Randy Jackson on "American Idol" (Wednesday, March 21, 2012)

*The consensus regarding last week’s “American Idol” casualty appears to be that the wrong contestant went home.

Twenty-six year old Erika Van Pelt of South Kingston, Rhode Island had impressed judges Randy Jackson, Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez throughout the auditions and early rounds of the competition. And last Wednesday, she stepped her game up even more with a hearty rendition of Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind.” Watch below.

But her fate was ultimately left to the voting public, and Randy Jackson believes America got it wrong.

“Somebody else could’ve gone home instead of her, in my opinion, but unfortunately somebody’s gotta go home every Thursday,” he told reporters after the show.

Lopez added, “It’s hard, she’s a great singer. But at this point, everybody that we lose is a big loss, because all 10 singers right now are great singers.

Van Pelt, who counts Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Joss Stone, Jill Scott, and Kim Burrell among her influences, even underwent a Tommy Hilfiger-assisted makeover that saw her shoulder-length blonde hair cropped short and dyed black.

It didn’t work in terms of gaining votes, but J.Lo thought it was cute. Listen below.

Randy, meanwhile, continues to argue that “American Idol” is the superior TV talent competition over “The Voice” and “X Factor.”