American Idol Top 11 Results Recap: Did the Right Decision Get Made This Week? [Updated]

erika shannon idolWith Jermaine Jones having already gotten the unceremonious “it’s not your voice, it’s your criminal history” brushoff on Wednesday night’s American Idol performance show, the obvious question looming over Thursday’s results telecast was this: Would the lowest vote-getter be spared a walk to the guillotine, or would a pretty young vocalist’s head roll at Ryan Seacrest’s brutal command?

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Surprisingly, Uncle Nigel & Co. chose the latter option, sending 10 singers to safety — and a coveted spot on the American Idol Season 11 Summer Tour — and leaving the cheese to stand alone one contestant to try to sway Steven, J.Lo, and Randy to use their sole “Judges’ Save” of the season.

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Before we get to how the results played out, a few notes:

* Was I the only one who could not suppress a chuckle when J.Lo said that “people” have been waiting for news about the release date of her next single and video? Girl, name three of those folks, and I’ll show you a list that’s got at least two fibbers on it.

* What was with the audio-video malfunction during the segment introducing Tommy Hilfiger as the new Idol style coach? I’m sure I could come up with some kind of sarcastic explanation, but honestly, I’d be open to letting the contestants choose their frocks out of a dumpster if it meant we’d never again have to see something as frightful as the sheer white blouse with black sequined trim and silver hotpants that Shannon rocked on Wednesday.

* Was that actually the Top 12 singing in the “Ford Music Video,” or just some strange computer-generated chorus-type thing?

* When Jimmy’s effusive praise of Elise’s “Let’s Stay Together” lasted longer than his remarks for Phillip and Skylar combined, I knew girlfriend was in jeopardy. In other Jimmy news, I have to give him credit for righteously pointing out that Heejun needs to prove he can go uptempo, that Erika tends to fall into the trap of oversinging, and that Jessica doesn’t want to be “an opera singer from a talent show” — something none of the judges bothered to say on Wednesday.

* Because it is Randy’s goal to ruin pretty much everything, he had to drag the exhausted “you could sing the phone book” critique into Season 11.

* Ryan seems to take a special pleasure in torturing Colton when he’s doling out results, no? Maybe dude is jealous of the extra three inches Colton achieves through his incredibly high and extremely dyed hair?

* “Outta My Head” is hands down my favorite single in the history of Daughtry. Dude’s upper register is a wee bit frayed, but heck, even that seemed to work for him tonight. Demi Lovato, on the other hand, is not really an artist who benefits from a live-performance opportunity — which is all I’m going to say about that.

And now, your results. Ryan, dim the lights…

Totally Safe & Headed to the Idol Summer Tour (in order of announcement)
Joshua “real men rock white pants” Ledet
Phillip “Is he really gonna wear that same green t-shirt every results show?” Phillips
Skylar “whooped it up for Joshua!” Laine
Colton “what in the name of fuggery is that army-green draped tank top, sir?” Dixon
Jessica “loves to hear percussion while pointing to her ear” Sanchez
Deandre “lawwwd have mercy!” Brackensick
Hollie “help me, Tommy Hilfiger!” Cavanagh
Heejun “oh come on, you knew he wasn’t going anywhere” Han

Bottom 3
Elise “Most Improved On-Stage Attitude” Testone
Shannon “probably more fun than she seems on TV” Magrane
Erika “not wearing a bridesmaids’ dress” Van Pelt

First One Sent Back to Safety
Elise

Lowest Vote Getter
Shannon

And after a passionate but far from perfect encore of “One Sweet Day,” Shannon failed to get a last-minute reprieve from the judges. As her exit package rolled, the lanky teenager kept a smile on her face, and gracefully thanked the judges for their honest critiques. And then — dun dun dun — there were 10.

To be honest, I think the right singer got eliminated this week. Shannon certainly had some talent, but she always came across as too young (and too robotic) to truly bring her music to life. With her and Jermaine out of the competition, I’d say we’ve got one of the deepest, most evenly matched Top 10s in Idol history.

I’ll be back overnight to update this post with some more details, but until then hit the comments with your thoughts on tonight’s results. And for all my Idol news, interviews, and recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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242 Comments
  1. Theresa says:

    I thought Elise still had a bad attitude this week. She just turned around and walked away when they announced she was in the bottom 3. I’m sure you are upset/pissed when you hear that but you can’t show it or people won’t like you. She is one of my favorite singers but I think she will be gone soon because of that unfortunately.

