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American Idol Recap: The Elimination You Heard Coming From the First Note

Oh, American Idol, when you open a results episode with eleven people singing Wham!’s “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” and then rush headfirst into a “music video” starring a Ford automobile with the Idol hopefuls featured as supporting actors, it’s almost like you’re daring us to turn off the TV.

But truly, who could turn away from the suspense engendered by that one final elimination before Idol formulates its top ten? Oh, yeah, the Internet exists, so basically everyone. Still, last night was important because only the top ten performers go on the summer tour — meaning last night we found out who “we” will be paying our hard-earned dollars to see performing live this summer. And by "we," we mean nobody you've ever met, unless they have kids, a pair of earplugs, and a good book.

As for last night’s elimination drama, things could not have been any more rote. Tim Urban, Paige Miles, and Katie Stevens dropped down to the bottom three, and considering Paige's slaughtering of Phil Collins has sparked numerous online debates over whether this was the worst Idol performance of all time or the actual worst performance of all time, period, everyone knew she would be "miles" away from L.A. come tomorrow morning. (Sorry, Paige: A miserable performance deserves a miserable pun.)

But before he announced that America hated Paige, Ryan allowed for a full two seconds of suspense before assuring Katie she wouldn’t be leaving ... yet. Usually Ryan likes to prolong the obvious, but he could probably sense the flood of tears welling behind Katie’s eyes. And then it was down to Paige and Tim, but even if he might have equaled her in terms of unadulterated suck these last two weeks, his knee slides and mop-top have worked their High School Musical charms on America. Enjoy the screams and creepy mom come-ons during the summer tour, Tim!

When Seacrest informed Paige she was out of the competition unless the judges used their save on her, Simon preemptively piped up to tell her they would not use their save for her even if when she started singing, manna rained down from the heavens and God himself appeared and presented Simon with a brand-new box of holy black T-shirts. Sure, it must have been harsh to hear, “Nice meeting you, but please stop wasting our time with this whole singing thing you incorrectly believe holds the key to your future.” But then again, why give her the hope that if she nails the performance it’s going to make any difference?

Here were the rest of the episode’s highlights, as it were:

• Ryan reminded us that Paige was formerly a teacher and asked if she would recommend Idol to any of her students, making one wonder if Ryan has a sick sense of humor beneath the slick veneer.

• Katie admitted her dad refuses to watch her compete and instead spends her performance nights drinking in bars. Oddly enough, she didn’t seem to see the humor in that.

• Siobhan provided more fabulous eccentricity: Her former boss in the glassblowing biz was in the audience and apparently will not shave his Yukon Cornelius beard until she wins. As talented as she is, methinks he’ll look like a gold digger of '49 for the rest of his life.

• Also, two of Siobhan’s friends in the audience were covered in blood and pasty makeup, calling themselves “Siobhan-bies.” You know, since her name is pronounced “Sheh-VON,” so it was like, “Sheh-VON-bies,” so like zombies, sort of. Tortured wordplay all in the service of a truly unappealing fandom concept. Perhaps her boss could have shaved his beard into a goatee and called it a Siobhan-Dyke. No less painful, but at least it doesn't involve brain-eating.

• Since Idol hopefuls have to bunk together, we learned that Mike only visits his wife and newborn girl in a hotel room. And now he’s set to go on tour this summer. Well, perhaps to keep in practice for baby rearing, he can try rocking a Ford Fiesta to sleep.

• After restating the judges’ unsparing assessments of his waning appeal, Ryan asked Andrew how he would respond to Simon’s criticisms had he not been on national television. Andrew nervously laughed and pretended he wouldn’t have beat Simon senseless.

• Miley Cyrus played us her new nursing-home-ready power ballad! Even more exciting, “When I Look at You” is the theme song to her upcoming movie based on a Nicholas Sparks novel. This troubling news brings to mind the passage from "Revelations": “And thou seest Hannah Montana sitting thereon a white horse, and she shall bewail the transfiguration of the Book of Sparks into the language of the eye through her siren’s song. And there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”

• After boring us to tears with his judging stint back in Dallas, Joe Jonas returned to Idol to sing a duet with his real-life girlfriend/Disney personality Demi Lovato (who apparently had a No. 1 album last year, the sales being fueled strictly by people born post-9/11). Ryan pointed out that Jo-Bro was there when Tim Urban auditioned, and gave him a seal of approval, and Joe Jonas looked over to Tim sitting in the bottom three and jokingly commented that things didn’t seem to be going so well. In all seriousness: God bless you, Joe Jonas.

Other Recaps:
Entertainment Weekly's Michael Slezak imagines a "lineup of R&B songs cleared for use next week gathered in a dank corner and huddling together for warmth and encouragement" at the thought of being sung by Tim Urban.
The AV Club's Leonard Price recalled that we never found out what was in "Casey James' Eerie Box of Mystery? I feel a little betrayed."

Photo: Courtesy of FOX