Double elimination as "Idol" nears home stretch
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two of the seven remaining finalists on TV's "American Idol," Lil Rounds and Anoop Desai, were sent home on Wednesday when fans cast the fewest votes for their performances during the hit talent show's disco-themed week.
Rounds, who sang "I'm Every Woman," and Desai, who performed "Dim All the Lights," had both faced elimination in recent weeks by repeatedly placing among the bottom vote-getters, and both seemed resigned to their fates.
"I'm still really disappointed," Desai, of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, said during the program.
"I'm coming home," added Rounds, addressing her husband and three children.
The double elimination followed last week's judges' save of Matt Giraud, who would have been eliminated had the show's four judges not used their once-per-season veto power to keep him singing for at least another week.
Giraud made the most of his opportunity with his performance of "Stayin' Alive."
The judges reserved some of their harshest words for Rounds' Tuesday performance, with Simon Cowell correctly predicting it would spell the end of the competition for the Memphis singer.
Of Desai, Cowell said, "It was a horrible version of that song." He also told the singer, "That was your worst performance by a mile." But some of the other judges disagreed.
Allison Iraheta was the week's other bottom-three finisher. The teenager is the last remaining female contender. The other finalists are Adam Lambert, Danny Gokey and Kris Allen.
"American Idol" pits aspiring singers against one another in a series of competitions that focus on a musical theme each week. It is the most-watched television show in the United States, with more than 24 million viewers per episode broadcast by the Fox network, a unit of News Corp.
Past winners of the competition such as Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, as well as runners-up such as Clay Aiken, have gone on to lucrative careers in music as well as in film and on Broadway.
The winner of the show's eighth season will be announced during a live finale next month.
(Writing by Chris Michaud)