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Queens Native Pia Toscano Eliminated On ‘American Idol’

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Songbird Pia Toscano was eliminated from “American Idol” on Thursday, leaving the judges who had lavished praise on her in despair over the audience’s decision.

1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reports: Shock and outrage in Howard Beach

PHOTO GALLERY: Pia Toscano’s “Idol” Run

pia 002 Queens Native Pia Toscano Eliminated On American Idol

(credit: Mona Rivera/1010 WINS)

The Howard Beach native wasn’t just a local favorite: the show’s judges all expressed shock and outrage at her elimination.

Randy Jackson covered his head and mouthed a repeated “No” after host Ryan Seacrest announced that Toscano received the lowest number of viewer votes after her performance Wednesday of “River Deep — Mountain High.”

Toscano, 22, managed to remain composed on stage as the judges decried the results.

“I have no idea what happened here. I’m shocked. I’m angry,” said judge Jennifer Lopez.

Steven Tyler said viewers were wrong, adding, “She’s beautiful. When she sings, she’s a bird.”

Jackson called her one of the best singers in the show’s 10th-season field and warned that “no one is safe” if votes aren’t cast for them.

“I’m never upset on this show, and I’m never really mad, but this, like, this makes me mad,” Jackson said. “What is going on?”

pia 003 Queens Native Pia Toscano Eliminated On American Idol

A sign supporting Pia Toscano in Howard Beach (credit: Mona Rivera/1010 WINS)

After choosing “I’ll Stand by You” for her swan song, Toscano was embraced by Jacob Lusk, 23, of Compton, Calif., who had landed in the bottom three vote-getters with her and Stefano Langone, 21, of Kent, Wash.

Celebrities on Twitter erupted in a chorus of disbelief at the elimination. Some of the celebs who Tweeted their support for Toscano include Alyssa Milano, Dax Shepard and Minka Kelly.

In Howard Beach, restaurants have named dishes after Toscano, including Pia a la Penne and Pia Pizza. Some people are refusing to accept that their hometown gal has been voted off the show.

“I think there should be a recount, maybe something was wrong with the phone lines,” one woman said. “They should investigate it.”

Others think the show was fixed and that Toscano was sacrificed for ratings.

“It seemed plotted almost,” another woman said.

Some may pin Toscano’s elimination on the belief that she’s a one-trick pony who only sang ballads – which was the only criticism she received in recent weeks from the judges — and choosing the up-tempo Tina Turner hit wasn’t enough to save her.

This season of “Idol” has been one of the most emotional and unpredictable in recent years. Just two weeks ago, front-runner Casey Abrams was bailed out by the judges’ one and only save after gaining the least amount of the viewers’ votes.

Toscano is moving forward. Her songs are for sale on iTunes and she will be joining the rest of the finalists in a summer tour.

“It wasn’t in my cards and everything happens for a reason, so you really just have to stay positive and thankful that I was able to have this experience,” Toscano said Friday.

Prior to landing her spot on “Idol,” Toscano won the Mets Anthem Search in 2008.

What do you think of Toscano’s elimination? Will you continue to watch “Idol?” Sound off in our comments section.

More from Mona Rivera
  • Rghanz

    I’m done with idol
    You’ve sucked me in and spit me out for the last time. All reality shows are fixed. It’s just junk. I’ll find the real talent on my own. Like Pia song birds fly far from lies and rise above.

  • Mike

    Since American Idol system leaves the voting to a world of teeny boppers, who haven’t a clue to talent, it is time to make some serious changes.Miss America and Miss universe are voted on by a cross section of judges, and not by world opinion.In the Van Cliburn Piano competition, the winner is selected by a panel of judges, who are past winners themselves and recognize talent. American idol should have a panel of seven judges, whose expertise is diversified in all aspects of singing. Jazz, pop, country, ballad, classical, etc The weekly elimination should be done by them, and not depend on the opinion of questionable voters who are not experts in choosing the career of a promising artist. Voting off Pia was a fiasco, and a downright insult to talent. In spite of it, she showed class, and her future career will outshine anybody who is in run for this fake title.

  • George Fort Worth

    I can’t wait to buy her CD – ballads and all. I will not watch any more episodes this year.

