So what happened Thursday night on American Idol? Each week the lowest vote-earner is eliminated and most of the time it’s an easy guess of who will at least be in the Bottom 3, but when a seemingly front-runner is sent packing we end up with a lot of questions. More than six thousand comments since makes that very clear.

Since the Top 13 singers were revealed we’ve watch Pia end up in the Top 3 of our “Best Performance” poll each week. Top 13: first place. Top 12: second place. Top 11: third place. Top 11 Round 2: second place. Top 9: second place. Sure, our polls are definitely not official, but with forty to fifty thousand votes each week they offer a pretty solid sampling. How does second place manage to fall to ninth place?

Pia Toscano ending up in the Bottom 3 was surprising enough on its own, but when it happened I imagine most viewers never strongly considered what would happen next. Was her performance that bad? I certainly didn’t think so. So what happened? Where did her votes go? This could have been another case of viewers thinking, “Pia is surely safe, but Singer X isn’t so I better vote for Singer X tonight and someone else will cover Pia.” It’s almost like Chris Daughtry all over.

Looking back over the recent seasons you’ll notice there’s been a streak of male winners with four of the last five. Could the competition be biased toward the men? American Idol judge Steven Tyler definitely thinks so as he told reporters:

“Guys aren’t voting and girls are jealous.”

It’s certainly possible. Maybe Pia should have dressed more like Thursday night sooner to garner a few more of the male votes! But are girls really jealous, or just more enamored with the boys as Branden noted yesterday? I’d go with Branden on this one. Tweeny-boppers love them some crooning guys, but who that is this season is a mystery of its own.

A bigger question remains. Would Pia Toscano have won American Idol had she not been eliminated this week? For the past few weeks I had been expecting a Pia and Scotty McCreery finale showdown, but I didn’t honestly think Pia could have taken out Scotty in the final step. Executive Producer Nigel Lythgoe agrees that this wasn’t Pia’s season for the taking:

“I know the [voting] results, so I know she was never a frontrunner,” revealed Nigel, adding: “The fact of the matter is, it appears that Pia didn’t connect with the audience the way we maybe think she did.”

Sure, she might not have won this season but I’d take her performance over Growly McHaley any Wednesday night. Ah well, not much we can do about it at this point, so please stop calling and emailing me telling us to put her back on the show. This is a fan site! If we had control over who was on the show I’d make myself the new host. Nothing personal, Ryan, but it looks like a pretty sweet gig.

Go ahead and take your final shot at the injustices of the American Idol voting world in the comments below, but then get ready because the show goes on and soon we’ll have the Top 8 singing for us. Are you ready to let go?

Update: Lots of rumors running that Pia Toscano has a record deal, but according to E! Online it hasn’t happened just yet:

Toscano’s rep tells us that chatter about a done deal is “all rumor,” but E! News has learned that while a record contract hasn’t been signed just yet, Interscope does want to produce a single with Toscano and release it while American Idol is still on.

19 Management has yet to approve this, however.

Once 19 Management figures out their marketing plan for Toscano, though, Interscope Records exec Jimmy Iovine wants to get her in the studio to record a single asap, according to an Idol insider.

I don’t believe this is a case of manipulation by the producers to get Pia out of the contest and in to the studio before the show was over. Rather I think Jimmy Iovine is wisely striking while the iron is hot and taking advantage of the opportunity. Best of luck to Pia. Would you buy a rushed Pia Toscano album?

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Photo credit: FOX


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