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American Idol eliminations: Two go home

American Idol judges saved Casey Abrams last week, so two Idol contestants were voted off Thursday. Goodbye Thia Megia and Naima Adedapo

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Elton John performs at a concert circa 1976. This week the remaining 11 American Idol contestants performed Elton John songs in hopes of making the Top 9. Two were voted off.

Anwar Hussein/WENN

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The judges exercised their one save last week on Casey Abrams, therefore two contestants had to say goodbye Thursday night.

To help calm distraught viewers, American Idol opted to scrap the ultra-corny group sing for smaller, more intimate group performances. To start the night out right, Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina performed a country duo of, “I Told You So.” Viewers may recall Randy Travis and Carrie Underwood performing this duet on the American Idol stage two years ago.

After their duet, Ryan quickly told Scotty and Lauren they were safe. Nice way to interfere with a prediction trifecta, Ryan.

Jacob Lusk and Naima Adedapo then joined forces for a performance of “Solid,” by Ashford and Simpson. Now Lauren and Scotty made sense together ... you could envision them married with a house full of little cowboys and girls sitting around a campfire singing country music. But the Jacob and Naima pairing seemed driven more by racial profiling than any musical synergy. And, as it turns out, Naima wasn’t nearly as "solid" as she thought and was the first to be sent to the Bottom Three stools.

We were then treated to a very special moment indeed. Pia Toscano singing something other than a ballad. Joining her for the performance of Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dreams” was Haley Reinhart and Thia Megia. Sure, you might think they paired these three because they are all young females who fit well with the Katy Perry song. But it quickly became apparent that the producers just chose the three contestants with the least amount of rhythm.

Seriously, compared to these three, Paul McDonald moves like Irish Lord of the Dance Michael Flatley. As punishment for her awful dance moves and barely there-pulse, Thia Megia was sent to the corner with Naima.

Despite the unlikely pairing of Naima and Jacob, they were still more cohesive than the “band” that James Durbin formed with Paul McDonald, Stefano Langone, and Casey Abrams. Many people have predicted that age, addiction, or Steven Tyler repeatedly falling off the stage would be the end of Aerosmith’s reign but the real silver bullet turned out to be Steven Tyler suggesting this band open for Aerosmith ... and just when Joe Perry had started to come around.

Of course, the Durbin band – which was somehow less than the sum of its parts – had to contribute one of its members to the Bottom Three and after hearing Stefano continue with his ridiculous enunciation of words, he seemed a shoe in.

But no! American Idol had another curve ball up its twisted sleeve and a hush fell over the country when Ryan announced Paul McDonald was in the bottom three. Paul? Not my Paul! Sure he wasn’t great this week, but where is the faith, people? One bad night and you’re ready to kick him and his rose suit to the curb?

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In the end, however, Paul earned his rightful place among the Top 9 and America bid adieu to Thia Megia and Naima Adedapo. Neither of whom seemed particularly broken up about it. But honestly, given the option: Paul or these two; even Naima and Thia couldn’t argue with the necessity of their departure.

And while this blogger's predictions were way off this week, only forecasting one fallen Idol correctly, it seems a grave injustice that Stefano Langone can butcher a quintessential Elton John song and be saved. He sang, “ballerinum,” America. Ballerinum??! Please.

Listen! 24 seconds in . . .

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