Lilly Scott, Alex Lambert, Katelyn Epperly, Todrick Hall out of a weak top 12

American Idol 9 has its top 12, and “top” might not be the best word to use. From the big shocker at the end when Lilly Scott was eliminated instead of Paige Miles, while Tim Urban and Aaron Kelly stuck around but Alex Lambert did not. Also out: Katelyn Epperly and Todrick Hall, who were less-surprising eliminations.

As if to remind us what having sucky singers in the top 12 is like, Scott MacIntyre showed up (remember when he begged Simon to stay?); he sang with Matt Giraud. Longtime Idol fan and observer MJ Santilli tweeted “This is the most disappointed I’ve ever been after a Top 12 reveal,” and “Worst. Top 12. Ever.”

It’s hard to disagree, though this group was weak enough to make the top 12 weak. The top 12 who will be performing from the Rolling Stones’ catalog next week are Didi Benami, Crystal Bowersox, Lacey Brown, Lee Dewyze, Andrew Garcia, Casey James, Aaron Kelly, Michael Lynche, Paige Miles, Siobhan Magnus, Katie Stevens, and Tim Urban.

Sad Alex Lambert, who actually had a strong voice and seemed to be growing into a chance at getting better, was sent home, and showed the most emotion he has all season–it was so emotional, that when the show came back from the break, he was still standing awkwardly on the stage, his face red and tear-streaked, and Seacrest could only explain, “didn’t want to break up that emotion.”

Meanwhile, lyric-changing Tim Urban, who didn’t even make it into the top 24, seemed shocked that he’d made it into the finals. And Aaron Kelly told Ryan Seacrest, “I’m definitely going to bring more confidence,” though he said that while looking like he was literally crapping his pants waiting to see if he’d made it into the top 12. Let’s see if he makes it into the top 11.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.