American Idol 2011: Top 4 results show recap – James Durbin exit a shocker

America was shocked Thursday night when “American Idol” favorite James Durbin did not make the coveted Top 3. Most fans expected one of the remaining female contestants to go but for the first time since Season 6, there are two girls in the Top 3.

So your Top 3 is Lauren Alaina, Haley Reinhart and Scotty McCreery.

I was a bit shocked that James was eliminated. I was pretty sure it would be Lauren, but I never really thought it would be Haley. Speaking of Haley, this couldn’t have played out any better for her. Had Lauren gone home, she’d never have made it into the Top 2. But since James was sent packing, she’s almost certainly going to make the Top 2.

Here’s why: Next week Scotty and Lauren will probably split the country vote and Haley will get all the votes from the voters who aren’t country fans (if for no other reason than they have no other options), propelling her into the finale. It’s a pretty simple thought. Who of the country teens will join her? Scotty. A Haley vs. Scotty finale. Who would’ve thought. That just sounds so weird.

I had grown to like James, but it’s not the end for him. Remember, as Ryan Seacrest pointed out, Chris Daughtry went home in fourth place as well. And he’s been a huge success.

Earlier in the episode the guys opened the show with a lackluster country duet. I  did enjoy watching their interaction with the crowd, but I didn’t like the song or their version of it. The girls were much better with their “Gunpowder and Lace” duet. I found it hilarious that Haley had to sing all the “risque” lyrics.

Ryan then reveals the Top 3 stools and pretty quickly sends Lauren to safety first. At that moment, I knew James was done. That’s followed by a canned performance by Lady Gaga and a terrible performance by Enrique Iglesias.

Then we get Season 6 winner Jordin Sparks back on the Idol stage. At some point between her season and now, she transformed into a bad Beyonce impersonator. Then we get judge Steven Tyler’s new solo video. And I only have three words to say about that: stick with Aerosmith.

It’s time again for results. Ryan mentions that most of the talk this season has been about the guys, yet two of the Top 3 are girls, meaning Haley is safe. The shock on Scotty’s and James’ faces spoke volumes to me. They acted as if they were completely untouchable. I’ve never seen such an obvious display of crushed cockiness. Their reactions kind of left a bad taste in my mouth.

Then Ryan reveals that Scotty gets the final spot in the Top 3. And please take note that not one time did Ryan say the guys were the Bottom 2, so don’t presume Scotty had fewer votes than the girls.

I’m not even going to get into my thoughts on James’ reaction and statement, because I don’t want death threats. Let’s just leave it at this: I liked James’ performances and he is going to be fine. His fans will be fine when he puts out his album. Just be sure to be there to support him.

What are your thoughts on the shocking elimination?