There wasn't much drama on Thursday night's (March 10) "American Idol" elimination show. A number of this year's top 13 stumbled on Wednesday night, and for once, host Ryan Seacrest didn't torture the contestants by making them wait until the show's final moments to find out the bottom three.
In the end, it was curtains for wild card Ashthon Jones, who stumbled on Wednesday night with a limp cover of Diana Ross' "When You Tell Me That You Love Me."
Earlier in the night, after slogging through the Ford video and a trip to the "Red Riding Hood" premiere, Seacrest finally got to the business of building that bottom three, calling out Jacob Lusk, Stefano Langone and Karen Rodriguez to center stage. He pulled a bit of rope-a-dope by telling all three they were safe, then adding an "except," and it was Rodriguez who made season 10's first long walk to the bottom three, landing there after her messy cover of Selena's "I Could Fall in Love."
The next group featured teen Lauren Alaina, Haley Reinhart and Jones, with the latter an almost unanimous pick by our "Idol" experts to land in the bottom three. After tearfully admitting that the harsh criticism she got Wednesday night, well, "sucked," Alaina was waved over to safety. In a shock, though, Seacrest then announced that after 30 million votes, both Jones and Reinhart were in the bottom three as well, ending the suspense early.
Jones sang for her life one more time near show's end, but her thin, reedy vocals were not much better than the night before, despite her clear attempt to go out with a bang. Ash broke down in tears, the judges deliberated, but it was a no-go. "Not this time, baby, I'm sorry," Jennifer Lopez said after a long exhale, revealing that it was a unanimous no. Jones' trip to "Idol" ended with a montage keyed to this year's goodbye song, former "Idol" champ David Cook's cover of Simple Minds' "Don't You Forget About Me."
The only real drama in the show was that for the second time this season, bearded hunk of love Casey Abrams was in the hospital on Thursday night, reportedly due to stress-induced stomach problems. He made a similar trip for treatment more than a week ago. At press time a spokesperson for "Idol" said there was no additional information available about Abrams' condition.
Though it wasn't pulled out Thursday night, Seacrest announced that the show will once again give the judges a single save this season, which they must use before the top five. Viewers also got a look at the gigantic Beverly Hills mansion the contestants will be living in this year, complete with a star-worthy swimming pool, grand piano, Ford car-shaped pool table and a kitchen that's bigger than most New York apartments.
Looking remarkably tame in a T-shirt, jeans and a black jacket, former "Idol" runner-up Adam Lambert dropped in for an acoustic run through his single "Aftermath," which mixed his signature power high notes with some nuanced balladeering. Proceeds of the sales of a dance-remix version of the single will go to the anti-bullying Trevor Project. Also dropping in was Diddy-Dirty Money to perform "Coming Home," complete with a dramatic piano assist from Skylar Grey.
The top 12 will do it all again next week. Check out the Newsroom blog on Friday to see how our "Idol" experts did on their predictions.
Don't miss "Idol Party Live" every Thursday on MTV.com, following the "American Idol" results show, for analysis, celebrity guests and even some karaoke — get in the conversation by tweeting with the hashtag #idolparty! In the meantime, get your "Idol" fix on MTV News' "American Idol" page, where you'll find all the latest news, interviews and opinions.