American Idol Sends Home Its First Top 13 Contestant

American Idol Results - Elimination Night Surprises
American Idol's top 13
Nino Munoz/FOX

updated 03/08/2012 at 09:00 PM EST

originally published 03/08/2012 09:30PM

After tackling two of the toughest songbooks around, American Idol's top 13 faced something even tougher on Thursday: elimination night.

And for the first time, there would be a battle of the sexes: the guy and the girl with the lowest amount of votes would stand before judges Jennifer Lopez, Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler, who were tasked with the final decision of who would stay and who would go home.

Ryan Seacrest first called out the bottom three guys and girls – and there were some surprises. Keeping reading to find out all the results ...

The bottom three women were Elise Testone, Shannon Magrane and Erika Van Pelt, who earned rave reviews from the judges for her performance of Whitney Houston's "I Believe in You and Me." And the men with the least amount of votes were Jermaine Jones, Jeremy Rosado and shockingly Joshua Ledet, who got top marks from the judges for his version of Stevie Wonder's "I Wish."



But Erika and Joshua were quickly told they were safe.

The big decision came down to Elise and Jeremy. "It wasn't either of their best performances so it's one of those nights where ... someone's got to go," Randy said. "I don't think America got it exactly right."

It fell to Jennifer to break the news: "We've come to the decision that we're going to save Elise," she said, letting Jeremy know his time on Idol was over.

The kindhearted singer, who worked at a clinic before auditioning for the show, told Ryan, "I'm going to miss the whole experience. This is awesome."

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