In what has to be considered the biggest shocker of American Idol's 10th season so far, Pia Toscano, arguably the best singer on the show, was eliminated on Thursday night's live results show, as her performance of Ike & Tina Turner's River Deep - Mountain High on Wednesday’s episode did not sway enough viewers to vote to keep her in the competition.
The 22-year-old New Yorker had garnered strong buzz as a favorite to win, showing an amazing blend of beauty and talent with rousing performances of songs like Elton John's Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me, Alicia Keys' Doesn't Mean Anything, and The Pretenders' I'll Stand by You, which she sang after her elimination.
The final three contestants were Toscano, fellow judge favorite Jacob Lusk and Stefano Langone. Lusk and Langone were saved, and upon Pia's elimination, the crowd jeered and booed the decision and host Ryan Seacrest and the judges appeared shell-shocked.
Said Ryan: "What a shock. What a surprise." He then asked Jennifer Lopez what she thinks happened.
Lopez responded: "I have no idea what happened here: I'm shocked, I'm angry," while fellow judge Randy Jackson admitted he's "never upset on this show, and... never really mad.
"But this, like, this makes me mad!" Jackson said. "What is going on?"
American Idol’s most famous reject -- Oscar , Golden Globe & Grammy winner Jennifer Hudson - -- was among those shocked that Pia was voted off by viewers.
She wrote on her official Twitter Page Friday: "Long as she walked away with that voice she will be alright !! Just hate to see talent like that go!
I can not believe they just eliminated pia ! ReAlly..???? "
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What makes Pia's ouster practically surprising is that it was the first time Pia was in the bottom three.
The night wasn't a total downer: a shirtless Iggy Pop, 63, rocked the house with a high-energy performance of Wild One, and funnyman Russell Brand also made a cameo, serving as a charisma coach.
The remaining eight contestants in this year’s competition include boys Casey Abrams, Scotty McCreery, James Durbin, Lusk, Langone and Paul McDonald; and girls Lauren Alaina and Haley Reinhart.
American Idol returns Wednesday on Fox at 8/7c. We'll keep you up-to-date on all the happenings right here on RadarOnline.com.
BTW: Kelly Clarkson, the very first winner of American Idol, will take to the Idol stage for a performance next Thursday alongside Rihanna.
RadarOnline.com will be talking with Pia Friday morning for her reaction, so keep checking back for that story!