Syesha Mercado ("I Believe")
Michael Johns ("Dream On")
Carly Smithson ("The Show Must Go On")
Michael Johns (Yikes!!!)
A wave of shock and disbelief spread throughout the theater when Ryan Seacrest made the announcement. After he sequestered the Bottom 3, we're sure most everyone, like ourselves, believed that either Carly or Syesha was doomed instead. In fact, we thought David Cook, whom we love, but who had a terrible night on Tuesday would be standing in Michaels' place. DialIdol.com placed Cook and Johns in a near deadheat for the third from bottom position, with Syesha second from the bottom and Carly dead last. Carly was so sure she was leaving, when the con-
testants were still back-
stage and Ryan broke for a commercial with the words "when we come back we'll see who's going home tonight," Carly actually raised her hand. After Seacrest eliminated Johns, Smithson was seen numerous times on the couch crying more than anyone else. Almost as if she had survivor's guilt. It was interesting to watch the reactions of the other finalists on the couch when the camera panned other there. Jason Castro wasn't even looking at Johns and Seacrest onstage, he was actually looking in the other direction, automatically clapping his hands with the crowd, but seemingly unaffected and uncaring. David Cook was visibly upset, even looked angry. Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell were also caught off guard. Johns was one of the few finalists left they all seemed to like when they appeared on Larry King's CNN show Monday night. We think all three judges, at the very least, expected Johns to make it to at least the Top 5. Abdul looked stunned, Jackson and Cowell upset, especially after Johns completed his exit song by the judges' table. All three approached him. Abdul embraced him for a long time, Jackson had his hand on Johns' shoulder and Cowell stood there waiting his turn to have a word with him.
Watch video of Michael Johns elimination. Note the really cruel act by Seacrest, who, after telling Johns he'd been eliminated, said, "Now, last year during 'Idol Gives Back,' we didn't eliminate anybody at this stage of the competition," making everyone think that Michael wouldn't go. Seacrest paused, then added, "Tonight, we're going to say goodbye to Michael Johns." How mean can you be? Why was that necessary? Everyone was already shocked and upset. It was a new low blow for "American Idol."
Watch video of "American Idol" Top 8 singing "Shout to the Lord":
Watch video of Season 6 winner Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown performing "No Air" on Thursday night's show:
Watch video of Ford commercial "I Just Want to Celebrate":
Next week, Mariah Carey is guest mentor, when, according to a Fox press release, the contestants will "perform songs by Mariah Carey." Well, doesn't that sound like a train wreck waiting to happen, especially for the guys? We had imagined it more like last year's visit by Gwen Stefani, when the finalists sang "songs that have inspired Gwen Stefani." All we can say is "Uh-oh."
In other Idol news, before the elimination Seacrest told the audience that "Idol Gives Back" had raised $60 million so far. Last year, the show garnered $76 million and this year's goal was $100 million. Ratings were significantly down for "Idol Gives Back" 2008. Despite being the top-rated show Wednesday, 17.5 million viewers tuned into the show, down from last year's 26.9 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research.
e-mail Idol Addict