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'American Idol' Top 11 results: Did the right person get the boot?

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Put down the Kleenex box. (I know, I know, you never picked it up.) Turn off the TV. And fire up a well-loved happy-time tune from a former American Idol contestant. (Right this moment, I’m torn between Allison Iraheta’s “Holiday,” Carly Smithson’s “Superstar,” and Paris Bennett’s “I’m So Hot.”) Because, yes, while tonight saw the end of one wide-eyed young vocalist’s super-sized dream of becoming the nation’s next music sensation, we must also accept that taunting, tear-soaked rejection (set to the tune of musical strained peaches called “Leave Right Now”) is an important part of the pruning process that leads us to a Kris Allen or a David Cook or a Jordin Sparks. [WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!] And honestly, after last night’s abysmal “Songs From the Year Grandma Was Born” telecast, it’s not so hard to say goodbye to…Paige Miles.

Okay, yeah, maybe the sight of Katie Stevens in the troika of at-risk contestants was something of a small surprise — for the first time since Hollywood Week, I thought she sounded not terrible on Fergie’s not ancient “Big Girls Don’t Cry” — but there’s an important lesson to be learned by the remaining hopefuls: YOU SHOULD NOT FEEL SAFE.

And the sooner these cats learn it, the better. I mean, if we’re gonna endure another 18 episodes of Idol between now and late May (and you know most of us are), then it’s up to the contestants to start taking the stage with their psychic scalpels, cutting themselves open, reaching down to their souls, and throwing them on the stage for our listening pleasure. (Too much? Oh well, season 9 finalists, you should know that it’s your lackadaisical tomfoolery that fires up my special brand of Idol crazy!)

Next week, I expect to see one or more of the following under-performing contestants — Lee Dewyze, Aaron Kelly, Casey James, Michael Lynche, Didi Benami, and/or Katie Stevens — step up and deliver something on the level of Jason Castro’s “I Don’t Wanna Cry,” LaKisha Jones’ “This Ain’t a Love Song,” or Trenyce’s “Proud Mary.” After all, we don’t want to think Wham’s “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” was ritually slaughtered in vain this evening, do we? And now, on with the deets…

Bottom Three

Paige Miles Davis

That Katie Stevens

Tim Urbane

Bottom Two

The Lady Who Coughed Up Idol‘s Umpteenth Rendition of That Phil Collins Song

The Boy Who Slid Across the Stage (and Who Back in the Day Showed His Abs)


Paige Miles

On that note, it’s time for me to get rolling on my full TV Watch recap (UPDATE: Michael Slezak’s full American Idol recap is now live), which will address the “special” “guest” “performances” — none of which involved former Idol contestants. In the interim, why don’t you head to our message boards and share your own feelings about tonight’s results. And do press play below to view our latest episode of Idolatry (featuring Life.com’s Dawnie Walton). (Related: ‘Idolatry’: Lacey Brown on ‘Landslide’ woes, clashing outfits, and Miley Cyrus as mentor; Annie Barrett discusses Idol’s All-Time Worst Performances; ‘American Idol’ recap: 10 Mileys of Bad Road; follow me on Twitter @EWMichaelSlezak.)