Michael Johns Ousted From ‘Idol’

In a season seven shocker, 29-year-old Aussie blues boy Michael Johns got the ax, to the bewilderment of fellow bottom-three singers Syesha Mercado and Carly Smithson and boos from the star-studded audience.

Though Johns’ critiques by judges Simon, Randy and Paula had been consistently strong through the weeks, Ryan Seacrest pulled the ultimate psych-out his delivery of Johns’ ousting: ”Last year during Idol Gives Back, we didn’t eliminate anybody at this stage of the competition. [Interminable Seacrest-esque pause.] Syesha, Carly … you are safe.”

The show received more than 31 million votes, the season’s highest, and the L.A. Times is just one of many arguing that Johns didn’t score because he was too good. He didn’t need America’s help.

No doubt the folks at TiVo were left scratching their heads, too, as they had picked the loser correctly the past four weeks. Based on the number of fast-forwards during Syesha’s most recent performance, the company predicted she was outta there.

Johns exited Idol with his encore of Aerosmith’s “Dream On.” In his words, “If there’s a song to go out on, that’s not a bad one.”