American Idol 7 gets its first surprise elimination as Michael Johns goes home

Every season of American Idol needs a shocking! elimination, and last night season seven got its as Michael Johns was eliminated. It’s not the most shocking result possible, but everyone seemed surprised, including Carly Smithson and Michael himself. “I’m definitely surprised,” he said. Even Simon Cowell said, “I’m going to miss you,” and praised Michael’s singing overall.

That result apparently didn’t offer enough drama, however, so after announcing that Michael Johns received the fewest votes, Ryan Seacrest, who never misses an opportunity to be a prick, said, “Last year, during Idol Gives Back, we didn’t eliminate anybody at this stage of the competition. Tonight [dramatic pause] we’re going to say goodbye to Michael Johns.”

Michael was in the bottom three with Carly Smithson and Syesha Mercado, who TiVo predicted would go home. Seacrest, ever the crafty devil, sent everyone else to safety first, leaving the bottom three as the only three left standing backstage. He said that “over 31 million votes came in, the highest this season.”

Last night’s results show functioned as a continuation of Idol Gives Back, with recorded messages from the presidential candidates appealing for donations and a few other pre-taped celebrity appearances. “So far, we have raised over $60 million,” Seacrest said, adding that donations could still be made, perhaps because they’re not yet close to the $100 million goal.

Meanwhile, David Archuleta, who was safe, was asked by Ryan Seacrest about playing the piano during his performance on Tuesday. “It’s a pretty new thing performing in front of a lot of people with that, but I’m glad it worked out,” he said. And on Tuesday, when he performed Robbie Williams’ “Angels,” he said, “This week, I had a hard time picking an inspirational song because there were a few I was thinking about, and when I came to ‘Angels,’ something about that song was just so different from the other ones.” Little Archuleta wasn’t lying, but his wide-eyed innocence conceals the reality: As New York Magazine discovered, he’s been performing the song for years.

David Archuleta Has Been Singing ‘Angels’ Flawlessly for Years [New York Magazine]