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'American Idol' eliminates Matt Giraud, determines Top 4 finalists


By Christopher Rocchio, 04/30/2009 

Matt Giraud was revealed to be the ninth finalist eliminated from American Idol's eighth season during last night's live results show broadcast on Fox.

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The 23-year-old from Ypsilanti, MI who currently resides in Kalamazoo, MI was ousted from Idol's eighth season based on the more than 47 million home viewer votes that were cast immediately following Tuesday night's live performance episode that featured the Top 5 finalists singing Rat Pack standards.

It was the second time Giraud had finished as the low vote-getter during Idol's eighth-season finals.  He was initially set to be booted by home viewer votes two weeks ago but was spared elimination via the use of the show's new "The Judges' Save" twist.

"I'll definitely remember being the cat with nine lives up here," said Giraud after last night's ouster.  "It's definitely not the last time you'll see me."

Giraud sang "My Funny Valentine" during Tuesday night's performance episode.

"That was probably one of the hardest songs to sing ever.  You're definitely up to the task," commented Randy Jackson.  "For me, it was just a little bit pitchy. You tried a bunch of things, it was good.  Some of the runs came together.  Some of them landed right, some of them didn't.  It didn't all quite come together for me.  I don't even think like a six out of 10."

"The competition is so stiff right tonight, and you've really got to be the leader of the pack to establish yourself," said Kara DioGuardi.  "I can appreciate all the runs and the different things you did with it that showed what an incredible singer you are.  But I didn't feel you were emotionally connected to it.  That's what I was missing most of all."

"I loved what you did with the song," added Paula Abdul.  "I felt the emotional connection.  By lowering the key, we got to hear a different side of Matt, and it was pure, simple and really impressive.  I think you did an excellent job tonight."

"I'm going to have to disagree with... Randy," said Cowell, which brought cheers from the studio audience.  "For me, it was the only believable, authentic song I've heard tonight.  I can tell that you love the music... I thought you were absolutely brilliant."

Prior to the elimination, Kris Allen, a 23-year-old from Jacksonville, AR who currently resides in Conway, AR, and Adam Lambert, a 26-year-old from San Diego, CA who currently resides in Los Angeles, CA, were revealed to be the other two members of the week's bottom three vote-getters. 

"It's  crazy. This is crazy," said Abdul after the bottom three were revealed.

However Cowell disagreed.

"Look, there's only five people left.  So somebody's gotta go," Cowell said.  "I don't think it's crazy.  We've opened up the show to America, they decide who they like, let's not take it away from [non-bottom three finalists Danny Gokey and Allison Iraheta].  Congratulations."

Idol host Ryan Seacrest then pointed out that he noticed DioGuardi's "jaw drop" when Lambert -- who the judges have all but anointed the season's winner in recent weeks -- was revealed to be among the bottom three.

"Yeah, my mouth went open again.  That's what happens with Adam," answered DioGuardi, which brought a laugh from Jackson.

"You know what I mean Randy!" exclaimed DioGuardi.

Prior to Giraud's elimination, Seacrest also revealed that Allen had managed to advance to the next round and Giraud and Lambert were the week's bottom two vote-getters.

American Idol's Top 4 eighth-season finalists -- Danny Gokey, Kris Allen, Allison Iraheta, Adam Lambert -- will all take the stage and perform during next week's performance episode on Tuesday, May 5 at 8PM ET/PT.

On Wednesday beginning at 9PM ET/PT, another finalist will be eliminated from the competition based on home viewer votes, revealing the season's Top 3 finalists.

(Photo credit Frank Micelotta/FOX)

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