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Paris Bennett becomes the eighth 'American Idol 5' finalist eliminated


By Reality TV World staff, 05/04/2006 

American Idol voted out the eighth of its fifth season finalists during last night's live results show, with Paris Bennett, a 17-year-old from Fayetteville, GA, being eliminated from the Fox reality talent competition as a result of receiving the fewest home viewer votes.

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With only five finalists left, Tuesday night's performance show had required each remaining Idol finalist to perform two songs -- one from the year in which they were born and another that was currently in the Top 10 of any Billboard chart. Paris decided to sing Prince's "Kiss" (a 1988 hit) and Mary J. Blige's "Be Without You."

"It's nice to see you having a little fun, showing that youth thing," Idol judge Randy Jackson had remarked after Paris' "Kiss" performance. However fellow judge Simon Cowell wasn't a fan, calling Paris' rendition "annoying" and "screechy." Predictably, the pair also had contrasting views of "Be Without You." "I thought she did rather well with [it]," Simon remarked after Randy termed the performance "pitchy."

After beginning the actual results portion of Wednesday night's fluff-filled results show broadcast by disclosing that Idol finalists Taylor Hicks and Chris Daughtry had survived another week of viewer voting, American Idol host Ryan Seacrest continued his individual finalist announcements by revealing that Paris had been one of the week's bottom two vote-getters.

The unsurprising announcement marked the third straight week (and fourth in five weeks) that Paris had been a member of Idol's bottom grouping. After asking Paris to re-perform "Kiss" and keeping remaining finalists Elliott Yamin and Katharine McPhee in suspense through a commercial break, Ryan revealed that Elliott was the other member of the week's bottom twosome.

Elliott had performed "On Broadway" and Michael Buble's "Home" during Tuesday's performance show. "I don't think that was your best performance, I think it was a bit disjointed," Simon had remarked after Elliott's "On Broadway" performance. Simon also pointed out the irony of Elliott's performance of "Home," whose lyrics repeatedly state "I want to go home." "I'm not sure I would have chosen the lyrics 'I want to go home,'" the sharp-tongued judge noted on Tuesday.

After asking Elliott sing an encore of "On Broadway," Ryan revealed that Paris had been eliminated.

Given she had been no stranger to the competition's bottom groupings, Paris appeared well prepared the announcement and took the news of her elimination well. "I love you guys too," the smiling 17-year-old told Ryan after he'd thanked her for participating in the competition.

According to Ryan, viewers cast almost 45.5 million votes for this week's results show.

Next week will see another of Idol's finalists eliminated, with the four 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 four contestants still competing in American Idol 5's finals are:

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.



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