Pia Toscano’s Premature ‘American Idol’ Parting Leads to Record Deal

Was Pia Toscano robbed of the Season 10 title on “American Idol,” leaving the show April 7?

Many “Idol” watchers had pegged Pia to win. Despite the upset, however, Toscano is already landing on her feet with television appearances and perhaps even a new recording contract. Jimmy Iovine, in-house mentor for Fox TV’s “Idol,” has reportedly signed the stunned songbird to Interscope Records.

What happened to Pia Toscano on “Idol”?

When “Idol” host Ryan Seacrest announced Toscano’s departure, the audience gasped. Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez ,and Steven Tyler practically vaulted across the judges’ table to protest the verdict. Actually, it might have been fun to see a bit of drama onstage, if Jackson or Tyler had caught up to Seacrest.

Toscano’s ousting may have surprised many Fox TV viewers, but the ballad-loving beauty’s “Idol” booting may have had less to do with her vocal quality as with the makeup of her fan base.

After all, the “Idol” judges do not determine which finalists may stay in the competition. The decision rests with the public. This year, viewers vote by phone, by text message, and even online.

Oops! They did it again!

Text-happy teens and even younger kids know the drill. Prepubescent fans are not looking for the next Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, or Whitney Houston. They’re looking for hip, camera-ready pop stars. They’re hoping to find the next hot music video download. They’re desperately seeking another fresh and sassy Twitter follow.

Perhaps that’s why pretty boy Stefano Langone edged past Toscano in the voting this week. Maybe that’s why baby-faced country crooner Scotty McCreery makes it through every week. Toscano is a classic diva, more than a pop star.

Rumor has it Toscano is now dating “Dancing with the Stars” hoofer Mark Ballas.

Did audience apathy send Pia packing?

Like last year’s popular pick, Crystal Bowersox, Toscano may have suffered from the seemingly annual Assumed Votes Syndrome. Could viewers have stopped bothering to vote for Pia, suspecting she would not even need their votes?

Celebrities cry foul on Twitter.

Toscano’s ousting drew angry Tweets from “Idol” alums Adam Lambert, Daughtry, Blake Lewis and Jennifer Hudson. Both of these stars have carved out impressive careers, despite departing early from “Idol” seasons.

Back on Twitter, celebrities like Jessica Alba, Ellen Degeneres, Tom Hanks, Ashton Kutcher and Snooki posted protests over Toscano’s “Idol” exit. Pia is scheduled to appear on “Ellen” on April 14. Degeneres appeared at the “Idol” judges’ table during Season 9.

Toscano didn’t miss a beat.

Pia Toscano never had a bad night on “Idol.” No one called her “pitchy” or boring. In fact, Tyler said this after her final audition, when she performed Tina Turner’s “River Deep, Mountain High” for the Top 9 contest: “Murderer! Murderer! You killed it!”

Tyler was right. Toscano belted the song, delivering the up-tempo tune the judges had craved all along. She certainly didn’t butcher it.

In the end, however, it was Pia who got the axe, heading home after singing her “Idol” swan song, The Pretenders’ “I’ll Stand by You,” on April 8. And because the judges had used their one save of the season to keep Casey Abrams in the contest, Pia’s “Idol” journey ended right there.

Watch Pia’s star rise.

Clearly, we have not heard the last note from Toscano, who may be more likely to sing an aria from Giacomo Puccini’s “Tosca” or an Andrew Lloyd Webber classic than a top 40 tune anyway. Interscope seems to be scrambling to put together a suitable song list for the belting balladeer.

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