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''American Idol'': The right contestants leave

On the second semifinal elimination round of ”American Idol,” the viewers got rid of the right contestants; meanwhile, Paula forgot their troubles and got happy

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American Idol

American Idol

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, Ryan Seacrest
Reality TV

”American Idol”: The right contestants leave

Congratulations, America: You did the right thing this week, eliminating the four least-talented contestants remaining in season 5 of American Idol. Thanks to your votes (or lack thereof), we can all look forward to a rousing semifinal finale next week unmarred by the lackluster vocal stylings of David Radford, Jose ”Sway” Penala, Heather Cox, and Brenna Gethers.

Not surprisingly, scads of tastemaking EW.com readers on our message boards pegged the foul foursome as the most likely candidates for elimination. Reader LKD pretty much summed up the problem for the two women who received the lowest number of viewer votes: ”Brenna, completely lost in her own ego, broke her promise to ‘bring da claws out’ this week. Her butchering of the Idol overplayed ‘Last Dance’ will certainly send her home Thursday night. And, unlike Carrie Underwood, Heather doesn’t have the vocal chops or individual style to make up for her wooden stage presence.” I couldn’t have said it better myself, and as a matter of fact, I won’t even try.

As for the men, after listening to the abysmal David destroy ”The Way You Look Tonight” on Wednesday, reader Katnip wrote, ”I wish you could vote someone off ‘Idol.’ ” Sway, meanwhile, pleased a handful of EW.com supporters but mostly received a tall glass of Haterade on our message boards.

Despite the predictable nature of the voting tallies, tonight’s results show nonetheless contained its share of eyebrow-raising moments. For starters, judge Paula Abdul — who has been uncharacteristically lucid most of this season — started blurting giggly non sequiturs every time host Ryan Seacrest asked her a question. I’m not sure what’s got her feeling so, um, happy, but maybe it’s time she shared with the class.

The episode had some contestant-driven oddness, too: Taylor Hicks trying to rub Chris Daughtry’s sexy-smooth pate when the latter singer escaped elimination; young Lisa Tucker, looking like she was struggling to conjure up some tears every time Ryan gave a wannabe the ax; Ayla Brown clapping her hands like she had an inner metronome during Sway’s ”Overjoyed”; and Paris Bennett offering an extended (and quite possibly unwelcome) hug to Sway in the minutes following his dismissal. Way to get some additional airtime, kiddo!

Still, lest I get accused of dishing it out but not being able to take it, I’ve got to call attention to a carefully considered reprimand I received from reader Auntie Em: ”Why refer to Mandisa as a ‘plus-sized’ beauty? I do not recall anyone referring to the other ladies as ‘skinny beauties’ or ‘looks-like-a-popsicle-stick-with-legs beauty’ or even ‘average-sized beauty.’ Hmmm. Just something to think about.” Duly noted, Auntie Em. Good thing I’ll have a chance to redeem myself when the gizzorgeous diva takes to the stage next week.

What did you think of tonight’s dismissals? Would you agree with me that Kinnik, Will, and Bucky should consider themselves lucky to still be in the competition? And do you think any of the early front-runners might be at risk of an upset elimination next week when the final 12 are announced?