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'American Idol' shocker: Pia Toscano eliminated

April 7, 2011 |  7:30 pm

MB1_3215 The "American Idol" voters have spoken, shockingly eliminating the incredibly talented (and widely perceived front-runner) Pia Toscano to turn the top 9 into the top 8, and I think it's probably the saddest night of "Idol" I've ever seen.

At the end of the show, after Pia sang -- just because, it seemed, Ryan Seacrest, who looked a little shook-up by the results himself, wanted to hear one more song -- Ryan begged us to stay with the show for the rest of the season.

"We need you," he said, noting that the night proved that we really had to vote for our favorites to keep them in.

But I'm with Jennifer Lopez, who said, after Pia's name was announced, to resounding boos from the crowd (and Randy Jackson shaking his head and mouthing "No, no"), "I have no idea what just happened here. I'm shocked. I'm angry. I don't even know what to say."

Even Randy, who rarely displays anything other than "in it to win it" enthusiasm and "dawg"-gone mild disappointment, confessed that the vote had left him "shocked" and "gutted." Though he was never really mad on the show, he said, "This makes me mad. What is going on?"

Steven Tyler contended that the vote showed an "unforgivable" lack of passion on the voters' part. "They're wrong. I don't know what happened with this," he said.

The credits rolled to shots of wet eyes and the sound of someone –- Pia, one assumes, but really, it could have been anyone -- sobbing.

Someone remind me that it's just a TV show ...

Pia not only had the most beautiful voice in this competition, but also showed one of the most admirable work ethics, and looked and sounded like a million bucks every time she walked out on that stage.

What do I know, but I really thought she had a chance to win it all.

And how brutal is it that, like Casey Abrams before her, she stood with the far-less-talented Stefano Langone in the bottom 2 and watched him be sent to safety as she was sent away.

Oh, cursed "Idol" gods! Is there no way to change the rules retroactively in order to give the judges just one more save and keep Pia around?

Must we really watch Scotty McCreery mug and point and Jacob Lusk preen and shimmy, Paul McDonald sing thinly and Stefano shmaltzily, and not have Pia around to set the stage on fire –- hitting those notes gorgeously full-on and holding them forever -- for the rest of the season?

Cruel, cruel "Idol" voters. I shake my fist at you and take comfort in the knowledge that, what the heck, Pia will have a long, successful career anyway, right? She'll get a record contract and make her way in the music world. Won't she? I mean ... won't she?

What do you think? Please, cheer me up by telling me that you, too, are very sad to see Pia go.

Full Show Tracker coverage of "American Idol"

-- Amy Reiter

Photo: Pia Toscano performs on "American Idol" Wednesday. Credit: Michael Becker / Fox