'American Idol' sends Carly Smithson home, reveals Top 5 finalists
By Christopher Rocchio, 04/24/2008
Carly Smithson was revealed to be the seventh finalist eliminated from American Idol's seventh season during last night's live results show on Fox.
The 24-year-old from San Diego, CA was ousted from Idol's seventh season after host Ryan Seacrest said "over 38 million" home viewer votes were cast immediately following Tuesday night's live performance broadcast that saw the Top 6 finalists singing Andrew Lloyd Webber songs.
"I'm very proud of myself and I'm very happy," said Smithson after her elimination was revealed. "I'm not upset that I'm going home. I'm okay. I have had the best time here. I really have."
Smithson had originally chosen to sing "All I Ask of You" on Tuesday night until Webber suggested she do "Superstar" during rehearsals -- and she took his advice.
"I don't know if this was your best performance, but it was definitely good," Randy Jackson commented on Tuesday. "It was definitely good."
Fellow judge Paula Abdul called the song selection "unexpected" and added at first she thought it "might be too high of a range," but she ultimately "loved" what Smithson did in the chorus.
"Other than the fact that it got a little bit shouty in the middle, it was actually one of my favorite performances of the night," said Simon Cowell.
Prior to Smithson's elimination last night, Syesha Mercado, a 21-year-old from Sarasota, FL who currently resides in Miami, was revealed to be the finalist who received the second lowest amount of home viewer votes following Tuesday night's episode.
"I am shocked," said Jackson about the bottom two. "It must be a bit of a 'popularity week' in the vote. Those two sang really good last night."
Seacrest then revealed Smithson was eliminated.
Prior to Seacrest's announcement that Smithson was in the bottom two, Cowell -- one of Smithson's harshest critics throughout the season -- had been heard telling Abdul that his positive Tuesday night comments may have been the "kiss of death" for Smithson, and he reiterated that opinion after her ouster.
"I apologize for giving you a compliment last night -- the kiss of death," said Cowell, which made Smithson laugh. "But let me tell you Carly. You can leave with your head held high."
Idol's five remaining seventh-season finalists -- David Archuleta, David Cook, Jason Castro, Mercado, and Brooke White -- will all take the stage and perform during next week's live one-hour performance episode on Tuesday at 8PM ET/PT. Neil Diamond will serve as the musical mentor.
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 4 finalists.