'American Idol' Recap: Hulk Hogan, Stevie Wonder and a Dramatic Ending to Elimination Show

by Hilary Rothing, posted Mar 24th 2011 10:27PM
Now that's how you do a results show!

Stevie Wonder! Hulk Hogan! A shocking elimination followed by a dramatic save! Kudos, Nigel and company. Poor Sugarland, will anyone remember their performance after all those theatrics?

Not to toot horns of any kind, but I've been saying for a while that Casey Abrams' shtick, if you will, would get old eventually. But I wasn't expecting his shelf life to be quite this short. Maybe it's just a testament to the influence of the performance order or maybe, as J.Lo and Randy said as Casey continued to reel from disbelief, it's time to stop the "antics" and "growling" and really shine.

How exactly Casey wound up with the smallest chunk of 30 million votes appeared to be a shock to everyone, including Randy Jackson, whose jaw dropped at the news. But Thia Megia and Stefano Langone's slots in the bottom three were all but reserved after last night.

Thia's been flying well under the radar for weeks now, but her consistent passing grades from the judges may have kept her afloat. Stefano began to struggle over the past two weeks and the revelation of a past DUI may have soured America on the 21-year-old whose inspiring tale of recovery from a serious car accident was a major part of his backstory.

Motown night was good to bottom three contenders Haley Reinhart and Naima Adedapo. In fact, Naima and Haley both seemed convinced that their grouping with Casey was a total fake out. And was it ever!

Randy cutting Casey's performance off straight away wasn't surprising. There was no way the judges weren't going to give him the save, so why waste the time?

And the fact that all 11 will make the tour left me with a warm, fuzzy feeling after an hour of major drama.

While Casey may have suffered from the opening act treatment last night, tonight's spectacle will give him more mileage than the pimp spot and a standing ovation. If he buckles down, the momentum from tonight and a couple of good performances will keep him alive and well for weeks. If anyone should be prepping hard for next week, it's Stefano and Thia. Both have some serious homework to do in order to turn things around quickly.

Kind of hard to believe the results topped the early surprises in the hour. Stevie Wonder surprising Steven Tyler with a birthday serenade was a sweet moment. And Marc Anthony teaching the kids how to work with the in-ear mixes of their songs was apparently very necessary -- and totally random. Jennifer Hudson gave a powerful performance of latest single, giving the kids a glimpse at just how much 'Idol' can change their lives.

And of course, I loved the Hulkster's surprise appearance. James Durbin seemed more shocked by the possibility of hitting the bottom three than Hogan's visit. But after Casey's walk on the dark side, all the 'Idols' should be on alert.

Maybe now that they've vacated the "Haunted 'American Idol' Mansion of Horrors," things will get back to normal. Nothing like the ghosts of Nikki McKibbin and Jessica Sierra to keep you up at night.

After tonight's results show shocker, take a moment to reassess who you think will be the next 'American Idol' and let us know in the poll below!

'American Idol' airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8PM ET on Fox.

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