  • Norbert Blabber

    After we saw Katherine McPhee sing “Over the Rainbow, we saw the very best performance in the history of “Idol” so why bother watching duds?

  • Piglet T. Hambone

    How legit is voting? How strange indeed…the show gets 25 millions viewers and Seacreast will announce that 30,000,000 votes were registered. It’s absurd so the entire show is based on absurdity and has been from the outset. How many of the #1 Idols have made it BIG? It’s a joke and the ones who run to their phones and set them for speed dial to register hundreds of votes are either children or morons.

  • Auburn Dale

    By now everybody should realize that “viewer voting” is IRRELEVANT – always has been, always will be. The producers select the season’s “winner” FIRST, then they select everybody else to go up against him/her.

  • Phyllis

    Vote, voting is what makes the show. It doesn’t matter how well a person does, it lies in the hand of the voters. Don’t be upset, angry, because eventually more great singers will have to be eliminated. Don’t get mad at America for voting. I voted for seven of the nine, and I can say Pia and Stephano were the two I didn’t vote for. Percy Sledge’s song, When a Man loves a Woman, was not his best song, and I personally didn’t think he did a good job. Pia sang beautifully, yet her overall performance, just walking slowly and stiff movement did not move me. Jacob, song, Man in the Mirror, was not my favorite performer either, however, he put emphasis in his song and I voted for him at the last minute. But of the three, I would have voted Stephano off . All of the winners did exceptionally well, and I’m sure it is hard judging. But again, vote and let you opinion be heard. Im sure we will see and here more of Pia. Even tho I didn’t vote for her last night, it not that she can’t sing, because she sings beautifully, it was that her performance didn’t go as well others.

    • sdghew

      Toscano is moving forward. Her songs are for sale on iTunes and she will be joining the rest of the finalists in a summer tour. My boyfriend thinks the same with me. He is eight years older than me, lol. We met online at Ag’e’M’ingle. C’○’M’ a nice and free place for younger women and older men, or older women and younger men, to interact with each other. Maybe you wanna check out or tell your friends.


    Pia was voted off because of a flaw in the voting that the producers had not anticipated: simply, people over 40 who loved PIA never voted because we are not “in tune” with tweeting, facebook, etc… as the teeny bopper set is.. sooooooo she simply lost because her votes were never cast and counted – it’s like putting voting machines only in elementary schools, leaving out the colleges.. the 12 year olds – we know who THEY voted for… a BIG MISTAKE on the part of the producers… I will not watch the show, and will boycott thew sponsor FORD products

    • ellabella

      Seriously? Im sure Ford is sad old Jimbo wont be driving a Ford Pick em up truck.
      If you watch you vote or you dont vote but anyone can dial a number. Its like politics you cant complain if you didnt vote.


    I think Michael Ward made a good point & so did Larry the voting system needs to be seriously updated it shouldn’t be left up to a bunch of teeni boppers voting because they have a crush, I’m not saying the American vote shouldn”t count but I do think as far as eliminations are concerned that should be left in the hands of people who are professionally qualified in talent & music to make the final decision on who will be cut, Anyone with half a brain can see that Pia definitly has talent & can sing her butt off! As far as the whole package is concerned that will come with time because she can only get better & she will! The only reason she was cut was because they do not have a proper voting method! Pia has definitly the potential to become a great super star!

    • Larry

      Jimmy The Saint. I am glad you agree with me. American Idol, please change your voting system so you get one person, one vote! Then we will see the talent shine through much clearer.
      All you Pia lovers, please tell her to try out for the X-Factor on FOX. Hopefully their voting system will be better then American Idol’s and she will take it all. Howard Beach, get her to join the X-Factor. She can do it if you believe!
      In the meantime, think about next weeks show if you are so mover to watch. Please pick the best talented person and vote for them as much as you can in the 2 hours that they give us to vote. Every vote counts now that you can see after this week’s show. If the rules say we can vote more then one time then lets take advantage of this. Maybe the votes you cast will be the ones that put that talented person over the top and we will all win with a great outcome.
      Here is to the next right American Idol 2011 winner whomever he or she maybe. New York, lets get the right person on top. We got to believe.

