After a record 53 million votes were cast, America has allowed Elise Testone to continue on with her "vacation" in the bottom three on "American Idol" Thursday night as Colton Dixon — a potential favorite — was voted off.
And while this may come as the second-most surprising elimination of the season, the Tennessean, who found himself in unfamiliar territory with the fewest votes, acknowledged he only had himself to blame.
"It's all good," Dixon told MTV News backstage after the show. "There is always going to be peaks and valleys, but [Wednesday] night, I should have chosen a different song to begin with. And I know that. I knew I was going to be in the bottom three because of that. I was hoping I wasn't going to leave, but stuff happens."
The Mohawked metal rocker was rolling through the competition after receiving praise for his versatility and unique twists on perfect song choices. But Wednesday night he fell flat when he chose to start off with Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance," which turned out to be more of a "Bad Rendition." Even Jimmy Iovine was confused, calling his performance somewhere between "1985 Billy Idol on MTV 'TRL' to 'Spider-Man' on Broadway" — and we kind of agreed.
As the night went on, Colton failed to redeem himself when he took to the stage a second time to perform Earth, Wind and Fire's "September." Crouched over his piano, the skinny, tight-jeans-wearing contestant took a more somber approach to one of the grooviest tunes in soul music. However, despite any further confusion caused by the arrangement, he still stands by his motto: Stay true and take chances.
"I loved 'September.' " Dixon explained. "It's been one of my favorites that I've done on the show, just because it was so different than the original. A lot of people don't like change, or so much change, you know, and I definitely changed that song and I understand the feeling that the original gave off. But um, that wasn't me and that wasn't my style. I chose that song and I ran with it and I think I did me and I loved it. So in some cases, there is a balance, but if you're feeling something, you need to run with it no matter what they are going to say. It's a risk every week. So you have to be willing to take that risk, and I did."
The risk may have caused him the competition, but the 20-year-old said he's glad he got to have one last moment to himself when it came to performing his swan song, Lifehouse's "Everything."
"I wanted to end tonight the way I started it," Colton said. "I felt like I strayed last night, and I hate that I did but I was ready to bring it back and bring my focus back. I wasn't singing for the judges. I wasn't singing for my family or anyone in the audience. I wasn't singing for anyone at all. I was singing for my Lord, the savior Jesus Christ. And we had a good time on that stage so I'm so glad I got to do that song."
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