Well, that was gut wrenching, wasn’t it? This evening we witnessed the first of many cruel elimination shows, when one contestant’s dreams are cruelly dashed before our eyes. This week, the bell tolled for Ashthon.

But first, naturally, there’s a whole 60 minute show to fill up! Since these elimination shows have essentially only like 5 minutes of actual important information to them, that means there’s a lot of air that needs to be filled with random crap!

We start the show with a weird Michael Jackson montage of “Wanna Be Startin Somethin,” “Rock With You,” “Black or White,” and “Man in the Mirror” that was overall pretty average, except for Jacob Lusk’s FAB-U-LUSS performance. Seriously, dude was practically on fire, sashaying all over the stage and waving his hands in the air. It was also fun to see how awkward and out of his element Scotty was singing a non-country song. Also, Casey was absent, because apparently he’s in the hospital with some sort of flesh-eating bacteria or something. Eek!

So anyway, that happened, and then we get to see a montage of how ridiculously huge and amazing the Idol mansion is. Lots of shots of the contestants screaming and running around the grounds and talking about how they “never in a million years would have dreamed…” yadda yadda yadda. I have to admit though, it was pretty sweet. Enjoy it while you can, kids! Only one of you will get the prize!

Next up, more filler! We’re treated to a Ford “Music Video” that’s essentially a commercial for the new Focus, and then a montage of the contestants paying a visit to the “Red Riding Hood” premiere and gushing about how much they loved the movie in a totally not coached or contrived way. Not at ALL. Yay product placement!

So after that’s over, it’s FINALLY time to start announcing the bottom three. First up, Jacob, Stefano, and Karen are called up. All three of them didn’t do their best this week, so I honestly wasn’t sure who was safe and who wasn’t. Well, ok, I was pretty sure that Jacob was in the clear, and I was right. He will live to sing another day, as will Stefano. Karen, however, is not so lucky. America collectively was not too keen on her botched Selena performance, and she’s in the bottom three.

While Karen stews in the hot seat, it’s time for a performance from the shrieking sheik himself, Adam Lambert! He sings a pared-down version of his song “Aftermath” that lyrically is about at the level of the poems you’d find in my high school’s literary magazine. Hey, at least the song’s for charity though. Specifically, The Trevor Project, which is a great organization. So, kudos to you, Mr. Lambert!

Next, it’s time for more results. This time Lauren, Ashthon, and Haley are called up. While all of them kind of screwed up this week, Lauren is the only one who managed to squeak by and make it to next week. Haley and Ashthon, however, are in the bottom three. This makes Karen, Ashthon, and Haley the ones up for elimination. I have to say, I’m impressed by how spot-on America was this week! Those were the three who I thought did the worst this week, and I’m surprised that the votes panned out that way as well.

So, now it’s time for the results…but first! Another performance! This time, from Diddy Dirty Money, performing “Coming Home.” Ok, am I the only one who thought the whole thing was kind of weird? Like, Diddy came out in a weird futuristic priest outfit and rapped about how he hates songs and how he doesn’t want to set a bad example for his kids while a PowerPoint of his family photos flashed in the background and a bunch of ladies ululated in the shadows. I just don’t get it, ya know?

Anyway, the weird Diddy performance art ends, and its time for the moment they’ve been drawing out for the whole hour! First, it’s announced that Karen is safe, which I for one am MAJORLY happy about. Yeah, sure, she screwed up royally with that Selena song, but overall I think she’s uber talented, and just seems like a really nice person. So yeah, glad she’s safe. Also safe, is Haley, which I also begrudgingly agree with. I mean, yeah, I really don’t dig her screechy raspy thing, but when you come down to it, she did a better job than Ashthon, and deserves to make it through.

So, that leaves Ashthon as the one up for elimination. She gives a last ditch effort to win a save from the judges, performing another Diana Ross song. However, it’s not enough to save her, and she’s sent home, but not without Jennifer shedding a few tears on her behalf. Sometimes I worry whether Ms. Lopez has the stomach for this show! Maybe she just doesn’t have her sea legs yet.

So yeah, Ashthon is officially the first finalist sent back from whence she came, which I think was a fair choice. Sure, there’s people who I like less on a personal level, but Ashthon really was one of the worst this week, and she’s consistently underperformed in comparison with her competitors. So yeah, twas her time I suppose. I’m also glad I never have to type out her name again. Seriously, the spelling is ridiculous. WHY ARE THERE SO MANY EXTRA “H”-ES IN YOUR NAME?!

Anyway, what did y’all think? Fair choice? Should Haley or Karen have been sent home instead? Someone else? What say ye?!