• Share
  • Tweet
  • Share

Nothing was going to top last Thursday on American Idol, right?

Pia Toscano was the surprise eliminee out of a bottom three that also included Stefano Langone and Jacob Lusk, so it would stand to reason that one of those gentlemen would be packing his bags tonight.

But the tables turned a bit yesterday, with Stefano giving his best performance of the competition so far (in the judges' eyes, at least) and Jacob picking such a good song...And it was Haley Reinhart who underwhelmed the critics after a nice run of being completely safe.

So how did the 53 million-plus votes stack up?

The big wheels have stopped turning for Paul McDonald, the first guy to be eliminated (and actually sent home) since the top 13 was formed.

Paul McDonald, American Idol

Michael Becker / FOX

In the bottom three two weeks ago after a bum night, he was back on the hot seat after singing a forgettable version of "Old Time Rock and Roll," and this time, the voters didn't let him off the hook.

The judges said they liked it, but the Simon-seasoned fans at home apparently weren't fooled by what really amounted to karaoke. (Not to mention, the Brit would have raked Paul over the coals for his spangled suit.)

"It's OK, man, it's OK," Paul said when Ryan Seacrest insisted he was the life of the party. "It's been fun, a good time," he added as the judges gave him a standing O. "A good ride, you know."

At least Stefano, in danger again, returned to his seat to fewer boos than when he went up against Pia last week.

Haley indeed was in the bottom three, as well, even though her version of Blondie's "Call Me" was fun and upbeat. But ultimately, as Ryan put it, she "followed in the footsteps of...the others on the couch."

Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina extended their run of enjoying elimination nights from the safety of the couch, their country vibes and sweet demeanors continuing to propel them forward. The teens, who barring a major disaster seem destined for final three (or two) status, also teamed up on another duet tonight, Lady Antebellum's "American Honey."

Casey Abrams, who may have given millions of tweens their first taste of Nat King Cole last night, also continued to rake in the votes after being rescrutinized last week after Pia's ouster had plenty of folks wondering whether the Casey save was worth it.

The charmed 20-year-old got another gift tonight after Kelly Clarkson performed "Don't You Want to Stay?" with Jason Aldean. The original Idol champ took Seacrest to task about "rephrasing" her tweets on the air—such as the one about Casey being a cutie.

"Why, what did you tweet about Casey?" Ryan innocently asked.

"Oh no, he's certainly delicious, he's cute," Kelly admitted, gesturing to the blushing jazz fan. "I just mean, you don't say the whole thing! So many people think I'm some kind of pervert or something."

James Durbin was super-duper safe as always, and Jacob—in danger last week—was duly rewarded for doing a terrific job with "Bridge Over Troubled Water."

The top seven carry on next Wednesday.