    • J. May says:

      I made the same observation a few comments back. I love her voice but she seems like she could use some people skills. Skylar looked a little upset that Elise just walked away from her towards the B3 stools. Elise could learn a thing or three from the country girl who bear hugs everybody.

  2. Stacey says:

    My biggest issue with last night was not Shannon leaving. She was weak. A clear example that if she had waited a year or two; she might have gotten stronger. Because she does have a strong voice. But the girl are so strong. She’s going to sound weaker in comparison. My issue was that Deandre and Heejun weren’t in the bottom. Those two were the weakest performances of the night. And they didn’t touch the bottom. Unfair. I fear this is a repeat of last year. The hot/cute guy theory. Even though Heejun is skating by on his personality. But he and Deandre are cute. I don’t think Elise did herself any favors last week with her bad attitude. And even this week. She acted like something wrong with her getting called. Making it all about herself while Skylar just sinked over to safety without any response. And Erika was a wild card. And she has a incredible voice but she looks and acts older than most of them! But still even if Shannon had to go. Deandre and Heejun should have been in the bottom!

    • Gale says:

      This is precisely why the voting system needs to be changed to something like one vote per cell phone, 5 votes per land line.

      • Stacey says:

        Won’t happen. Then the show can’t crow about 100 million votes at the finale. I hope it was just this week thing. The girls are actually pretty strong this year. And at least DialIdol is indicating that it’s all pretty close. Although one would think Jerome would have been in the bottom if he had stayed. But Shannon was on borrowed time. Unless she really it hit out of the park. It helps Skylar that she has the country vote to herself. Elise has the jazzy thing. Jessica is more pop/R and B. Erika is more pop rock. Hollie sorta is sharing the same kind of music with Jessica. Athough she has stayed at ballads for the moment. There might be a split between Hollie and Jessica voters when it really comes down it. And one of them could fall into danger. And Skylar could come from behind!

    • Tim says:

      It’s this way every year. Lee DeWyze, Kris Allen, Taylor Hicks etc. Guys with a modicum of talent that the girls find cute are always going to win out over their more talented competitors.

      • w says:

        OMG – will people leave Kris Allen out of the comparison with Lee and Taylor, already?! Has anyone heard his new single?! It’s one of the best Idol “joints” of the past few years. Only hoping the label doesn’t blow it with poor promotion.

        • Tim says:

          Please, the guy had two or three good performances max on AI and he won due to the anti-Adam vote.

          • Templar says:

            Spot on, Tim. Adam has proven the inadequacy of the voting system. I’m not trying to dis Kris, but he is a night light compared to Adam being a 5000 watt Klieg.

  3. MusicFan says:

    I don’t get why middle-aged women are lumped in with teenage girls when it comes to Idol voting. I generally prefer female singers and while I might find a much younger man to be attractive, I’m not going to vote for him like a crazed teenybopper!

  4. Volcfom says:

    I’m fine with Shannon leaving, but like most others here, I do not agree with the bottom three. I’m glad the judges stuck up for Elise.

    It was a wonderfully pleasant surprise how gracefully Shannon took her exit. It was a nice change from the weepy, collapsing messes we’ve seen recently (X-Factor!).
    I listened to the snippet of Shannon’s iTunes song, and it sounded very nice! It’s a shame that the judges didn’t tell her to wait and come back in the future, because she would have been pretty good with a few more years.

    It still baffles me how Heejun can have an awesome personality, but it completely disappears once he starts singing. That boy is dull… So far I think the right people have gone home. I’m hoping the trend will continue with a Heejun outster next week.

  5. Shana says:

    Demi lovato was awful. What was with the trashy extensions…borrowed from miley perhaps? she used to be good but I don’t get her appeal anymore.

  6. Betsy says:

    Shannon most definitely did deserve to go.

    My impression is that she doesn’t really know her own voice. She has a lot of talent, but her voice can’t really do the big ballad holleration thing she keeps trying to do. It always sounds strained and like it’s way too much for her. She should take her very nice voice and sing songs that she can be GREAT at, instead of trying to sing songs she can’t pull off.

