American Idol Serves Up Elimination Night Surprises (Updated)

“American Idol” served up some surprises on Thursday when one of the show’s favorites landed in the Bottom 2, and a blast from the past made an appearance.

(SPOILER ALERT! This story contains the results of the “Idol” elimination show.)

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It was not the exit of country crooner Janelle Arthur, who was set free after the judges were split down the middle – two for, two against – over whether to use their save, that was the surprise, but rather Kree Harrison’s first time in the Bottom 2.

Janelle had landed in the Bottom 2 before (on April 4, alongside Burnell Taylor), but Kree’s entrance into that group was a surprise. Just last week, the brunette with the powerful country voice was in the Top 2.

The other big surprise of the night was the return of former “Idol” judge Paula Abdul.

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Paula came by to compliment Candice Glover, who, the evening before, performed her classic, “Straight Up.”

Her introduction – from Randy Jackson and show host Ryan Seacrest — kept the humorous tone the original “Idol” cast always had with Paula.

“Dude. I Tweeted her [about Candice’s performance]. I tried to contact her on Facebook. I [called] every number I had. I’m like, ‘Paula you can’t diss the dog!’ I [haven’t] even heard from her at all,” Randy said, fully aware the audience was about to get a surprise.

“She forgot about us already,” Ryan said as part of the act.

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When Paula finally hit the stage, she had major praise for Candice.

“I’ve been watching this remarkable young lady captivate the audience, week after week and I gotta tell you, Candice, I was really moved that you shared your beautiful vocals on a song that’s been a best friend to me,” Paula said. “I’ve been a big fan, and I gotta tell you I’m the biggest fan ever right now. Thank you.”

Paula then – at the urging of Ryan – took a brief seat at the judges’ table.

“American Idol” continues next Wednesday on FOX.

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