‘American Idol’: Rihanna, Kelly Clarkson & Jason Aldean Perform, Paul McDonald Says Adios

Robbie Daw | April 15, 2011 6:19 am

With her current single “S&M” still riding high and the song’s Britney Spears-featuring remix looking to make a big splash on the charts next week (it’s been the top download at iTunes for the past three days), Rihanna stepped onto the American Idol stage during Thursday night’s results show to perform Loud ballad “California King Bed.” Maybe the sight of a kinder, gentler Ri Ri eased the blow of elimination for Paul McDonald, the first guy to be voted off since the Top 12 was formed. Paul didn’t really do much to impress us with his uncomfortable, out-of-breath rendition of “Old Time Rock And Roll” on movie night. And if you’ve been checking out our weekly Idol Power List, you’ll know that his elimination isn’t really that big of a surprise, considering he came in last on the most recent tally.

Before winding up in the Bottom Three, Paul, Stefano Langone, Jacob Lusk and AI‘s resident heavy metal god James Durbin offer up a group performance of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel classics “The Sounds Of Silence” and “Mrs. Robinson.” Afterward, Paul and Stefano are sent to the join Haley Reinhart in the Bottom Three.

Before McDonald gets the boot, First Lady Of American Idol Kelly Clarkson joins her “Don’t You Wanna Stay” duet partner Jason Aldean on stage, where the pair belt out their country hit.

The night’s final performance comes from Rihanna, who’s sporting an even frizzier pile of red hair than usual on her head. After singing “California King Bed,” she reveals that there will be a special VIP section on the actual stage during her upcoming summer tour where fans can get closer than ever to her Ri Ri-ness.

Were you sad to see Paul McDonald leave the show, or, like us, did you see it coming? Let us know!