After a very bumpy night devoted to songs released during the contestants' birth years, American Idol has relegated another aspiring star to Wikipedia footnote status.
"You guys are fine, no matter what happens," season nine champ Lee DeWyze advised the Top 12 Thursday after he performed "Beautiful Like You." Easy enough for him to say! He won the whole dang thing!
We doubt that the singer who got eliminated felt fine after getting the boot, even though she should have sensed it coming after last night...
Karen Rodriguez bid Idol adieu tonight after the judges opted to hang onto their one-time-only save for a much rainier day.
"I know it's about the votes, but I've done my best to represent for everybody, for my family, for everyone," she said.
The 21-year-old from New York tried to play to her strengths, singing her bilingual version of "Hero," but all it did was rehighlight her voice's limitations. No 11th-hour pardon for her tonight.
"This is not unanimous. I must say, we talked it over quite a bit, but the judges are not going to use the save tonight," Randy Jackson broke the news.
Karen was making a repeat appearance in the bottom three along with Haley Reinhart, who hasn't had one moment since the audition rounds where she has properly utilized her sultry growl. They were joined by Naima Adedapo, who squeaked by with Rihanna last week but couldn't do anything with Tina Turner last night.
Jacob Lusk, whose performance of Heart's "Alone" Randy described as "genius" even though it was way, way over-the-top and rather theatrical (as was his solo during tonight's better-than-usual group medley of "Born to Be Wild" and "Born This Way"), was ushered to safety right away. So were early faves Lauren Alaina and Casey Abrams, none of whom have made any wrong moves in the voters' eyes, Nirvana and all.
The same went for Paul McDonald, Scotty McCreery, James Durbin and the judges-approved Pia Toscano, who was informed by the audience that she was safe before Ryan Seacrest even had a chance.
"Do you have my results?" he toyed with the audience, before declaring Pia "Safe!"
The very consistent Stefano Langone and kinda boring-yet-appealing Thia Megia also soared into the Top 11.
Along with DeWyze, the Black Eyed Peas performed "Just Can't Get Enough" on live TV for the first time, which they dedicated to their "friends in Japan."
And here's something to look out for in the coming weeks: Per xfinityTV.com, Both Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler will be performing on the Idol stage—probably on a Thursday, and probably not together.
(Originally published March 17, 2011, at 6:05 p.m. PT)