Judges apologize to Katharine and Kellie Pickler says goodbye

Although a record number of votes were cast last night–“over 47 and a half million … the highest non-finale vote since Idol began,” Ryan Seacrest said–not enough went to Kellie Pickler, who went home. She was joined in the bottom two by Paris Bennett; it was the first time at the bottom for both.

Chris and Katharine were the top two, the first time the show has ever announced who came out on top. Katharine’s position was good news for the judges, who felt the need to apologize to her. Ryan Seacrest (bizarrely) told Simon Cowell that there were “lots of calls to FOX last night about the judges, specifically about you. Some of the viewers saying that you were a b it unfair last night. How do you respond?”

Well, here’s how I respond: They called about Simon, and not the freak show sitting to his right? Please. And who are these people who called, and why are they allowed to have telephones?

In any case, Simon replied, “I think I was unfair to one person last night. And I want to apologize, because I don’t think this person got the right appraisal. And that person is Katharine.” He explained that “it sounds different when you watch it back, you know, and I’ve watched it back and I thought we were unfair, you know. It was a good performance.” Ryan Seacrest called that “a very classy move.”

In other results show filler, Simon Cowell asked Ryan and Paula, “Are you two talking yet, by the way?” referring to the nonexistent feud between the two. They confirmed that they were, and America was able to go to sleep without worry.