The judges use their only save of the season in the craziest results show ever

By Annie Barrett
Updated March 25, 2011 at 02:51 AM EDT
Fox

American Idol

S10 E21
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Big surprise on last night’s American Idol: ALL of the Top 11 will go on the summer tour, and two singers will be eliminated next week. The judges used their only save of the season on Casey Abrams, who sang “I Don’t Need No Doctor” FOR HIS LIFE for just a few seconds until Randy stopped him mid-tune with a breezy wave. “Stop the music!” he cried, for Casey’s destiny had been predetermined. “This is crazy wrong,” said Steven Tyler. “We’ve made the decision here to keep you on.”

Casey really did need a doctor, it turned out! (At least one on hand, waiting in the wings, maybe taking Marc Anthony’s blood pressure or something.) Casey looked like he was about to faint dozens of times, with his shaky hands and crazy eyes. “Are you kidding?” he demanded of the three Fates behind the table. “It’s Top 11 — why would you do this to me? I can’t believe it!” He stumbled back up on stage, nearly taking down Seacrest in the process. Ryan was in no way prepared to handle Casey’s bulk, but Casey barreled in for the score anyway — it just seemed like the most comforting place to go. “Agggggggggggh!” he cried. A few seconds later he wised up and ran over to crush his parents instead. “I love you so much,” we kept hearing. Parents! How great are they?

Were you guys crying here? I usually cry at these types of things, but this one seemed so contrived — not on Casey’s part, but by the judges and producers. I think I was just off my “emotional connection to the TV” game because I was still in shock that Steven had spoken during a results show. ANYWAY, we’ve been led to believe that Stefano Langone and Thia Megia joined Casey in the bottom three. None of these people had ever wedged their bottoms into the stools of doom before. Naima and Haley barely knew what to do with themselves on the popularity sofa. The whole world had turned upside down!

Esteemed Colleague Email of the Night (received at 8:57 p.m. ET)

“GUAM LOVES THIA,” said a sign in the audience.

For real, what a crazy results show in general last night. It’s like the producers suddenly realized these things are always BORING and just decided to fling everything in their arsenal at the wall/lens and not even care if it worked. (It definitely worked for me.) First we had a dreadful group number to “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” and just when you were thinking that maybe you weren’t high enough to sit through an entire results show, out rolled Stevie Wonder on a motorized piano platform! What?! Awesome!

Steven started freaking out, nuzzling into J. Lo’s glittery armpit with glee. Then a few seconds later, we realize it’s Steven’s birthday. Of course it is! Why wouldn’t this be Steven’s birthday? I’m frankly surprised he doesn’t celebrate unbirthdays as well. All of a sudden, Naima had brandished an insane hypercolor poster of Steven’s face, and Pia and Lauren had a cake. Well done, ladies. Steven made a speech: “I’m speechless!” It was a beautiful speech. Just beautiful, up there. Beautiful.

NEXT: Is anyone surprised that Paul ate all the brownies? The Ford Music Videos are usually crazy enough, but in this week’s they just built a tree out of garbage. Everyone please remember to recycle, and purchase Fords. Back to the crazy. James Durbin is a big pro-wrestling nerd, so why not devote 10 minutes to that? Suddenly Naima and one of her flowy skirts were introducing the American Idol Showdown ft. Pillows. It was the Durbs vs. Paul McDonald, but then Pia was able to approximate football player grease paint from her magical bag of makeup-artist tricks (I’m assuming), and suddenly it was more like Paul McDonald’s empty brownie pan vs. everyone. Eat your heart out, Hulk Hogan!

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED. “Eye of the Tiger” boomed out, and there was Hulk freaking Hogan on the Idol stage, having appeared out of thick, smoke-machined air to inform Paul and James of their relative safety. Hulk really took his time doing this, so the Durbs got to flop around like a fish and wipe away tears for a while. It was almost like an action figure was talking instead of a human, if you just looked at Paul and James’ reactions instead of the burnt-sienna action figure in question. Eventually Hulk walked over and “punched” Ryan, because that’s really what all of this was about. Ryan flailed into some audience members who looked a little too thrilled to be “unexpectedly” hosting him. “THIS! Is AMERICAN IDOL,” Hogan bellowed, and began to rip off his tank top to reveal a grotesque wax sculpture with all sorts of upsetting cracks in it, but had to pause mid-strip for artistic purposes, I’m guessing. And then a commercial break? For real? It was real, and it was spectacular.

The musical guests weren’t too crazy, but I suppose it was a little crazy that they were so talented this week. I spent most of Sugarland’s “Stuck Like Glue” trying to figure out which element of Jennifer Nettles’ outfit looked more like a fanny pack: black shirt or seafoam belt. The kelly-green pants only compounded my confusion. I believe Randy would say that Jennifer Hudson blew it out of the box on her new single “Where You At.” I loved this, even though I prefer a slightly higher register for her. “Deliver! Deliver,” she did. Wow. According to Ryan, she’s the only Idol winner with an Oscar — even though she didn’t even win her season! How does that happen? What a transformation. HEAT WAVE.

Well, whew! So insane. What do you think about Casey? Should the judges have saved their save? Should Casey obey J. Lo’s orders to “get back to the musician you are,” or was he already doing that? Randy kept insisting that he didn’t need to growl anymore. All I’m asking is that he get back on that upright bass.

Hey, let’s check in with Kristen again.

Nice.

What would you ask the Top 11? EW will be interviewing the contestants next week and we want your input. If you could grab the Durbs by the tail, or Jacob Lusk by his bejeweled cuff links and ask them anything, what would it be? Leave your questions in the comments, and I’ll see you next week!

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Read more:

‘American Idol’: Who exactly IS the frontrunner?

‘Idol’: Your questions for the Top 11?

‘Idol’ vocal coaches talk the Top 11

All ‘Idol’ on-the-scene reports

All ‘American Idol’ recaps

EW.com’s ‘American Idol’ Central

Episode Recaps

American Idol

Ryan Seacrest hosts as Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan guide aspiring singers on their way to superstardom.
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