Chris Daughtry sent home in 'American Idol 5' elimination shocker
By Reality TV World staff, 05/11/2006
American Idol eliminated the ninth of its fifth season finalists during last night's live broadcast, sending Chris Daughtry, a 26-year-old from McLeansville, NC, home in a results show shocker.
With only four finalists left, Tuesday night's performance show had required each remaining Idol finalist to perform two Elvis Presley classics. Chris had performed "Suspicious Minds" and "A Little Less Conversation."
All three Idol judges had offered positive feedback about Chris' first performance, with Paula Abdul going as far as to remark "See you in the finals" after his "Suspicious Minds" rendition. However, Idol judge Simon Cowell wasn't as impressed by Chris' "A Little Less Conversation" rendition. "I thought your first song was a lot stronger, up until the end, it was quite a flat performance really," said Simon.
After filling the first twenty-three minutes of Wednesday night's results show broadcast with a recap of Tuesday's performances, a recap of the foursome's Graceland tour, a group medley of numerous Elvis classics, and a rather shameless X-Men 3 movie plug in which studio audience member (and X-Men actress) Rebecca Romijn asked Taylor Hicks for an encore performance of "Jailhouse Rock," American Idol host Ryan Seacrest finally broke the finalists into two groups of two before the show's final commercial break.
Upon returning from the break, Ryan revealed that Taylor and Elliott Yamin had received the most votes in this week's home viewer voting -- an announcement that left Chris and Katharine McPhee, Idol's sole remaining female finalist, as the week's bottom two vote-getters. Then, in what appeared to be a particularly cruel setup, Ryan spent a final few seconds toying with the emotions of both Chris and the studio audience members.
"A lot of people predicted both of you could be in our finale... a lot of people predicted that Chris, that you could be the next American Idol," Ryan commented. Then, while Chris was still smiling and enjoying the audience cheers that followed Ryan's pronouncement, Ryan pulled the rug out from under both Chris and the audience. "Chris, you are going home tonight... the journey ends -- America, you have spoken and Chris is leaving the show tonight, Kat, you're safe."
Both Chris and Katherine were visibly shocked by the announcement, as were the show's judges and studio audience. Loud boos immediately rained down from the audience as Paula -- appearing on the verge of tears -- dropped her head and covered her face from the cameras. Meanwhile, Simon -- who had stated only seconds earlier that Katherine should be the one going home and openly predicted a Chris/Taylor finale after last week's results show -- sat stone-faced and seemingly dumbfounded.
When prodded by Ryan, Chris didn't attempt to hide his surprise. "I'm a little bit in shock," he stated honestly. "You bet," he responded when asked if the announcement of his elimination had surprised him.
Katherine had performed a medley of "Hound Dog" and "All Shook Up" followed by "Can't Help Falling in Love" during Tuesday's performance show. "It was manic, it was shrieky, I hope you got a second better song," Simon had commented after her first performance. Unfortunately for her, he also wasn't very happy with her "Can't Help Falling in Love" performance. "This hasn't been one of your best nights... what I wanted was apple pie on its own and instead I got apple pie and a gallon of cream on top," Simon chided.
Next week will see another of Idol's finalists eliminated, with the three remaining contestants once again taking to the stage during Tuesday's 8PM ET/PT performance show and later learning their fate during Wednesday's 9:00-9:30PM ET/PT live results show.
The three contestants still competing in American Idol 5's finals are:
Taylor Hicks, a 29-year-old from Birmingham, AL (Auditioned in Las Vegas)
Taylor is a blue-eyed soul singer who has played every honky-tonk imaginable. A talented writer and harmonica player, Taylor entered the competition with almost 29 years of singing experience, as he has been singing since he could crawl.
Katharine McPhee, a 21-year-old from Sherman Oaks, CA (Auditioned in San Francisco)
Katharine was born and raised in Los Angeles. She was exposed at an early age to the joy of singing by her mother, a vocal coach. After high school, Katharine attended the prestigious Boston Conservatory for one semester and majored in musical theater.
Elliott Yamin, a 27-year-old from Richmond, VA (Auditioned in Boston)
Elliott began singing at the ripe age of 5. His mother, who was a professional singer, is his inspiration and biggest fan. For Elliott, being on American Idol has allowed him to pursue his dream of singing professionally.