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Top 12 ‘Idol’ Results: Fergie Shocks, Karen Rodriguez Doesn’t

Lyndsey Parker
Reality Rocks

Much like last week's saw-it-coming elimination of Wild Card also-ran Ashthon Jones, Thursday's "American Idol" result was no surprise, with the bottom three being Ashthon's fellow Wild Card pick Naima Adedapo and last week's bottom-three survivors, Karen Rodriguez and Haley Reinhart--just as I (gloating alert!) predicted. Actually, the entire world predicted it. Not even Haley seemed stunned; in fact, she was practically sashaying away to those bottom-three stools, as if by force of habit, before Ryan Seacrest even read her name.

But, as it turned out, it was not Haley's time to go. (I assume that'll be next week.) Instead of Haley, who I (non-gloating alert) predicted would ultimately be this week's reject, it was Karen who received the fewest votes. Then, proving once again that Judges' Save gimmick is cruel and unnecessary, she sang one last time in vein (and by that, I mean, her neck veins were bulging in desperation), while the judges fake-debated over her fate. Then Karen even resorted to begging for another chance.

"I know I can do so much better! I know you guys believe in me!" she pleaded. Ugh. It almost hurt to watch. Why does "Idol" make these poor kids jump through hoops like this? Supposedly the judges' eventual decision was NOT unanimous--REALLY? Did J.Lo actually want to rescue Karen?--but in the end the panel was unmoved by Karen's mix of English, Spanish, and occasional pitchy notes. And she was exiting stage left, in yet another Season 10 non-shocker.

Really, the most shocking thing about this episode was Fergie's face. During the latest TV performance by the World's Most Over-Exposed Band, the Black Eyed Peas, Fergie looking very, um, different. That's the only word I can come up with to describe the woman with the unrecognizable face but recognizable Fergalicious voice who was singing next to will.i.am on the "Idol" stage. She didn't look BAD, just DIFFERENT--almost like her "Stacy Ferguson" days in the '90s girl group Wild Orchid--so much that Twitter immediately exploded with pregnancy and plastic surgery rumors and questions about the "guest star" filling for the presumed-absent Fergie. It was just...weird.

Actually, in the end Thursday's show could've been about five minutes long and just as exciting, but there were the usual attempts to build the "suspense" over the course of an hour, with plenty of non-Black Eyed Peas filler material to drag out the proceedings. Such as...

--An even-cheesier-than-usual group performance of Steppenwolf's "Born To Be Wild"/Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" that made me think I'd accidentally tuned in to the Fox on the wrong night and I was watching "Glee"...

--A surprise under-the-audience-seat distribution of the new anniversary "Idol" CD compilation that wasn't quite as exciting as Oprah's prize giveaways...

--A new Ford music video, in which James Durbin was unfortunately cast as a horror-movie serial killer, that was even more unfortunately soundtracked by a sing-songy top 12 cover of Bowling For Soup's "Val Kilmer" (but unfortunately featured no hoped-for Val Kilmer cameo)...

--Ryan asking, in the same way a child asks Mommy why the sky is blue, "What is the key to overcoming pitch problems?," to which Randy "Captain Obvious" Jackson answered, "You need to know what the note is before you can sing it" (thanks for clearing that up, dawg)...

And then there was returning Season 9 champion Lee DeWyze, performing live and probably harshing all the safe contestants' happy mood. Yes, to be fair, Lee gave a decent performance of his new single, "Beautiful Like You" (though his froggy-throated delivery sounded like he'd caught Paul McDonald and Lauren Alaina's cold), but considering how he hasn't exactly set the world, or the charts, on fire since he won last year, it was a little awkward when Ryan forced the contestants to listen to Lee's supposedly sage career advice--which was something useless and rehearsed along the lines of "just have fun." His very presence must have been a bit of buzzkill for the remaining top 11--how are they supposed to have "fun" when they're worrying that one of them might soon usurp Lee's title of Lowest-Selling Idol Winner Ever? But hey, maybe this was just the grounding dose of reality they all needed. Because after "Idol," nothing is guaranteed.

I mean, in a world where Fergie can shapeshift into an entirely new person in just the month and a half since the Super Bowl, what can we count on, right?

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