Mandisa leaves, telling the audience, “I thank you and I bless you in the name of Jesus”

“Just under 35 million” votes were cast for American Idol 5 last night, according to Ryan Seacrest, but not enough of them went to Mandisa, who left in what may or may not have been a shocking result. DialIdol correctly predicted Paris, Elliott, and Mandisa would be in the bottom three, and the site even got the order correct.

Once considered a front-runner, Mandisa’s elimination proves that Idol “is a tough show to predict, because it depends on the audience’s willingness to pick up the phone,” MSNBC’s Craig Berman writes. Yesterday, before the results show, Nigel Lythgoe told reporters, “Every year we have a furor about something, [and] it’s going to happen tonight.”

Also surprising was Mandisa’s departing comment. She told the audience and her voters, “I thank you and I bless you in the name of Jesus.” Who knew she was ordained or capable of blessing us all?

The filler in the episode included a segment showing the contestants rehearsing with Queen, whose music they’ll perform next week. But really, isn’t having them sing Queen songs just an excuse for Ryan and Simon to say the word “queen” over and over again as they engage in more playful banter?