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Casey Abrams Shocked, Voted Off 'American Idol' Results Show: "Stop The Music!"

Norman Byrd's picture

This part of "American Idol" has been seen before, just not so soon into the season: One of the frontrunners goes down early, and shockingly so. It happened with Tamyra Gray in Season 1 and Daughtry in Season 5, both of whom finished fourth. But nobody was prepared for Casey Abrams to be voted off 11th.

"American Idol" took the ratings (worst of the season) of their last results show (of the Top 12) to heart, pulling out all the stops during the elimination round Thursday evening. But not only were there a couple of surprise guests in addition to the Academy Award winning Season 3 alumna Jennifer Hudson and country chart-topping duo Sugarland, Casey Abrams, a judges favorite and a guy the Vegas oddsmakers had ranked second-most likely to win "American Idol" Season 10, was voted off the show. But that wasn't the end of the wild and crazy night.

The night started off in the usual vein with the introduction of the judges and host Ryan Seacrest going over the importance of the night. Naming of the Top 10 also meant that the one finalist eliminated would unfortunately not be going on tour over the Summer. Besides the finale, the Top 11 show might rank as the second-most important in the competition. Dabbling in a bit of foreshadowing, he also lets the audience know that the results of 30 million votes might shock some viewers, and, for once, it did not turn out to be hype.

But first, the group performance tribute to "Motown," the theme of the week for the Top 11. "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" was done surprisingly well (given that group performances are usually rather poorly executed). But then the back of the stage opened up and Stevie Wonder appeared sitting behind a piano. His surprise appearance and performance of "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" would be followed by the night's second surprise. He sang "Happy Birthday" to judge Steven Tyler, who turns 63 later in the week (March 26). Before cutting to commercial, the Top 11 presented Tyler with a portrait and a huge birthday cake.

After the break, Seacrest got down to the elimination business. He brought out Lauren Alaina, Pia Toscano, and Scotty McCreery. They were quickly told they were safe.

Sugarland was brought out next to remind country music lovers why they hate country music artists that try to get to pop music oriented. They sang "Stuck Like Glue," which might be one of the worst songs written prior to the vapid YouTube sensation "Friday" by Rebecca Black (or anything penned by the Black Eyed Peas in the past few years).

Afterward, Ryan showed a clip of the "American Idol" house, where some of the 11 contestants joined James Durbin in an impromptu wrestling exhibition. James and Paul McDonald provided most of the wrestling antics, perhaps qualifying them for a future as extras at a WWE event. Durbin also displayed his best Hulk Hogan impression.

The clip segued into Ryan bringing the two to center stage. In another surprise, he told them they were unsafe -- just as the back of stage opened up once more to reveal wrestling legend Hulk Hogan. He got between the stunned would-be wrestlers (James' jaw dropped and stayed that way almost the entire time Hogan was on stage) and told them they were actually safe, but Seacrest was not. He then walloped Ryan over the head, sending the host flying off the stage and into the seats, revealing perhaps a future in wrestling for Ryan as well.

After the break and Ryan collected himself from the audience, Thia Megia, Stefano Langone, and Jacob Lusk were brought out to hear their fate. Jacob Lusk was told he was safe and was sent back to the sofa, but Thia and Stefano were told they were in jeopardy of being the contestant voted off the show. They took their places on two of the three silver stools reserved for the Bottom 3.

Haley Rinehart, Naima Adedapo, and Casey Abrams were then summoned. Naima was quickly dispatched to safety and the Top 10. As Haley had been in the Bottom 3 the past two weeks, it is doubtful that many didn't believe that she was destined for a third time in the group. But it was not to be. Ryan's foreshadowing had panned out. A frontrunner shockingly had been placed in the Bottom 3 and faced elimination.

Jennifer Hudson hit the stage next, singing her new single, "Where You At." Looking svelte and composed, the Season 3 finalist brought a roar of approval from the audience when she stepped away from the microphone.

Then it was time for the final results reveal. Thia was dispatched early from the uncertain trio, leaving only Casey and Stefano. And the next shocker of the night was delivered: Casey Abrams had been voted off the show, missing the Top 10 and the "American Idol Live Tour" by the slimmest of margins and would have to sing for his life, hoping the judges would use their one and only "Save" of the season.

With a stunned but determined look about him, Casey sang "I Don't Need No Doctor," the Ray Charles song he had auditioned with in Austin. But he only performs a few lines into the song when judge Randy Jackson calls for the band to "stop the music!" The judges had quickly decided to use their one and only "Save," keeping the shaggy singer in the contest.

Abrams ran down and hugged and thanked the judges. But upon returning to center stage, he looked as if he were going into shock. With his hands shaking, his face seeming devoid of color, he was asked by Ryan if he were okay. The young singer has had stress-related stomach problems twice already during the competition that resulted in his hospitalization, but he seemed to be alright as the show moved to close.

But before that could happen. Ryan announced one more surprise. As has been the regular course on "American Idol" when the "Save" option was put into play, two contestants would be eliminated after the following week's performance show. However, producers had foreseen the problem of such a use of the "Save" option for the Top 11 and had made the decision prior to the show that, if such an event were to occur, the Top 10 would become the Top 11 on tour over the summer -- which, technically speaking, was more good news for Casey than anyone.

After all the surprise guest appearances and all the drama, "American Idol" results shows just might see a "surprising" increase in future ratings as well.

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