  • Cheryl B

    Oh, did Steven Tyler tell the truth! Guys, way too lazy to vote, and girls too jealous. Weird how there are only two females left, eh? Pia, my heart cried and so did I when Ryan said your name. I didn’t believe my ears! I do believe that you will be bigger than all of this in the end! God bless you and the talent you have!

    • Sy Winter

      I don’t shock easily, but this one takes the cake. How in the world could Pia, who most believed would win the Idoll contest, be eliminated? And, to add to the shock the black singer was the best of the males, and somehow, he landed in the bottom three. No sense in watching this show, if the deserving performers haven’t got a chance if they don’t have most of the outside help,like voters voting for them. As they say, ‘SOMETHING IS ROTTEN IN DENMARK”,
      Sy Winter

  • martin

    Pia, do n’t worry. Just look at Diana Ross and the wonderful career she is having. They may trash you, but you still have the professionalism and drive to know what it takes. In essence, the American people are “dumbed down”. Just look at the “tea party” and Sara Palin!

    • Tequiza Farfalle


      This just in: Diana Ross’ career ended several decades ago. She tours the oldies circuit.

    • Nancy Fudge

      I’m with you, martin! Who do those “tea partiers” think they are anyway? I mean, since when should the government not increase the deficit?

    • R. Mary

      Just look at the others that didn’t win AI. Jennifer Hudson, Adam Lambert, Chris Daughtery, Kathryn McPhee and Constantine. They have successful careers. Unlike some of the winners thtat have had medicore success. So Pia, if its meant to be, you’ll be just fine. You’ll get a recording contract. Good luck.

    • Proud American

      Could it possibly be that as talented as Pia is, she does not draw the audience in? And the same for Jacob, No chemistry. Look at Chris Daughtry who exited early and is now one of the most notable of the Idol Contestants.
      Your remark about Sarah Palin and the Tea Party just shows that you are an oppotunistic and ignorant person, they have nothing to do with this show, they are concerned about the future of this country. I guess you are ready to pay $8 a gallon for gasoline and all the green technology that we don’t need.

  • Rich L

    Pia didn’t break out of her ballad mode soon enough. She’s only 22 but acted and dressed like in her 40s. Big turnoff. She may find a nice career singing ballads on cruise lines.

    • Les Beyan

      She prolly rebuffed Steven Tyler’s ‘weird-grandma’ advances.

  • Marti Cates

    There are a lot of great singers in this country! Some get seen and some don’t. Pia is very fortunate to have been one of the lucky ones to have been given the opportunity to be seen by those who can further her career! Best of luck to Pia. She will be on tour with the top 11 this year and get more exposure and become seasoned, she is very lucky indeed. All the contestants have been talented, but unfortunately someone has to be voted off every week or there would be no winner. As far as AI this has become a popularity contest instead of a talent contest as that last few seasons have shown. Pia is in good company with previous contestants voted off that have gone farther than the AI winners ever could. Not everyone can be the most popular entertainer. Everyone has their fans that keep them going. If we keep flooding the industry with shows like this there are bound to be winners that never amount to anything other than maybe a one hit wonder. Whatever happened to hard work and perseverance to advance and make it? Anyway, I wish them all well, it takes a lot of courage to get up in front of a crowd and stand out there for the criticism from everyone.

  • Moral Truth

    American Idol is prejudice towards Italian singers and thats the moral truth.

  • Paul

    You never know how America will vote, look at some of our politicians.

  • chiva

    Great voice but no action on the stage. She needed to move more

  • jagdish

    Proof that Democracy does not work. Voting is a waste of time. Silly Americans.

  • nana

    i can not remember all the names but that tall young black singer is worse than Pia, all his songs sound like a church chorus, i feel he should had been send home always screaming out, but than again he’s black and it might be considered racist if he;s eliminated. Pia, you are great good luck.

  • Larry

    Hey FOX,
    Put some of this GREAT CONTESTANTS on Glee. Let then shin on THAT great show! You have a lot of High School singers to choose from.

  • Done Right

    If you are going to sing ballad’s, they have to come from the heart, from deep within so that it leave’s an impression of absolute honesty. She had the voice, but the heart was not in it totally. Perhaps she has not been through a real painful experience in her life. That is good if that is the case. But for selling a song, it will not work. That is voters picked up on. And that is why she was tossed. it was the right decision by the voters because she was not 100% authentic with her feelings.

