favorites. I think the winner will be a guy again this year.

I was not surprised nor disappointed. I was hoping all 3 would be sent home. Maybe next week that trio will be completed.

Been a singing coach for the past 12 years.

Naima benefited from her backstory's hold on the producers. Simply put, she shouldn't have made it past her audition to begin with, let alone into the top 11. Her ridiculous dancing and poor attempts at reggae drove a huge wedge between her and the tweens who actually vote. Glad to see her go.

Thia has a voice, but its completely generic. Look for her on a Disney show in the immediate future. I mean, seriously, her name is Thia Magia... she already sounds like an kid's show host. (see: Hannah Montana)

I choose James to go to final and I really do hope and pray he will be the next AMERICAN IDOL,simply because his such amazing and very talented artist and I just love watching him perform.I agree the sending of Naiema but Thia a big NO! I rather pick Jacob to be sent home because for me everytime he sing his sooo ''OA''over acting,sooo ''TH'' trying hard! I have to changed the channel everytime he sings coz ahhhhhhhhhhhh!especially when he sings I can fly my god he murdered the song! James still the best! HIS VERY NATURAL VERY TRUE,HIS A GIFT FROM GOD! Pia well she look beautiful but look plastic,I will fall asleep just watching her sing,sooooooooo boring.Casey,Paul,Stefano,Lauren,Haley and Scotty they all good artist but I will not pick them as the next american idol.Scotty can pursue to be a country singer artist his voice really suit to sing country songs.James is the next ''AMERICAN IDOL''

America finally got it right last night, Naima should have been gone earlier, Thia was actually boring to watch and Paul is different but his looks and smile is whats keeping him in the competition, hopefully we say good bye next week. Scotty maybe a good country singer but it seems like thats all he can sing and his singing all sounds the same to me,, he can leave after Paul. as for Pia, well I like her the best but I wish I could hear her sing something other than a ballad. james is a rocker and I am not convinced he is that good, his performance and stage presentation are better tan his singing.

can't do a remake of thia- shes a princess. im just glad they retained haley. more talent and or gimmicks than any other one dimensional ai entrants.

Not sorry to see thoe two go.

It's cruel for AI to falsely give hope to women that they can actually win a contest purposely designed to produce a suburban, singer-songwriter and most importantly, a male winner. The vast majority of votes come from cougars and female tweeners.

What a sausage fest. At least America used to wait until the eighth week to trim the ladies. It's now so weighted toward men, there's nothing AI can do but change the voting rules again.

A middle aged, male fan.

Scotty and Paul should not be there this late in the contest either. I mean, they may have some degree of talent but they are not Idol material. Scotty could be great on Country recordings or programs but his voice is not pop idol--more like Howdy Doody singing a country-western song in a Holiday Inn on a Friday night, as Simon would have said about him!

Thank God! America finally got it right.

I agree that the votes seem weighted toward the men, but I wonder how much of that has to do with the energy-level of the performance. For me, the ballads get old pretty quickly, which I think was Thia's mistake (well, that and not showing a whole lot personality). Naima had energy -- you have to give her credit for that -- but she didn't stand up to the others in terms of her voice. The girls that are left have some stage presence, not just nice voices.

Fantasia looked like a "million bucks"? Not quite. I thought she looked gaudy, even garish. I was comparing her to the simple, elegant beauty of (say) Pia, or Thia, or any of these current female idol contestants, and hoping hoping hoping the ultimate winner of this season doesn't come back a few years from now looking/dressing like Fantasia. Sorry to offend, but sheesh.

Yeah I will miss Naima but not 4 long! She will get a contract....and I liked her take on I'm Still Standing....almost better than Uncle Eltie's original.....but shhhh....dont tell!

Sad to see Thia go. She may have one of the purest sounding voices this year.

I thought Fantasia looked great. She's put on some weight..but hey, I am glad she has curves and is real...unlike so many other pictures of celebrities that you need nowdays. She making a good comeback and she'll get it under control soon enough. She was great last night...I liked that song! Seeing her singing that reminded me of why she won and why I still love her today. Plus, she had some of the best words for the contestants. you HAVE to keep good people around you b/c once you get money..people will use you for all your worth.

I will miss Naima! She was so fun and now she has to go back to be a janitor! My favorite though is Lauren Alaina

Thank you America for finally sending Naima packing. The dancing and horrible singing is over!!!!!!!!

Casey Abrams is a joke I couldnt believe it when the Judges saved him will he be sick again and have to see a doctor thats twice the judges must have a lot of sympathy.He appears to be a spoiled little boy.

Band on the Run was not bad?

thia's voice was so nice n flawless,accompaniment especially the bass was so match n perfect. This performance is one of a kind!!!!! ( Elton J./episode )

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