Another diva bit the dust on “American Idol” with the shocking ejection of La Toya London Wednesday night.
The two singers who received the lowest viewer-vote totals — London and Fantasia Barrino — were considered the favorites to go head-to-head in the finals. They, along with the recently booted Jennifer Hudson, had become known as “The Three Divas.”
London kept smiling even as the crowd booed in reaction to her removal from the Fox TV singing competition.
“I just want to thank you so much, thank you for believing in me,” the 25-year-old said before belting out one of her best songs from the series, “Don’t Rain on My Parade” from “Funny Girl.”
“I think America got this one wrong this week,” Paula Abdul said.
“I think it’s a travesty,” echoed Randy Jackson.
The judges play an advisory role after helping winnow the field of 70,000 applicants to 32 semifinalists and then, with viewers, to 12 finalists. The audience takes charge from there until the winner is picked.
Trias survives to sing another day
London’s departure leaves three women in the competition: Besides Barrino, there’s Diana DeGarmo and Jasmine Trias.
It looked as if Trias was a goner, and she seemed to suspect as much during Tuesday’s episode. Tears replaced the Hawaiian songstress’ perpetually sunny smile after judge Simon Cowell made some brutally honest remarks about her singing during the show’s disco week.
“I think, Jasmine, you have a lot of thank-you letters to write to Hawaii,” Cowell said Wednesday.
It was just as shocking that Barrino — considered one of the top singers all along — had the second-lowest vote total. The judges had criticized one of the songs she chose: Bonnie Tyler's “Holding Out for a Hero” from the “Footloose” soundtrack — which, technically, isn’t a disco song because it came out in 1984.
But Cowell also had some kind words this week. Having previously said he thought the 16-year-old DeGarmo was too young for the competition, he made a rare reversal: “I’m gonna take that back,” he said.
“This was your week,” Abdul told DeGarmo.
As for the always-polished London, Abdul had gushed Tuesday: “I’m looking at an American Idol.”
Among the filler to prolong the tension during Wednesday night’s hour-and-six minute broadcast: observations from “psychic channeler” Kimberly Berg, who reassured the four finalists, “You’re being supported not only by the fans but by the universe.”
The women also sang a medley of Donna Summer tunes, including “Hot Stuff” and “Bad Girls.” The disco diva, who served as a celebrity judge this week, took the stage to sing “Last Dance” and “MacArthur Park.”
Wednesday night’s episode also marked the triumphant return of Clay Aiken, the runner-up in last season’s “Idol” competition who has enjoyed as much fame and success as the winner, Ruben Studdard. Aiken, famous for his geek-to-chic transformation, sang “Fantasy” by Earth, Wind & Fire.