  • pat. from b'klyn, NY

    good riden so what she was corny, if America can vote off Jennifer Hudson an Chris Daughtery why the surprise she wasn’t 1/2 as good as them …good grief it’s a show move on ..

  • dani

    the best singer was sent home,what ashame is this show for real?

    • Texdale

      I have been around since Idol-1 and Pia was right up there with the best right from the start..A voice like that doesn’t come along very often..The only reason I can come up for her departure is the same one I had for Adam Lambert not winning..She was too good for the rest of the competition..Voters like the underdog role and perhaps saw her as just too good…

  • eleanor

    I will not be watching the remainder episodes of this show. Unfortunately the one “save” was used for a singer who will most likely be eliminated shortly.

  • TINA


  • brooklyn4ever

    Granted she is your typical Howard Beach guidette, but she coud really and truly sing. She has an amazing voice, but the stage presence really was not there. Someone will pick her up and sign her now that she has made herself known. Why can’t they get rid of Paul. He is so freakin’ annoying and I cannot believe that he is getting enough votes to save his butt every week. When he sings, he always sounds like he is whispering. Randy, Steven and Jennifer have got to be kickking themselves now in knowing that the one save they had was wasted. II wish Pia, Buona Fortuna!

    • Larry

      Hi Brooklyn4ever,
      I am from Brooklyn too. I agree with you. Paul should have been sent home 2 to 3 weeks ago. I know what the problem is. Did you know you can vote more then one time for any and all of the contestants. Yes Paul has some good friends that probably voted for him hundreds of times. Look at the voting rules on It tells you, you can vote online 50 times and almost untold times by phone or texting. It should be one person, one vote but some people don’t believe in this. Pass this on to your Brooklyn Friends. And tell FOX to make it fair,one person, one vote.

      • brooklyn4ever

        Hey Larry,
        Oh without a doubt that Paul had everyone that knew him burning up the telephone lines. I mean how else would he still be there?. I coulld not even think of sitting and listening to him sing song after song on an entire album. I think I’d go mad. This show has seriously jumped the shark and I am starting to believe that it is fixed.

  • R ALLI

    It was the biggest shock on Idol. Everyone looks forward every week to see what Pia is going to bring and she brings it. Forget about how she looks, she is a great singer and of course it’s the people who didn’t vote is to be blamed. Most people vote on who they like and their favorites, most don’t vote on who can really sing and that sucks!!! Honestly i don’t even feel like to continue watching the show.

  • R. Seacrest

    0bservations: 1) Pia SANG good and LOOKED good, but not a lotta personality / emotion. Turned some folks off. 2) NO real stage presence; just stood there when she sang. 3) teeny-bopper girls vote, they AIN’T voting for a pretty diva! 4) She WAS top 3 on the show for sure. 5) She WILL be seen again; great lloks, great voice will sell.

  • disco

    We need to set up an electoral college for American Idol

  • disco

    I think we need to set up an electoral college for American Idol

  • cubana

    I will not watch the show anymore if Pia is not there

  • mjaneking

    NO! I am not watching the show…ridiculous…come on …..Sefano? Jacob? ugh

  • Larry

    Fix the voting system. Do you know you can vote more then once for any and all of the contestants. What happen to one person, one vote. Our elections honor that dream, so should American Idol. That would make the voting fairer then it is now. The voting rules state that you can vote 50 times online and many times by the phone and texting.
    Fix the system. Jennifer Lopez said she didn’t know what happened. Randy Jackson looked puzzled. Fix the voting system and you will see the talent come through.

  • Tonka Johnny

    It’s a NEW YORK thing. Most American’s don’t like NEW YORKERS. Pia’s from Queens NY. It’s a shame, but the truth. Actually, the judges saved the wrong person!!!

  • LV

    It was her time to go. Pia is boring and predictable. Its not just a singing competition. You have to be entertaining. She clearly did not have the WHOLE PACKAGE.

    • Vic

      LV — you are one total moron. I suppose Yukon Cornelius or Mr. Ed’s nice, Hayley, deserve to be up there. You have no clue and your comment clearly came out of a brain filled with nothing but air. Judges f’ed up royally by wasting a save on Casey who’s going to go nowhere like Taylor Hicks and disappear into oblivion. Tonka — most Americans don’t like New Yorks because as Steve Tyler plainly put it — it’s a jealous thing. But yeah Americans clearly like Circus Freaks as showing on the “saved:” stage. With exception of Jacob and James NONE OF THEM DESERVE TO UP THERE. Whole package, LV the Loser, means looks and talent. Something you probably don’t have either of.

