American Idol

Even a new look and good performance couldn't save Erika on 'Idol'

March 22, 2012 at 10:41 PM ET

Michael Becker / Fox
AMERICAN IDOL: Erika Van Pelt performs in front of the Judges on AMERICAN IDOL airing Wednesday, March 21 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. CR: Michael Becker / FOX.

Maybe promoting Erika Van Pelt's extreme makeover wasn’t such a great idea for the "American Idol" hopeful Wednesday.

Sporting her new Kris Jenner-Kardashian hairdo and receiving some newfound praise from the judges still couldn’t get Van Pelt a trip to the “Idol” mansion. She was voted off the show Thursday night, finishing in 10th place.

Her elimination wasn’t a surprise. Van Pelt had been among the lowest vote-getters every week, and it wasn’t because of her looks. In fact, the new image might have hurt, since there was so much focus on the drastic hairstyle change instead of how she sang. She was nothing but fun to the end, however, running back to her old seat to get a pair of tiny maracas so at least she could party a little bit while awaiting her fate.

Also having a rough night was Heejun Han. He was in the bottom three, heard Steven Tyler’s snarky feedback get replayed again and had Jimmy Iovine say, “I think [Steven] felt that Heejun came and disrespected the entire process,” and later compared his performance to an Adam Sandler direct-to-video production.  It’s safe to say that Han can’t count on an Interscope recording contract if he doesn’t win this.

Then J.Lo told Han, "I think you are a star. I don't think you should sell yourself short, ever." And I'm sure he'd rather have her in his corner than any of the guys. But it looks like both Jimmy and Steven are ready to see him go.

Also in the bottom three was DeAndre Brackensick. His “Only the Good Die Young” was the worst of the night Wednesday, but not bad enough to drop below Van Pelt’s smaller fanbase.

Who's your pick to win the crown this year?

Notice whose name wasn’t mentioned? That’s right, Elise Testone. For the first time all season, she managed to survive a week without having to sit on the danger stools. She fully expected to be there again after being called upwith Skylar Laine and Hollie Cavanagh. Instead, host Ryan Seacrest first sent Laine and Canavagh back to safety, and then gave Testone the surprising news that at least for this week, she could relax as well.

Haley Reinhartwas one of the guest performers (along with Lana Del Rey), and could serve as an inspiration to Testone. A year ago, Reinhart was in the bottom three in each of the first two weeks of the finals, but then found her niche, got a solid fan club going and wound up finishing third. It can be done.

Whether or not Testone can do it, we’ll see. But Jimmy noted that when Testone sang, “I got goosies. I don't really know what goosies are. But I felt something." (Please, for the love of all things sacred Jimmy, don’t encourage J.Lo to use the "G" word more often.)

Another surprise was that Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry came onstage to play a little "Happy Birthday" for Steven. He then sat with the judges for awhile, but sadly did not elbow them aside to offer his own commentary. The afterparty, however, must have been awesome.

The remaining nine singers now move into some sweet new digs in Hollywood Hills. Sadly for Van Pelt, she’ll just have to hear about the luxurious lifestyle when she catches up with everyone again for the summer tour prep.

Do you think the right person went home? Do you agree that Heejun "disrespected the entire process"? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page!

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