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American Idol

Random Duets, Tasty Songs, and Not-So-Shocking Results: Recap of American Idol Top 11 Redux

Season 3 Idol champ Fantasia stopped by to sing her new single “Collard Greens & Cornbread,” hit on Steven Tyler, and have a quick chat with Ryan and the contestants, encouraging the Season 10 gang to stay real. “It can throw you a lot of things that you're not ready for, so you have to keep good people with you," she said. Fanty was looking super-glam in an updo and sparkly, slinky red gown, by the way.

Next up was the trio of Haley Reinhart, Thia Megia, and Pia Toscano singing Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream,” which did exactly zero of the three any favors. Haley awkwardly attempted to growl her way through, Pia just seemed confused to be singing something midtempo, and 16-year-old Thia singing about going all the way was just wrong. Paging Darren Criss and the Dalton Academy Warblers, please!

Anyway! Haley and Pia were both safe, and Thia was once again in the bottom three. No shock there.

Credit: Michael Becker/FOX    

Last week’s elimination show was full of surprises, from the unexpected appearances of Stevie Wonder and Hulk Hogan, to the near-dismissal and subsequent save of Casey Abrams. This week was significantly less shocking, despite what they tried to make us think.

The show kicked off with a dramatic intro reminding us of what went down last night before ending with an ominous warning: “And you won’t believe who is going home.” Actually, we totally believed it.

Judge fashion check! Randy Jackson all in black again, Jennifer Lopez in a black sparkly fringed minidress, Steven Tyler looking dandy-licious in some striped trousers. Ryan Seacrest’s hair was back to normal tonight, whew.

After informing us that it would be a very busy night, Ryan brought out the contestants and quickly sent them to the couches. It appeared that with two eliminations to get through, our man Cresty planned to waste no time whatsoever.

So, Idol’s powers that be have decided to start having contestants randomly sing duets on results shows, apparently. Why, we have no idea, but nonetheless, first up were Lauren Aaina and Scotty McCreery on Randy Travis’s “I Told You So,” and it was very pretty. The judges gave them a standing ovation, and then Ryan called them to center stage for results. To absolutely nobody’s surprise, the two country kids were safe.

Next we got a look at the contestants’ “rockstar lifestyle,” which includes recording sessions and charter flights to charity events and trouble with their fancy Idol mansion being — gasp! — leaky. Also, their wallets are too small for their fifties and their diamond shoes are too tight, right?

The final group of contestants to perform were Casey, James, Paul, and Stefano, doing “Band on the Run” by Wings. There were some decent harmonies, and while it’s nothing mind-blowing, the performance is definitely something new for the AI stage, and the dudes seemed really happy to play together. Afterwards, Steven said they could open for Aerosmith on their next tour — boys, if the Idol thing doesn’t pan out, we say you hold him to that!

After declaring Casey and The Durbz safe, Ryan had Stefano and Paul left hanging on, so obviously it was going to be Stefano, right? Right? Nope. Paul made his first appearance in the bottom three tonight, which was a bummer, because we really dug “Rocket Man.”

After this week’s superhero-themed Ford Music Video (which was cute, but Season 7 did way better), Ryan had a quick chat with the contestants, talking to Casey about his beard (“I think I am a beardy kind of guy,” Casey said) and letting James Durbin show off the customized WWE championship belt he’d received as a gift from a fan.

The next pair of contestants to perform were Naima Adedapo and Jacob Lusk, singing “Solid” by Ashford & Simpson. They had a lot of fun with the performance, but their happiness was short-lived, as Naima became the first contestant in the bottom three. Jacob was safe; the Lusky Stank lives to, uh, stank another day.

Credit: Michael Becker/FOX    

In case the contestants in the bottom three weren’t suffering enough, they had to wait through a performance by Will.I.Am and Jamie Foxx singing "Hot Wings (I Wanna Party)", which was pretty much excruciating. (And are we the only ones wondering why all the guest's songs tonight were about food? You're making us hungry, Idol!) The song seemed like something Naima might have done, if she decided to mostly quit trying... and also couldn’t really sing. Which was weird, because we’re pretty sure Jamie Foxx can sing. Apparently tonight he just didn’t care to.

After all the night’s excitement, with a whopping 3 minutes left, Seacrest quickly blurted out the results, and it turned out Paul was safe — yay! Unfortunately, that meant the end of the proverbial road for Thia and our favorite exotic flower, Naima. At least you made the tour, girls.

And just like that, 11 became 9. Next week, the contestants will take on songs from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Ooh, idea: Can Steven just duet with everyone?

04.1.2011 / 08:27 AM EDT by Tracy Fusaro
Related: American Idol, Recaps

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