The stunning elimination of Pia Toscano on American Idol Thursday night will no doubt go down as one of the show's most controversial in 10 seasons.
Despite her lackluster stage presence, her talent outclassed much of the field, with many predicting she would make it all the way to the May 25 finale.
No one understood why Pia was in the bottom three to begin with. As the results were revealed, the judges and her fellow hopefuls were dumbstruck.
When the show ended, no one in the studio audience moved.
In past eliminations, it's been an easy transition off the stage, but this was no ordinary elimination. Crushed, Pia buried her head in Jacob Lusk's chest.
Haley Reinhardt wiped away tears and prompted the crowd to cheer for Pia. Stefano Langone looked destroyed and guilty that he kept a spot over Pia.
Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler surrounded her to show their support, as if she'd just lost a loved one. It was that kind of shocker.
But the votes don't lie, and this wasn't the first such shocker on Idol. Still, it's gotta be top five, right? Here are four that ranked up there with it:
- Chris Daughtry. The presumptive winner of season five was ousted before Taylor Hicks (winner), Katharine McPhee AND Elliott Yamin. Wow.
- Melinda Dolittle. The veteran backup singer was on a collision course for a finale with Jordin Sparks (winner), but Blake Lewis beat her out.
- Michael Johns and Carly Smithson. They finished eighth and sixth in Season 7 (David Cook and David Archuleta finished 1-2) Far too low.
- Jennifer Hudson. The future Oscar winner finished 7th in Season 3. Fantasia (winner) has had a nice career, but finalists 2-? Unknowns.
What do you think? Was Pia Toscano the most shocking elimination of all?
Something to ponder as you watch her swan song last night, "I'll Stand By You." Some of the first words: "Why you look so sad ..."