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'American Idol' ousts Syesha Mercado, sets up David vs. David finale


By Christopher Rocchio, 05/15/2008 

The David Archuleta vs. David Cook finale predictions have come to fruition, as Syesha Mercado became the tenth finalist eliminated from American Idol's seventh season during last night's live results show on Fox.

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The 21-year-old Miami, FL resident was ousted from Idol's seventh season after host Ryan Seacrest said 56 million home viewer votes were cast immediately following Tuesday night's live performance broadcast that saw the Top 3 finalists each sing three songs -- judge's choice, contestant's choice and producers' choice.

"There's too many words," said Mercado when Seacrest gave her a chance to say something to her supporters.  "I don't know what to say.  I just want to say thank you.  Just thank you."

Mercado's first performance on Tuesday night was "If I Ain't Got You" by Alicia Keys, a song chosen for her by judge Randy Jackson.

"I thought that would work really well for you.  You did an amazing job on it," commented Jackson after the performance.  "I could see your heart beaming and smiling all the way down here.  Syesha, I've got to say one thing to you, I'm so happy you are peaking at the right time in this competition, that's why you're standing there at No. 3."

Paula Abdul had commented she was "proud" Mercado was the "last lady standing" and Simon Cowell added she sung it "very well."

For her second performance, Mercado chose to sing "Fever" by Peggy Lee.  Jackson had called it a "very interesting song choice at this point" but added she sang it "amazingly well."

"Out of all the songs you could have chosen to sing, I'm surprised you picked this song," commented Abdul.  "I just feel like it's an interesting choice, but I'm not sure that it shows me who Syesha is as an artist."

"Syesha, I think you will probably regret that decision tomorrow," stated Cowell, "because you had a chance to prove you are a contemporary recording artist with your own choice of song.  Instead, you did quite a lame cabaret performance."

Mercado's final performance was "Hit Me Up" by Gia Farrell, a song chosen by the producers.

"Again, as much as I liked it, I don't know if it's the type of song that defines you -- Syesha the artist," commented Abdul after the performance.  "I don't know if it's going to be good enough to get into the finals of American Idol."

"I's a little bit forgettable," added Cowell.  "It's fun, it's young.  But it didn't give you the defining moment I would have liked at the end of this show."

Before Seacrest revealed the results during last night's show, he asked the judges if they had any comments for the Top 3 finalists.

"You guys did an amazing job.  You should be well proud of yourselves" said Jackson.  "Give yourselves a big round of applause no matter what happens."

"You're all standing on a path that's reserved for nothing but great things to come," added Abdul.  "For that, congratulations."

"I like these three," said Cowell, an unabashed Archuleta vs. Cook finale prognosticator. "If it's the finale I'm hoping for, we're going to have a real humdinger next week."

Last night's broadcast also featured video montages of each finalists' seventh-season journey and clips from their recent hometown visits. In addition, Idol third-season champ Fantasia Barrino performed "Bore Me," a song from her December 2006 self-titled second album.

"We're working on an album right now, getting ready to go back on tour," said Fantasia, who recently completed a role in Broadway's The Color Purple.  "I miss my music so I'm ready to get back on the stage."

Next week's finale featuring Archuleta and Cook will be the first time two guys have faced off since Idol's second season, in which Ruben Studdard defeated Clay Aiken by a razor-thin voting margin.

The two Davids will take the stage and perform live during next week's one-hour performance episode on Tuesday at 8PM ET/PT. 

On Wednesday beginning at 8PM ET/PT, Idol's seventh-season winner will be crowned during a live two-hour results show.

(Photo credit Frank Micelotta/FOX)


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