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Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 04/08/2011

‘American Idol’ 2011: Pia Toscano sent home


Ryan Seacrest bids farewell to Pia Toscano. (Michael Becker - Fox)
Show host Ryan Seacrest gives us the “another shocking results show” alert. It will only be shocking if a guy goes home, because we’re now down to three chicks and six guys, and well down the path to another moderately talented guy winner.

This is not just rock week on “Idol” – it’s Help an Idolette Week and, to that end, the producers have trotted out “charisma coach” Russell Brand, who has a movie or two to plug, we think. You can see it on his face, as he makes his entrance: he thinks that just the sight of him is screamingly funny. He kicks things off by calling Casey Abrams an “incredible hairball of wonder” adding, “I’m very happy that you’re here, and that you stopped shaking.”

Later, when Brand and a couple of the Idolettes are sitting in the judges’ chairs, pretending to be Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, and Steven Tyler, Russell instructs gorgeous Idolette Pia Toscano to imagine him and the other two faux judges with their pants and their underwear off. Pia is extremely uncomfortable. Brand’s a total fail.

Seacrest brings Stefano Langone, Lauren Alaina, and Casey to center stage. Seacrest tells Casey that first season winner Kelly Clarkson has tweeted she has a crush on him and prods Casey to respond, only Casey says he’s gong to keep it to himself. Good for him.

Lauren is safe. Casey is safe. Stefano is in the Bottom 3 – again.

Constantine Maroulis appears, to sing the hit song “Unchained Melody” from his latest, uh, single, also titled “Unchained Melody” – priced at $1.29 on iTunes so it must be good. Constantine is singing like someone who placed sixth in season 4 of “American Idol.” We’re gonna wait till that single hits 99 cents.

Then, Gwen Stefani, who dressed the Idolette chicks this week from her L.A.M.B. clothing line, returns for a taped bit in which we see how Lauren and Pia wound up in those ridiculous outfits Wednesday night (Haley Reinhart looked fine). “That’s totally something I would wear, for real,” Stefani assures one of them when they come out of the dressing room looking like Gwen Stefani’s fashion-challenged sister.

Seacrest calls Paul McDonald, Pia, and Scotty McCreery to the center of the stage. Paul and Scotty are safe; Pia’s in the Bottom 3 for the very first time. Poor Pia, finally gave in to the judges’ demand she do an uptempo tune this week, and look where it got her. The judges are stunned; it was only last night, after her performance, that Tyler had been talking about the million guys in a million bars who were tossing back a million drinks while dreaming about her..

And, because it’s Help an Idolette Week, the producers sent them to TMZ headquarters “for a massive course in media training,” Seacrest says. Some hero in the studio audience boos TMZ loudly.

In a taped bit, the Idolettes do just fine for themselves while the seasoned media professionals at TMZ come off like the loser table in the school cafeteria. One fool, who apparently doesn’t watch “Idol” and therefore does not realize James Durbin is a Legend in His Own Mind, goes after James about having gotten so excited on national TV when Hulk Hogan visited on “Idol” results night.

“You looked like a teeny bopper seeing Justin Bieber for the first time,” the TMZ staffer sneers.

“Look at you -- you’re on camera!” James snaps back at the guy, who, to be fair, doesn’t look that bad -- nothing a good dip in lye wouldn’t fix, anyway.

“Look at you!” Needs to Be Dipped in Lye Guy responds, weakly, then adds the rejoinder that James looks like a musician in the band Staind -- no doubt a major comeback line in his social set.

“At least I’m in something,” James responds coolly.

Some TMZ chick, who won’t make eye contact, gives some roundabout knock on Pia – seems there’s a baby bib being sold with Pia’s name on it, so she needs a lawyer. Turns out Eye Avoidance Chick can manage up with the best of them, because this is just a wind-up for Levin to note – one more time – that he is, in fact, a lawyer. Awesome example of media training, Eye Avoidance Chick!

Another TMZ chick reminds Haley of that time she sang with the microphone so close to her mouth she got lipstick on the microphone and then on her face, which Seacrest helped her wipe off. This, TMZ chick advised, could lead to a lipstick endorsement deal.

“You’re just going to have to fight Ryan for it,” a TMZ guy snarks. A homophobic gag – more useful media training!

Back to results:

James, Haley, and Jacob Lusk are brought to center stage. James is safe. Ditto Haley; Jacob is a member of this week’s Bottom 3. The judges are stunned again.

As if the producers didn’t scare the Idolettes enough with Russell Brand and those cool kids at TMZ, now they’ve exhumed Iggy Pop who, in his 60’s, has become Gollum from “Lord of the Rings.” Iggy writhes and prances around the stage, with his shirt off, singing “Real Wild Child” and leering at JLo. Rock on, Gollum! And when this is over, let’s put him in a Plexiglas case and mount him for display at that Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland!

Time to whack an Idolette:

Seacrest reminds Jacob he said Wednesday if he wound up in the Bottom 3 it would not be because of his performance of Michael Jackson tune “Man in the Mirror” – it would be because America was afraid to look at itself in the mirror. Jacob looks too distraught to make a snappy comeback.

Jacob, Seacrest says, “is leaving us…and going to safety on the couches.”

That leaves Pia and Stefano. While Seacrest draws out the suspense, Stefano is nodding his head to show he’s ready for the inevitable. Then, Stefano’s eyes pop open in surprise, as Seacrest announces that Pia is out.

JLo says she’s shocked and angry. Randy says he’s mad. Do they not watch this show? Here’s how it works: they start off the season with the same number of chicks and guys. The chicks get eliminated and then the safest, cutest, most pet-able guy is named American Idol, and the tweener girls and the middle aged women who voted him there, all celebrate and do not buy his music.

And somewhere, as Tyler would say if he were awake, a million guys in a million bars are spitting out their drinks. If only they’d been sober enough last night to text, instead of leaving it to a million pre-teen girls and their mothers.

Join Lisa’s live TV chat at 1 p.m. to talk about “Idol” and more.

Photos: ‘American Idol’ Season 10

By  |  06:00 AM ET, 04/08/2011

 
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