American Idol contestant Pia Toscano was eliminated from the competition last night, despite being heavily tipped to become this year's American Idol champion, reports ABC News.
As host Ryan Seacrest announced Toscano's name, the 'Idol' audience shouted "no!" and the judges looked stunned. Steven Tyler told the American viewers that their "lack of passion was unforgivable" while Jennifer Lopez appeared to be on the verge of tears. The 41-year-old R&B star said that she was angry and speechless and Randy Jackson echoed the comments. Despite the furore, Toscano accepted the decision but became teary when talking about how her deceased grandfather had inspired her 'final song'. The 22-year-old proceeded to sing 'Stand By You' and received a stand ovation from the live studio audience. Before her departure, the New Yorker had been compared to the likes of Whitney Houston and Celine Dion. She received unanimous praise for her rendition of Tina Turner's 'River Deep, Mountain High' on Tuesday's show and was assumed to be safe from elimination.
The shock elimination now leaves the door open for contestants such as Casey Abrams and Paul Mcdonald to take this year's American Idol crown.