      • LV


        Are you having your ‘woman-time’?

  • tyler

    Who honestly cares.

  • Frances Santos

    People get over it. America voted and it’s America who votes – Now for all those who wanted Pia to win will know how I felt when Chris Daughtery got voted Off. You are going to have to live with it.

    If she is good she will have a great career.

  • Alison O. Jordan

    I think Pia was too polished for Idol. The audience is looking for is someone they can relate to and see growing into a star. Pia is an awesome singer yet her lack of connection to the home viewer and her repetitious lounge-singer arm movements led to her being voted off. Teen girls and middle aged women are the voters. The go to folks for me (the latter) are Paul, Casey, Laura and Haley. The rising star that the audience sees as representing them is what earns votes on Idol. American Idol is not “The Best Singer” competition, US royalty. Pia is too rehearsed a singer for this stage. Melinda, Jennifer Hudson, and others preceded her. Indeed predictable.

    • Joe

      Yes, Pia was too good for the show, because the show has no talent left.

  • Dale LaFrenere

    Complete shock!!!! I do think she will be signed by someone, Simon Cowell, or Ellen I truly hope so.

  • Cubano

    We are not looking for the best singer, we are looking for the american idol.

    • PiaWasRobbed

      Oh yea, because just like Taylor Hicks, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino… America picks an idol every time. Pa-leeeese!

    • Cubana

      El objetivo es descubrir verdaderos talentos como lo es Pia Toscano. Una voz poco inusual de encontrar, ella es unica. Ser idol significa ser el mejor en talento y en mi opinion american idol ha demostrado con su sistema ser muy mediocre en la seleccion de los verdaderos talentos. Es una inmoralidad, parece un circo en vez de un competitivo show

  • Michael Lomuscio

    The top 2 are Pia and James.. Pia should not have been voted off.

  • Pia Fan Keyport NJ

    PIA HAS THE WHOLE PACKAGE!!!!!!! I believe what happened here was, a lot of voters vote for a couple of contestants that they like. When one contestant stands out, the voters may think this one person has enough voters voting for them so they vote for their second contestant. My friends and I got into debate one day over this. If you like a contestant, don’t take it for granted that he/she will get enough votes so you vote for your second best. Focus on one contestant. As for the SAVE, the judges used it too soon. They should have waited because even though I like Casey, he doesn’t have the “whole package”. The judges should have really thought that one out. If they did, Pia would definitely still be in it. I wish her luch with whatever she does. She will do fine because the girl has it. Who knows, maybe she’ll wind up in Vegas with Celine Dion. I’d love to see her do a duet with Celine. That would be great. Good luck Pia, we love you.

  • cocosgramma

    Of course I will continue to watch. Pia has only herself and her boring ballads to blame for being voted off the show.

  • Keith Lenik

    Last night, once again,proved to me that this show has never been about who the best “singer” is, but rather who the teeniebopper voters consider the cutest or most adorable. This is why I know expect Scottie or Laura to be the winner when it is all over.

  • Michael Ward

    Let the snobs howl. Pia sang an up tempo song, not her forte, which just put her in the same category as all the other girl screamers. Her sublety and grace were not showcased. It is not always best to listen to the judges, they are performers, not nuclear physicists or even music scholars. They wasted their veto on Casey who may be a great musician (doubt), but is the least vocally talented singer among those remaining. And it is a singing competition, not a bass playing/chord composing competition. If the American people are such fools, assemble a learned panel of musicians to judge and watch what happens to the ratings.

  • Mr.G

    This show is fixed. You will see in the future that Pia will end up with a contract with one of the Judges and the one who win it all this season will fall on there face.

    • Akwanet Rubby

      Mr. G,

      The show isn’t fixed. But, I’ll be honest with you: my cat IS fixed.

  • Carlos Liriano

    that is show business, some have it, some don’t

  • Angel

    I think that its a joke at this stage of the came and I will not watch the rest of the show.

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