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'American Idol': Colton Dixon Gets the Boot, 6 Remain

Despite LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem," Thursday's results show ended on a sober, dream-shattering note.

Colton Dixon elimination P
Michael Becker / FOX

American Idol is certainly full of surprises following last week's Jessica Sanchez near-elimination: Colton Dixon was cut on Thursday's show, crushing fans' hearts -- he had a lot of them -- and also his chances of making it to May's grand finale.

"I need to apologize. I wasn't myself last night, and I appreciate it," the 20-year-old emo rocker from Tennessee told the judges, thanking them for their negative constructive criticism. He said he'd take the feedback and use it toward improving his upcoming album.

Meanwhile, Dixon's friend and fellow finalist, Phillip Phillips, hung his head in apparent sadness, mourning the untimely loss of the lanky, skunky-haired singer.

"It was all wrong as far as I was concerned," barked the gruff, tough-love mentor Jimmy Iovine, panning Dixon's cover of Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance." He slammed the contestant's stage ensemble (pinstriped jacket, red streak in hair) as a cheesy, dated mix of Billy Idol, the once-popular MTV countdown show TRL and "Spider-man on Broadway."

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Since the judges used up their "save" privilege on Sanchez, there was no chance of keeping Dixon on the show. Safe, at least for now: Phillips, Sanchez, Joshua Ledet, Skylar Laine, Elise Testone and Hollie Cavanagh.

Cavanagh and Testone joined Dixon in the bottom three, where Testone has been hanging on a thread for weeks. When asked about the judges' heavy criticism of her, the 29-year-old South Carolina songstress replied: "Maybe they think I can take it more since I'm older." (Iovine, sitting in the crowd, cackled at the comment. The Interscope exec previously said that Testone would have to work harder than the other hopefuls because her fan base is not so cultish, and devoted. Then again, look what happened to Dixon.)

Wednesday's performance show drew a record 53 million votes, the highest yet for season 11, said Seacrest.

VIDEO: 'American Idol's' Ryan Seacrest on Dick Clark: 'He Taught Me How To Do Television'

Season-8 champ Kris Allen performed "The Vision of Love," while goofballs LMFAO made their debut on the Idol stage with "Party Rock Anthem." (This reporter's 12-year-old brother was no doubt excited about that.)

Also! Blast from Idol past: Taylor Hicks, who won the fifth season (famously beating Chris Daughtry that year), was in the studio audience, sporting a Snooki-orange tan.

"I got a great announcement. I'm gonna be doing Vegas this summer. And what a great season of American Idol, how about it?" he declared before introducing Allen's set. Hicks' three-month Sin City residency kicks off June 26.

There was a Dick Clark montage to honor the late icon, a mentor of Seacrest. "He was a remarkable man and left a rich legacy for television audiences around the world," said the multi-tasking Idol host and red-carpet traffic cop.

Questions, Idol-Worshippers: Iovine predicted that Ledet, given his success with the theme of "Now and Then" songs, could make it to the finals. Do you agree? Who do you see as the last two standing? More importantly, was Dixon robbed of the Idol title?

Email: Erin.Carlson@thr.com

Twitter: @ErinLCarlson