Many American Idol fans were stunned when Casey Abrams was pegged for elimination early in the show. Others were shocked when Pia Toscano was sent home to a 9th place finish. But this week represents arguably the biggest surprise yet. Despite being the most consistent performer on the show, James Durbin was eliminated.

The news brought tears to everyone’s eyes, including the judges and many other Americans. Durbin had a touching story, having been selected for American Idol while being an unemployed 22-year old father with Tourette syndrome and Asperger syndrome. The Santa Cruz resident was essentially unable to support his fiancee and child until he started dazzling audiences nationwide. On our podcast earlier this week, our Andrew Payne said Durbin was the most consistent performer had ever seen. In his show recap, Noah Duman said that Durbin was “save for sure” after singing “Don’t Stop Believin'” and Lady Gaga-coached “Love Potion Number 9”. It’s unclear why Durbin was eliminated, but perhaps his fans got a little complacent after the judges consistently showered him with the same praise. He can take solace in knowing that he was ousted in the same week as Chris Daughtry.

The result leaves a Top-3 that includes Lauren Alaina, Scotty McCreery, and Haley Reinhart. And after five consecutive women were eliminated to start the show, now five consecutive men have gone home. Who will win the overall title? We shall see.