American Idol, Simon Cowell, Kara DioGuardi, Randy Jackson, Ellen Degeneres, Ryan Seacrest,

Michael Becker / FOX

The last two weeks it seemed there were a plethora of undeserving American Idol contestants primed for the chopping block.

This week, however, the pickings were slimmer as voters were tasked with whittling the shaky top 16 down to a deserving top 12, which will mark the first themed round of competition—songs of the Rolling Stones!—and the guys and girls will be pitted against each other.

First, think about who deserved to go home Thursday, and then read on to find out who actually left.

The first pair of ladies to feel the hot breath of elimination on their necks Thursday were Katelyn Epperly and Paige Miles, neither of who had a particularly good night Tuesday, though Katelyn has had some great moments and Paige has disappointed week after week.

Perhaps because the judges have been so hard on her, who knows, but all the good will wound up in Paige's court, while Katelyn and her Carole King curls were sent packing.

She made it through her final performance before dissolving into tears and the refuge of Lilly Scott's arms on the sidelines.

Cold play, indeed.

Then Ryan Seacrest made a big show of pairing up Todrick Hall, who finally showed up last night, and Lee Dewyze, who's been charming the pants off the voters since day one.

Asked whether he thought both deserved a spot in the top 12, Randy Jackson hedged and said, "Yeah...I mean, Lee definitely deserves a spot, though."

Well, no worries there. Lee is moving on and Todrick is not. If only he had found "Somebody to Love" much earlier.

And Alex Lambert, 19, didn't wait to get to the sidelines to cry, tearing up immediately when Ryan informed him and Andrew Garcia that Andrew had locked up the final guy's seat in the top 12.

"I had a lot of fun, learned a lot," Alex said quietly—super quietly, in fact, as his microphone didn't kick in until he added, "There are a lot of things America didn't see me do yet."

Siobhan Magnus was spotted dabbing her own teary eyes with a tissue.

To top it all off, America apparently just didn't get Lilly Scott, whose self-assurance was praised week after week by the judges, resulting only in her losing the last seat in the top 12 to 17-year-old Katie Stevens.

Let's just say, Lilly looked as surprised as anyone. She didn't "Fall to Pieces" (darn that Simon Cowell, who thought the tune risky, always right!), but she had a few things to say about it.

"I don't know, I thought I did really well," Lilly said. "I thought I was appealing to a lot of people."

As for the Patsy Cline song: "I put my heart into every performance, I really gave it my all every time. It's surprising how a lot of incredible talent is going home tonight.

"I don't know what America wants to hear, I really don't. I just know that there's an audience out there for me."

Crystal Bowersox looked really miserable about the decision, as well.

But really, all of this means one thing: After all the grief and humiliation he went through, Tim Urban is in the American Idol top 12, along with Siobhan, Paige, Andrew, Katie, Crystal, Michael Lynche, Lacey Brown, Aaron Kelly, Casey James, Lee Dewyze and Didi Benami.

They will all tackle the Rolling Stones on Tuesday.

Saddened? Serene? Stymied? Share how you're feeling about this season's top 12 in the comments section!


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