“American Idol” Cuts Finalists to 8 in Shocking Elimination

American Idol” again showed on Thursday that it is a popularity contest rather than a talent show as Pia Toscano from Howard Beach, New York, was eliminated despite getting high marks for her version of the Ike & Tina Turner classic “River Deep-Mountain High” on Wednesday’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-themed performances.

The 22-year-old Toscano, who was considered one of the best singers in this year’s finalists, had never been part of the bottom three prior to her elimination. She was joined in the bottom three by Jacob Lusk and Stefano Langone. All three judges showed their displeasure to the way America voted this week, with Jennifer Lopez saying she was “shocked” and “angry.” “I’m shocked, I’m angry. I don’t even know what to say,” she said. Randy Jackson, on the other hand, said he was shocked to see the talented singer leave.”I’m gutted, you’re one of the best singers in this, you know what I’m saying?”

Steven Tyler, meanwhile, lashed out on voters, who he said were “wrong” in booting out Toscano. “I don’t know. America, man. You know, a mistake is one thing, but lack of passion is unforgivable. They’re wrong,” he said. “I don’t know what happened with this. She’s beautiful. When she sings, she’s a bird.”