It was an unexpected and jaw-dropping elimination Thursday night at American Idol.
While many were banking on Elise Testone to exit the Idol stage, gasps filled the audience when host Ryan Seacrest read the results.
So what did tonight's bootee have to say after the show and what did we catch Ryan doing during LMFAO's performance?
The smattering of applause for Hollie Cavanaugh's safety were all A.I. fans could muster after being rocked by the exit of resident rocker Colton Dixon. After an off night in the Idol spotlight on Wednesday's performance show, his "brick wall of female fans," faltered to keep him in the competition. From our seat behind the judges table we could see Colton was visibly shaken as he wiped away a few tears.
Falling to his knees to sing his swan song, he may have said goodbye to the Idol dream, but he already has big plans for the future. When we caught up with Colton after the show he told us about them, why he expected to be in the bottom three and had nothing but positive things to say about his experience especially Ryan Seacrest.
"I'm good," Colton told us in the press room. "A little overwhelmed, but I know God is going to use me for other things so I'm good. I regret my first song last night. I thought I was going to be in the bottom three tonight. I wasn't surprised by that, especially standing next to Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez. I thought I had another week, if not a couple more in me, but someone good has got to go home and it was just me this week. I've been trying too hard to get a standing ovation from the judges that I didn't need. During [my last song] I wasn't singing for them, or my family, anyone in the audience or anyone at home. That song was between me and my Lord Savior Jesus Christ. We had a cool moment onstage for sure."
Hollie took the news harder than Colton as tears streamed down her face, but joked that they weren't all for him.
"I think some of those were tears of relief," he laughed. "Honestly! We love each other very much."
While past Idol alumn Taylor Hicks and Elliot Yamin both advised that he needs to strike while the iron is hot, Colton told us he's not going to let any opportunity pass him by.
"Things are only going to get better from here," he said. "I'll be able to write my own music, put out my own music and America can connect with me though that. I want to do Christian music. That's where my heart's at. I grew up on it and that's who I took a stand for, that's what I believe in. I'm going to start writing as soon as they let me and get started on a record. I'm just excited to share a gift God gave me. It's all on his timing."
Colton also shared warm regards for Ryan who gave him a pep talk post-elimination.
"Ryan is so sincere and I love that about him," he told us. "He really does care about the contestants. Afterwards he said, 'Dude you deserve to be here and it was a privilege working with you.' And I said 'Yeah, you'll have to find a new victim to pick on every week.'"
Speaking of Ryan, during the Idol tribute to Dick Clark it looked like Ryan was having a slightly difficult time watching the video package, but his mood quickly changed when LMFAO took the stage to perform "Sorry for Party Rocking." In what could be an Idol first, we saw Ryan, dare we say, "rocking out"? Smiling, clapping and even having a little fun poking the inflatable zebra on the side of the stage. It was great to see the familiar smile and seeing a more candid side to him!
Only six contestants remain, who do you think will make it to the finale? Are you sad to see Colton go? Did America get it right? Let us know in the comments!