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AMERICAN IDOL, Top 7, Haley Reinhart, James Durbin, Stefano Langone, Jacob Lusk, Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina and Casey Abrams

Michael Becker / FOX

The second we saw Steven Tyler strut onstage in the same pants he wore at last Thursday's elimination show, we knew we were in for a not-so-normal night in the Idol audience. We all saw Casey Abrams kiss Jennifer Lopez and heard the tougher than usual critiques, but from our seat behind the judges table, it was Steven's F-bomb that stole the show.

So what happened after Idol cut to commercial? Plus, the real reactions from Scotty McCreery and Jacob Lusk after their not-so-stellar feedback...

Everyone is prone to having a slip of the tongue, just not to an audience of 30 million viewers. At Wednesday night's performance show, Steven's exuberance in dropping the F-bomb following Casey's cover of Maroon 5's "Harder to Breathe" knocked the wind out of Idol producers. While the studio audience laughed nervously at Steven's choice of words, producer Nigel Lythgoe had his hands on his head shaking from side to side with an unmistakable look of: "OMG. I can't believe that just happened!"

As soon as Idol cut to commercial, we were sure Steven was going to get a serious talking to, and we were so right. Well, sort of. The judges table was immediately swarmed with producers, the stage manager, friends and of course, hair and makeup, all trying to think of a quick remedy to Steven's loose lips. As Jennifer and Randy Jackson hovered nearby, Steven and Nigel had a laugh and it didn't seem like anyone was taking the F-bomb too seriously. Obviously they tried to make a joke of it by taping Steven's mouth, but all in all, nobody really seemed to care.
 
Unfortunately, Scotty and Jacob couldn't treat their tough critiques tonight with the same cavalier attitude. Scotty, who has been a fan favorite and received nothing but glowing praise from the judges in previous weeks, didn't linger onstage to wave at fans as usual. Instead he merely handed over his mic and walked off in silence with his arm raised over his head. Fans screamed support, but it was obvious Scotty was a little rattled.
 
As for Jacob, poor guy, his song had a near disastrous start which he managed to recover from, but his confidence could not. As soon as the judges were done talking to him, Jacob lumbered over to Idol's house band and tried to explain what had gone wrong. Then, with his head slightly hung, he slipped off stage looking like someone had yelled "Bad dog!" at him.
 
It's also important to note that Casey and Haley Reinhart weren't doing much interacting. In fact, we couldn't help but notice Casey was unmistakably absent from Haley's intro montage and was never standing next to her onstage when the Idols were gathered. Could there be trouble with their rumored romance? Or maybe it was the work of the producers to keep their personal lives out of the spotlight.

Do you think Steven's F-bomb is funny or inappropriate? What did you make of the judges finally getting tough? Who do you think is headed to the bottom three? Let us know in the comments!

(Originally published April 20, 2011, at 8:36 p.m. PT)

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