Brooke and Jason can rest easy as the talented Carly is sacrificed to the gods of reality television, much to the shock of "American Idol" fans everywhere.

Erin: Color me shocked. The talented Carly leaves us and I’m sad, but not devastated like when Michael left. All and all, she took the news like a champ and I’m looking forward to her Apple.com release of power ballads due out in about two years.

Kathy: I can normally gauge the outrage level of America by the number of emails I get from friends and family at 10:01 p.m. on Wednesday night. (Unfortunately I sometimes don’t watch til later so some of those loved ones are ruining the show for me but, oh well.) Anyway, last night several in my circle were quite upset so I’m predicting Amercia at large isn’t going to be happy with this decision. My mom says she’s never watching again. Oh Mom, I’ve said that before. But just when you think you’re out, they pull you back in.

What a long, strange season it’s been. I haven’t had a consistent favorite at all. In every other season I have picked my contestant (or two) early on and never wavered:
Season 1: Kelly and Tamyra
Season 2: Kimberley
Season 3: Fantasia
Season 4: Carrie
Season 5: Kellie and Daughtry
Season 6: Doolittle.

This season they’ve all had their moment in the sun with me but I haven’t been loyal to any of them. In the early rounds I liked Kristy; later I hated her. David A. had me at “Imagine,” then lost me. Brooke was my Top 12 girl; now, but one too many screwups killed that. Michael was probably my most consistent fave but Jason, Carly, Amanda, Syesha and Ramiele also had ever-so-brief moments in the sun. And now I’m in David C.’s camp. So, while I’m sorry that Carly went a couple of weeks too soon, I’m not really sad.

Erin: I’m starting to notice a pattern here. One week, America gets lazy with the texts, and we lose a superstar. This sobers up the viewing audience to the realities of talent-based competition shows, thus redeemed themselves the next week by kicking off a contestant that deserves it. Check it out:
March 12: David Hernandez — Talented. Didn’t really deserve to go at this point.
March 19: Amanda Overmyer — I loved her, but she was a one-trick pony. I miss her still, but it was fair.
March 26: Chikezie Eze — Didn’t deserve to go quite yet.
April 2: Ramiele Malubay — Her reign of terror and boredom comes to an end
April 10: Michael Johns — UNFAIR! BOO! HISS! HISS!
April 16: Kristy Lee Cook — Proof in a higher power… a higher power that watches reality television.
April 23: Carly Smithson — Totally unwarranted. Especially since she rocked out.

See? So, stay strong America. If voters keep with this pattern, things should correct themselves next week.

Kathy: Following Erin’s handy dandy formula, I believe I can safely predict how the rest of the season will go. See, Mom, you don’t have to watch after all.
April 30: Jason finally makes his overdue exit
May 7: Syesha leaves a week too early, leaving Brooke and the Davids
May 14: Brooke leaves us a few weeks too late
Finale: David A. is crowned when it really should be David C.

Oh, lord, let me be wrong.

Erin: Andrew LW chatted with Ryan a bit about the contestants, where he said (and this is a direct quote): “Jason really, really sucks. He won’t listen to me and I hate his hair. I don’t understand how he got this far. I’m very confused about the boy and I need an explanation as to why he is still here.”

Ok, that’s paraphrasing. But honestly, it’s not that far from the truth.

Kathy: I rewound and watched that part twice, I enjoyed it so much.

Also, Simon’s protégé Leona Lewis has left me with that silly “Bleeding Love” song playing on a continuous loop in my head. Thanks.

Erin: “Idol” also wanted to remind the hopefuls that there is life after reality TV on Broadway. We get a heads up on Tamyra Gray and Clay Aiken in their post-TV careers as performers in “Rent” and “Spamalot,” respectively. This is to reassure “Idols” that not all paths lead to the TV Guide channel, reunion shows and tabloid magazines where you talk about your illicit affair with Paula Abdul.

Kathy: Don’t forget the other Great White Way careers carved out by “Idol” contestants: Fantasia and LaKisha (“Color Purple”); Diana DeGarmo (“Hairspray”); Frenchie (“Rent”). Even Constantine was on Broadway briefly.

Erin: Alas, I wish you well, dear Carly. I hope you are scheduled to go on stage after Kristy on the “Idol” tours so that I can miss her completely. But hey, I hope this tidbit cheers you up: You placed exactly the same as Kellie Pickler and Jasmine Trias, both of whom are doing fantastic right now. So, buck up little camper. We’ll climb that hill together.

Kathy: Note to future idol wannabes. Teen girls won’t text for you if you have tattoos. Or an accent.

Next week: Neil Diamond

American Idol: Irish eyes aren't smiling

Fox; Wed.; 9 pm

Crew

RUNNING TIME: 1 HOUR
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