American Idol Dishes Out a Hefty Serving of Idol Surprise

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The all-important third elimination from American Idol—important because it decides who of the remaining singers will play to half-empty arenas this summer on the Idols Live tour—provided the first true moment of surprise this season (besides the tumbling accident), when it was announced that feral contestant Casey Abrams was voted out by the American public. A wave and panic swept through the room—“Who will ruin Kurt Cobain for us now?!” a cluster of grannies from Tulsa, in town for an AARP poker tournament, tearfully shouted from the stands. As is Idol law, Casey was made to sing for his life. (Side note: This show could take a lesson from RuPaul’s Drag Race in how to set up these do-or-die moments. As it stands now, Ryan Seacrest just kind of improvises some version of, “Well, sorry about this. You know what to do,” and then slinks away to the makeup chair to have his eyebrows re-lightened.)

WELL. That’s where things got really interesting. Only a few wobbly bars into the performance, Randy Jackson calls the proceedings to a halt, saying, “I don’t think we need to see any more, do we, Steven?” What? Why?! What’s happening?! Why is Casey clutching his chest and complaining of an excruciating tearing pain in his right arm?! The guy’s been hospitalized twice since the show began—are we about to oxymoronically witness Idol's first live death?

Watch the video to find out what happens next.