  7. Rick says:

    I watched the show back and there is no way in hell that Shannon was the worse of the night. Yes she was bad the week before but still not the worse. Heejun sucks, he’s should be next but it will probably Erica.

  8. IdolFlash-7-9-35 says:

    I present to you an as-of-now likely scenario. How would we all feel if this happened?
    Next to go home: Heejun Han
    Eliminated after that: Deandre Brackensick
    8th place: Erika Van Pelt
    7th place: Elise Testone
    6th place: Colton Dixon
    5th place: Skylar Laine
    4th place: Joshua Ledet
    3rd place: Phillip Phillips
    Runner-up: Hollie Cavanagh
    Winner: Jessica Sanchez

    • Templar says:

      Heejun, unfortunately will not go next. My guess is that this weeks bottom 3 will be Elise, Erika and Deandre with one of the girls leaving. As for the final top 3, my guess is Phillip, Colton and Hollie with Skylar as a possible dark horse owing to the country vote. I doubt Jessica will make it beyond 5th place.

    • latinojames says:

      order of elimanations 10th erika 9th hejun 8th elise 7th jessica judges save 7th deandre 6th shocker sklar 5th joshua and it pains me to do this 4th colton jessica 3rd runner up holly winner phillip

  9. awesome says:

    I don’t think we should worry that much. I do think the girls will not be picked out one by one. Jessica and Hollie have big fanbases, as well as Skylar who’s getting the country vote. And they are really trying to avoid Jessica being “Pia’d” this season as they began depimping her. I think it’s a good thing, as it will get her to strive more for the judges’ approval. I think we will see a massive growth arc for Jessica in the coming weeks. It’s also a good thing that she doesn’t wanna be an opera singer in a talent show (just like what Jimmy Iovine told us during the results night), which means she wants to mix things up a little. I do hope at some point in the competition, she could show her being more relevant. I really think she could do well singing current songs, and I heard she can rap. I’m looking forward to that.

    With regards to Hollie, I also think she’s growing a big fanbase. With the least exposure before the semifinals (and a Disney song if you know what I mean), she easily sailed through to top 10. And she’s a great singer, and is very non-threatening unlike Pia. Also, something about her is very appealing, like you just want to root for her because of her sweet, innocent personality. And according to her Twitter, she’s doing upbeat this week.

    Skylar, on the other hand, has tons of personality (and is very likeable). The way she’s very excited for fellow contestants getting on tour during the results night is adorable. Plus, she knows who she is as an artist, has the country vote entirely for her, and she knows how to play the game. I really think she could get to Top 5.

    Unfortunately, while I’m a big fan of Elise and Erika, I think they still have small fanbases, and they really have to produce moments on the show to stay in the competition. And they also appeal to similar voting demographics. I think they’re splitting votes, and if one of them gets eliminated while the other one produces a “moment”, I really think the other one would be given a boost and could potentially stay longer in the competition. I really hope Elise could do that, much like what Haley did for herself last season. I really think they need her in the competition. I really think they need this unique voice in the competition.

    I really think Shannon deserved to go. She has massive potential, but she’s not living up to that potential. I guess it’s also because of the same old themes Idol is giving them for the past 2 weeks, which led to her picking songs too big for her range. With Erika and Elise being in the bottom 3, we should not worry much. I really think Heejun and Deandre have bigger fanbases for the meantime, but these 2 girls are much more likely to produce moments in the coming weeks so I hope they’d be able to do that. And Elise, even if she had an amazing performance, had an early performance slot which didn’t help her. And though it was amazing, I think it was forgettable. I think she will get a late performance slot this week, and will do well. Erika, on the other hand, really needs to step up a notch to avoid being eliminated because I think she will be given a middle-of0the-pack performance slot this week.

    I still think the other 3 girls (Jessica, Hollie, Skylar) are safe for the meantime and will not get eliminated soon.

    Sorry for the long post, and I do believe a girl could still win this show this season.

  10. Angela says:

    I agree that HeeJun and Deandre should’ve been in the bottom 3 instead of Elise and Erika, but I think Shannon deserved to go home. Maybe I’m missing something, but I honestly don’t see why she even got into the finals. Not only is she boring to watch and way more robotic than Pia ever was, her voice isn’t even that good. She couldn’t hit the notes and sounded screechy throughout.

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