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Two singers sent home on ‘American Idol’

Because the Judges' Save was used for Matt Giraud last week, two contestants had to get the boot on this week's show.
/ Source: msnbc.com contributor

The “American Idol” field was reduced to five on Wednesday, as two more singers were sent home. That marked the end of the road for one early favorite and for one singer who spent weeks barely hanging on.

Lil Rounds lost her mojo on Motown Week and never got it back, turning from one of the show's leading contenders into the singer who most exasperated the judges. She ran out of chances to rebound, and Tuesday’s disco night proved to be the straw that broke the voters’ dialing and texting fingers.

Also getting kicked off the show was Anoop Desai. After three weeks in a row of being in the bottom three, it was the fourth go-round that proved to be one escape attempt too many for this season’s Houdini.

Too little, too late: Before he delivered the bad news about Lil Rounds, host Ryan Seacrest talked up her background and personality, noting that she was the mother of three small children and someone who was never hesitant to speak her mind. Perhaps that sales pitch would have been more effective had it come before the votes were counted instead of after. But Lil did leave with a nice parting gift, some kind words from Simon Cowell, one of her harshest critics in recent weeks. “I was — still am — a big fan of you,” he said. “I’m actually going to miss your family screaming at us every week.”

Bluer than Carolina Blue: Anoop did not look surprised when Ryan told him he was gone, though he wasn’t thrilled with the news. Having been in the bottom three more often than not all season, he had to figure this would happen sooner or later. “I’m still really disappointed,” the University of North Carolina student said, “but now I have to look at the bright side — I’m going back to Chapel Hill.”

Taking it easy: The third member of the bottom three was Allison Iraheta, who always accepts whatever Ryan tells her with good cheer. She seemed happy enough as she moseyed across the stage to join Anoop in the seats of shame, singing “Here it goes, here it goes, here it goes again.” Now, it’s up to her to figure out why this does keep happening to her despite the positive feedback she generally gets from the judges.

From PG-13 to AARP: Last week, guests on the “Idol” results show were youngsters Miley Cyrus and Zac Efron. This week, appearing onstage were disco veterans Freda Payne, Thelma Houston, and K.C. (of “and the Sunshine Band” fame). In these troubled economic times, apparently there’s no harm in targeting every advertising demographic out there.

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Disco fever isn’t catching: Disco week brought a special dance routine for the group sing, and Paula Abdul choreographed the number. Let’s just say that it didn’t look like the seven finalists gave her much ability to work with. “I’ve never had any group work harder,” she said afterwards. Note that that is not the same thing as saying they were any good.

Your mama dresses you funny: The most notable part of the group sing were the outfits, which made the “Idol” finalists look like grade-schoolers playing with the old clothes from their grandparents’ attics. Moreover, Ryan Seacrest had to kill time in the following segment because some of the finalists didn’t get their clothes changed in time. Perhaps they got lost looking for the incinerator.

Justifying the judges’ love: Matt Giraud was only on the show this week because the judges voted to save him from elimination a week ago, a responsibility he keenly felt. “I don’t want to go home the week after I got saved. I’d feel like I blew it,” he said in the introductory video to Thursday’s episode. Ryan made him sweat by keeping his fate secret until the last minute, but he made the most of the second chance and wasn’t one of the three lowest vote-getters.

Craig Berman is a writer in Washington, D.C.