Credit: Michael Becker/FOX Photo: Karen Rodriguez, Naima Adedapo, and Haley Reinhart Make up the Bottom Three on March 17, 2011

Terrified contestants are basically the best thing ever, right? The only thing better is Steven Tyler in the world’s most sparkly bathrobe. And tonight’s results show had both! Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Idol fans!

The Top 12 got the night started with a hilarious mash-up of Steppenwolf’s “Born To Be Wild” performed by the guys, and Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” by the girls. Parts of it were awesome, parts of it were kind of tragic, and all of it was riotous. Such delicious cheese.

Continuing the theme of our Top 12 doing cheesy things was this week’s Ford music video, which featured the gang at a drive-in movie starring Haley and Stefano, set to Bowling for Soup’s “Val Kilmer.” A little additional product placement came in the form of Ryan pimping the Idol 10th Anniversary compilation album, with an exciting Oprah moment for the studio audience when they learned they each had a free copy under their seats. And you get a CD! And you get a CD! And you get a CD!

After an informative segment about the Top 12 in which the audience learned that, among other Very Important Things, Karen makes weird throat noises, Casey is an “avid moonwalker,” Scotty cannot do a British accent even a little bit, and Paul has a 14-year-old wiener dog, it was time to get down to the business of the night. Ryan asked for the lights to be dimmed, and... BOOM! Bright green lights, Irish jig music, and dancing shamrocks, with a giant “Luck of the Irish” graphic. Ha!

Once the lights were dimmed in an actual dramatic way, Ryan called Casey, Jacob, and Lauren to the center of the stage, and then pronounced them safe in quick succession — although he did give Casey a good scare. Easy, Seacrest, don’t stress that guy out more than necessary; we don’t want him back in the hospital again.

Next to hear their fates were Haley and Paul. Haley worked on convincing the judges and audience that she does have a musical identity, and that she wants to do “rock and blues and funk,” before learning she was in the bottom three again this week. Paul, on the other hand, went safely back to the couches.

With one member of the bottom three identified, it was time for the evening’s first guest performance — reigning Idol champ Lee DeWyze singing his new single “Beautiful Like You.” The first few bars were a little shaky, but Lee pulled it together pretty quickly and turned in a nice performance.

After Lee’s song, it was time for more results. Scotty, Pia, and James were all called to center stage, and were all safe. Was that supposed to be suspenseful? Because: duh. Putting Stefano and Naima side-by-side was similarly obvious, with Naima landing in the bottom three while Stefano was safe. (Maybe we were supposed to think Stefano’s DUI rap sheet had come back to bite him.)

 

Credit: Michael Becker/FOX Photo: Karen Rodriguez Says Goodbye on March 17, 2011
The last contestants left were Karen and Thia, who both, by the way, looked gorgeous. Thia promised she is capable of doing much more than ballads — apparently she just chooses not to — and was safe. K-Rod was sent to the bottom three for the second week in a row.

The world premiere of “Just Can’t Get Enough” by the Black-Eyed Peas was next. “This song is about love and strength and is dedicated to our friends in Japan,” said Will.I.Am. The performance wasn’t really cut out to be a tribute to a country in crisis, and there was lots of auto-tune, and frankly we don’t really want to talk about it. Basically it’s weird to have performances like that on a show that’s theoretically about singing, y’know?

After the insanity of the Peas, we were back to the bottom three, and Naima was the first one pronounced safe. We were almost as relieved as she was as she spazz-walked back to the couches of safety. The other safe contestant was Haley, which left Karen as the lowest vote-getter.

Poor K-Rod chose to reprise Mariah Carey’s “Hero” while the judges played out the charade that they might actually use their one precious save on a 12th place contestant. Casey fistpumped along on the couch as she sang.

The judges didn’t save her, of course, but they did offer her hugs and condolences while we watched her Idol journey. Big sassy hair! Hugs from Steven Tyler! Last night’s wild retro-futuristic outfit!

So what do you think? Was Karen the right choice? Will Haley and Naima be able to pull it together next week and get out of the bottom three? Do you get the purpose of the Black-Eyed Peas? Please, enlighten us in the comments!
Credit: You Tube Photo: Video: Lee DeWyze Sings "Beautiful Like You" on the Top 12 Results Show
Credit: You Tube Photo: Black Eyed Peas Perform "Just Can't Get Enough" on the Top 12 Results Show
Credit: You Tube Photo: The Top 12 Contestants Mash up "Born This Way" and "Born to Be Wild" on March 17, 2011