Eye On Idol (3/25/11)

Casey Abrams

Gasp! The drama! The emotion!

It’s only appropriate that wrestler Hulk Hogan (!) made an appearance on last night’s (3/24) American Idol results show. The evening’s exciting conclusion was practically worthy of its own WWE story line.

In fact, early fan favorite Casey Abrams found himself down for the count at the end of the night, singing for his life. Randy Jackson waved him off after a couple lines, subsequently using the judges’ one save to keep him on the show. Casey appeared simultaneously sick and overjoyed.

Which means, apparently, that the upcoming Idol tour will feature 11 performers instead of the usual 10. Good for Casey, and great for America.

Quite a shocker. Casey has been a standout performer, but may have lost some of his mojo last week when he took on Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” He seemed to recover in Wednesday’s (3/23) Motown-themed episode, turning in a typically unhinged version of “Heard It Through The Grapevine” that was praised by the judges. But show producers gave him the dreaded show-opening slot, and either his followers didn’t see it or they didn’t remember two hours later when it came time to vote.

Joining Casey in the bottom were two of obvious suspects: Stefano Langone, whose ably-performed version of Lionel Richie’s “Hello” failed to ignite any sparks; and Thia Meghia, who sounded convincing on “Heat Wave” but has struggled to forge a distinct identity in the contest.

The Wednesday night performances were mostly good, but a handful stood out from the rest.

He’s a long shot to win, but Jacob Lusk’s rendition of the Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell classic “You’re All I Need To Get By” was so fantastic I actually had to watch it again just for good measure. Scotty McCreery’s soft, shuffling take on Stevie Wonder’s “For Once In My Life” worked surprisingly well in his traditional style. And Pia Toscano showcased her impressive vocal range once again to deliver Stevie’s “All In Love Is Fair.”

Speaking of Stevie, he made a special and unannounced appearance in the results show opening to sing “Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours)” with the contestants and then wish judge Steven Tyler happy birthday. Later in the show, Sugarland and Jennifer Hudson both showed America why they deserve to be mega-famous platinum artists.

I can honestly say, I have no idea what’s going to happen next. And, you know what? I think I like it.

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