It was the elimination no one saw coming.
Despite being one of the judges' favorite contestants, New York songbird Pia Toscano, 22, was voted off American Idol on Thursday; she had never appeared in the bottom three prior to Thursday's elimination.
Judge Jennifer Lopez fought back tears after host Ryan Seacrest, 36, made the shocking announcement.
Randy Jackson, 54, was equally stunned. "I'm gutted. You were one of the best singers in this," he said. "I'm never upset on this show and never mad, but this makes me mad."
Toscano — who Lopez once deemed "out of this world" — closed the show with a performance of "I'll Stand By You," which earned her a standing ovation. After the song, she broke down in tears as her fellow contestants rallied around her.
Joining Toscano in the bottom three were Stefano Langone, 21, and Jacob Lusk, 23.
Tell Us: Were you shocked by Pia Toscano's elimination?
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