Hold the cheese, ''American Idol'' fans: Anthony won't be staying for dinner. Having given one of his best performances, A-Fed goes out on a high note
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American Idol
LIONEL RICHIE, KATY PERRY, RYAN SEACREST, LUKE BRYAN

”American Idol”: Anthony goes out on a high note

If you don’t know him by now, you might never, never, never know him. Indeed, one could paraphrase the words Anthony Fedorov sang on Tuesday night’s edition of American Idol to describe his future on the competition: Despite giving two of his strongest performances to date this week, A-Fed’s prior bad acts — including truly abysmal renditions of ”Poison Ivy” and ”Climb Ev’ry Mountain” — finally caught up with him Wednesday night, as he received the lowest number of votes and an Idol pink slip to go along with them. (As for me, I’m just trying to get the last of the egg off my face for predicting Anthony would make the final three at the expense of either Carrie, who spent most of the results show looking like someone had sent her precious cows to Burger King, or Vonzell.)

While many of you wisely suggested on our message boards that Anthony was running out of time in the competition, opinion was pretty evenly split about whether he actually deserved to be eliminated. ”Anthony will go tonight,” wrote Marshall. ”He has the stage presence and energy of a baked potato.” Rocco argued that while Anthony ”didn?t make any mistakes,” the fact that the night’s theme didn’t center on the Air Supply songbook was his downfall.

Melissa, for her part, thanked the folks at TiVo for allowing her to fast-forward through most of A-Fed’s ”sickening performances.” And a reader named No to Anthony criticized the contestant’s inconsistency: ”Imagine seeing Anthony in a concert — one song good, one song bad, one song good . . . and so on. What a disaster.”

Still, those of you who filled EW.com’s boards with a growing groundswell of support for the Eastern European wonder boy in the last few weeks will be sad to see him go. ”Anthony has always been so much better than anyone gives him credit for,” wrote Sue, ”and the judges seem to have a conspiracy not to give him any kind of praise while heaping it on loud, shrill Carrie.” Another A-Fed fan, Laura, noted that her ”appreciation for Anthony started with his superb vocals, but it [grew] as a result of his graciousness.”

Meanwhile, a sharp reader named Claudenorth pointed out a precedent for A-Fed’s elimination. ”Based on history, Anthony will be the next to go,” he wrote. ”In Season Two, Josh Gracin sang ‘To Love Somebody’ after Clay sang it (that was also the week of Clay’s appalling version of ‘Grease’). In my humble opinion, Josh did a better job with it. Even Simon gave Josh credit for doing a fine job. Nonetheless, Josh was sent home that week. This week’s Anthony/Carrie sing-off parallels that Season 2 moment.”

At least one reader didn’t seem to care which contestant got the boot, arguing that everyone in the final four had offered up his or her share of sour notes. ”I could live with any one getting voted off tonight,” wrote Charles. ”Anthony for ‘Climb Ev’ry Mountain’ and ‘Poison Ivy.’ Bo for ‘Freebird’ and ‘Corner of the Sky.’ Vonzell for her incessant need to introduce caterwauling into every song she sings. And Carrie for last night’s ‘If You Don’t Know Me by Now,’ and her hilarious and infamous pee-pee dance.”

Charles was not alone in his opinion, either. ”Hate to say it, but, despite what uneducated ears may say, there have only been two pitch-perfect individuals in Idol history: Clay and Fantasia. They never, ever hit a bad note, going flat or sharp,” wrote Maveness. ”There hasn’t been a single perfect singer this season . . . but in the end, Bo stands out the most for being undeniably himself. Anthony doesn’t know who he is musically yet, Carrie isn’t comfortable on a stage, and Vonzell gets too into performing the hardest to realize that it’s about performing the best.”

Speaking of Baby V, you seemed evenly split about the appropriateness of her tearful breakdown on stage Tuesday night. ”Vonzell was a mess,” wrote KRabbit. ”Her performances were sub-par and the whole crying thing was unprofessional.” July took it a step further, calling the waterworks a ”cheap stunt . . . she knew she didn’t have the talent to win, so she decided to be a crybaby.”

AI Fan 01, though, saw the Vonz’s crying in a different light: ”I do think the tears were genuine because of the realization that she is in the final four . . . and that makes her nervous.”

Whether or not Vonzell was purposely trying to manipulate the audience, Mo contended that the power of the sympathy vote cannot be underestimated. ”Maybe next week someone else will break out in tears,” he wrote. ”It is effective.”

Several of you, however, blamed judge Paula Abdul for questioning Vonzell about her emotional state in the first place and for hinting the contestant might be experiencing some hidden drama. ”I wonder why Paula, if she knew something was wrong for Vonzell personally, had to bring it up?” wrote Oli.

Letti called Paula’s move ”underhanded and unfair to Bo, Anthony and Carrie” because it had the potential to drum up sympathy votes for Vonzell. Not to mention that it ”left the audience wondering what was going on,” she added. ”If someone needs to get voted out, it should be Paula.”

What do you think? Did Vonzell’s tears carry her past Anthony? Does she have a shot to prevent the much-predicted Bo-Carrie finale? And is this just the start of A-Fed’s musical career, or is he destined to go the way of Camile Velasco?

Episode Recaps

LIONEL RICHIE, KATY PERRY, RYAN SEACREST, LUKE BRYAN
American Idol

Ryan Seacrest hosts as Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan guide aspiring singers on their way to superstardom.

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