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American Idol

The Sad (But Smiley) Elimination of Paul McDonald: Recap of American Idol Top 8 Results

After five consecutive female eliminations this season, tonight the first man finally fell. We’re sorry to see him go, but hey, at least this season hasn’t become a total sausage fest, right?

Judge fashion check! Randy in a black jacket and white t-shirt, Jennifer in a tiny gold vaguely Egyptian-looking dress, and Steven in a black jacket and monochromatic print top.

It turned out we’re back to having random results-night duets from the contestants. First up were Scotty and Lauren, who took on Lady Antebellum’s “American Honey.” The song was fine, but more importantly, Lauren’s sunny yellow dress was fabulous. Short and sassy and age-appropriate. Excellent!

Afterwards, Ryan called Casey, Haley, Scotty, and Lauren to center stage for results. Scotty was the first announced safe, followed by Lauren. And then our girl Haley landed in the Bottom 3. Sigh!

After a silly but entertaining segment with Rob Reiner, it was time for the night’s first guest performance: “Don’t You Wanna Stay?” from the first-ever Idol winner Kelly Clarkson and country singer Jason Aldean. Kelly looked incredible... we’re not sure how Jason look, as his giant cowboy hat obscured his face the entire time. After the performance, Kelly took a few minutes to joke around with Ryan Seacrest and managed to almost fluster our unflappable host. We love her.

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Next up, Jacob, Paul, Stefano, and James performed Simon and Garfunkel’s “Sound of Silence” and “Mrs. Robinson” from The Graduate. Poor Casey got shoehorned out of the Idol boy band! After the guys finished rocking out — a mild sort of rocking out, but we’ll give it to them — it was time for more results, with two of them destined for the Stools of Shame.

The Durbz, of course, was safe, as was Jacob, which left Paul and Stefano in the Bottom 3. Which is, incidentally, what we predicted last night. (We also predicted pretty much anyone could’ve been in the Bottom 3, but hey, it counts.)

After the commercial, Ryan introduced us to Chaka Khan and Anita Baker in the audience, before introducing Rihanna, who performed “California King.” She looked incredible in a long slinky gown, and sounded the best she has in a long time. It’s hard to believe she’s only 23. After the performance, she took a few minutes to promote her tour, which kicks off in June and will allow fans to get onstage. “It’s very VIP,” she promised.

Finally, it was time for the dreaded results. Haley was safe (hooray!)... and Smiley Spice was out. Paul McDonald, Steven’s “perfect imperfect boy... cool dude in a loose mood,” was the first guy to fall in Season 10 of Idol. Paul was extremely good-natured about his ouster, grinning brightly (of course) through his final performance of “Maggie May,” which Jennifer requested. We’ll miss your shiny suits and even shinier smile, Paul!

This week’s Ford music video, set to “Animal” by Neon Trees (it made us wish for the Warblers!), had a zombie theme and was actually pretty amusing. Weirdly, Haley made a cute zombie.

Next in random contestant duets: Haley and Casey take on “Moanin’.” Um, wow! Not only did Haley look extremely hot with amazing retro hair, but the duet itself was smoking. The judges loved it just as much as we did, and gave them a standing ovation. There’s a rumor that those two are dating, and after that performance, we totally back it!

04.15.2011 / 08:15 AM EDT by Tracy Fusaro
Related: American Idol, Recaps

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