Casey Abrams received the fewest votes on 'American Idol' but was saved by the judges.LOS ANGELES — Casey Abrams wasn't squeezed out of American Idol.
The fiery 20-year-old film camp counselor from Idyllwild, Calif., who stomped through Marvin Gaye's "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" on Wednesday, was revealed to have receivedthe fewest viewer votes on Thursday, but the judges unanimously decided to save Abrams in the middle of his last-chance performance of Ray Charles' "I Don't Need No Doctor."
"We know who you are, Casey," interrupted Randy Jackson. "We don't need to hear you sing anymore."
Abrams was visibly shaken after the judges announced they were using their one-time-only power to keep him in the competition. Producers introduced two seasons ago the ability to overturn viewers' votes before the top five finalists are selected. Rescuing the quirky singer this week means two contestants will be booted next week.
"God, I can't believe it," said Abrams, who battled ulcerative colitis in the hospital two weeks ago.
Thia Megia, the breathy 16-year-old high school student from Mountain House, Calif., who sizzled with Martha and the Vandellas' "Heatwave," and Stefano Langone, the soaring 21-year-old singer from Kent, Wash., who crooned Lionel Ritchie's "Hello," joined Abrams as the bottom three vote-getters. It was the first time at the bottom for Langone and Abrams.
"Dude, you know they're going to save you," Langone whispered to Abrams after the results.
Before Abrams' salvation, the top 11 finalists donned formal wear for a group rendition of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough." They were also joined by Stevie Wonder for "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours." Wonder surprised "Idol" judge Steven Tyler by launching into "Happy Birthday," and the finalists presented the Aerosmith frontman with a birthday cake.
Idol host Ryan Seacrest faked out pro-wrestling fans James Durbin, the 22-year-old rocker of Santa Cruz, Calif., and Paul McDonald, the 26-year-old singer-songwriter of Nashville, Tenn., by revealing they were "not safe" then introducing pro-wrestling legend Hulk Hogan, who proclaimed the duo really were safe and tossed Seacrest into the audience.
The other remaining finalists this season, the show's 10th, are Naima Adedapo, 26, of Milwaukee; Lauren Alaina, 16, of Rossville, Ga.; Jacob Lusk, 23, of Compton, Calif.; Scotty McCreery, 17, of Garner, N.C.; Haley Reinhart, 20, of Wheeling, Ill., Pia Toscano, 22, of Howard Beach, N.Y. The singers will return to the Idol stage Wednesday before a pair will be eliminated next Thursday.