The Britweek Launch, held Thursday night at the home of the Consul General, was a little like a ball: Nearly everyone, including the five American Idol contestants had a curfew- but forget the Midnight curfew like Cinderella had - the AI gang had to be out by 8:30!

None of the Idol contestants are allowed to talk to the press until after they leave the show, so all they could do for the press was smile politely and pose for photos. Off-camera, one journalist asked Jason Castro how long it took to get his dreadlocks. The answer: 15 hours for the initial process (for real?) and a few months to let it all develop. He said he was excited to be doing Neil Diamond songs next week and that no, he wasn't planning on singing "Memory" again any time soon.

Inside the garden party, where guests dined on fish and chips, Syesha chatted with friends and was overheard to say, presumably about her fate on the show, "Whatever happens, it's all good."

American Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe has no such gag order, however, and gave us his thoughts on Carly's shocking early ejection the night before. "I was very sad," he admitted. "I think Carly is extremely talented, a brilliant voice. I was sorry to lose Michael and I was certainly sorry to lose Carly." He dismissed the idea that Michael, an Australian, and Carly, who is Irish, were ousted due to having been born abroad. Carly was in the top four last week," he pointed out. "Most times, America votes for the best performance of the night. I think this week, we saw America getting behind people they've supported over a series of weeks."

He expects more shockers to come, since everyone left is a strong contender. "This is the season that everybody said David Archuleta's won and now here we are going, 'Ooh, what's happening?'"

He got a bit peevish when asked about Idol's lower ratings this season. "We're the number one show, we're the number two show, and when we have three shows in a week, we're the number three show. I don't want to talk about ratings. We're the biggest show in America," he insisted, pointing out that TV ratings as a whole are down from last year. - Sharon Knolle