Kellie Pickler becomes the seventh 'American Idol 5' finalist eliminated
By Reality TV World staff, 04/27/2006
American Idol voted out the seventh of its fifth season finalists during last night's live results show, with Kellie Pickler, a 19-year-old from Albemarle, NC, being eliminated from the Fox reality talent competition as a result of receiving the fewest home viewer votes.
Kellie -- who Idol judge Simon Cowell had repeatedly publicly predicted would be one of the competition's final three singers -- had sung the Righteous Brothers' "Unchained Melody" during Tuesday night's "Classic Love Songs"-themed performance show.
None of Idol's judges had seemed impressed by Kellie's second-straight subpar performance. "I think that deserved tears... [it was] monotonous and bland... you were like a robot," Simon had remarked before Idol's producers spared Kellie from the sharp-tongued judge's full wrath by cueing up the theme music to signal the show was overdue for a commercial break. Even normally super-bubbly Idol judge Paula Abdul couldn't muster any positive feedback about Kellie's woeful performance of the classic. "I don't see you raising the bar each week. At this point it was about greatness, and I didn't see that in you," Paula scolded.
After beginning the American Idol results show by breaking the six remaining finalists into three groups of two, Idol host Ryan Seacrest announced that Taylor Hicks and Elliott Yamin were safe, leaving the two remaining pairs to continue to ponder their fate through a commercial break.
Paris, a 17-year-old from Fayetteville, GA, had sung "The Way We Were," made famous by Barbra Streisand. Although the performance ultimately resulted in her second-straight appearance (and third in four weeks) in Idol's bottom grouping, it had also marked the second consecutive time in which Paris had received mostly positive feedback for her performance. "You oversang the song a little bit, but overall [it was] the best female vocal of tonight," Paula had remarked. "Very good vocal but old-fashioned for my taste," was the harshest criticism Simon could muster.
Unlike Paris, this week's voting had been the first time that Kellie had ever finished in the competition's bottom grouping. "[There's] a first time for everything," she gushed to Ryan after her bottom two status was announced. "After watching the performance last night I feel like I deserve to be here."
When it was finally announced, Kellie took the news of elimination well. "I want to thank all you Kellie fans out there for making my dreams come true, [to] thank god, [to thank] everybody," she told Ryan after her fate was revealed. And thank everybody she did continue to do, resulting the show -- which uncharacteristically did not end with Ryan asking Kellie to perform one final time as the show's credits rolled -- ending its broadcast as Kellie was still talking.
According to Ryan, viewers cast more than 47.5 million votes for this week's results show -- an all-time non-finale American Idol record.
Next week will see another of Idol's finalists eliminated, with the five 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 five contestants still competing in American Idol 5's finals are:
Paris Bennett, a 17-year-old from Fayetteville, GA (Auditioned in Greensboro)
Paris began singing at the age of 4. She has performed in numerous concerts and has opened for many groups, including Bow Wow. Paris is a skilled dancer in hip-hop, jazz and modern African dance.
Chris Daughtry, a 26-year-old from McLeansville, NC (Auditioned in Denver)
Chris discovered his singing ability in algebra class. A gifted guitar player and songwriter, Chris has already recorded a CD with his band Absent Element. For the past three years, Chris has been a service advisor for a car dealership in Greensboro, NC. In 2000, Chris married his wife Deanna and became a stepfather of two.
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 enters 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.