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After once again being voted into the American Idol bottom three alongside two female singers, Karen Rodriguez could not survive this week’s competition and was voted off during the elimination episode Thursday night on Fox. Haley Reinhart and Naima Adedapo joined Rodriguez in the bottom three but were eventually cleared into the top 11.
When Rodriguez, who delivered a take on Taylor Dayne’s “Love Will Lead You Back” on last night’s episode that made Steven Tyler praise her “ethnic-what-is-it-ness,” found out that she had received the least votes, she busted out a multilingual performance of Mariah Carey’s “Hero” that earned a standing ovation. “It just felt great to have at least that one chance,” she said as she broke down in tears following the performance. “I can do so much better, and I know you guys believe in me.”
Sadly, Randy Jackson told Rodriguez that the judges had chosen not to save her, although unlike last week’s decision on Ashthon Jones, the vote was not unanimous. With the departures of Rodriguez and Jones, Season 10 of American Idol is left with six male contestants — none of whom has yet to crack the bottom three — and five female contestants.
American Idol kicked off a particularly lively elimination episode with a group performance that mashed up Steppenwolf’s “Born to Be Wild” and Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” and culminated in a West Side Story-esque battle between the boys and girls. Idol also offered a preview of the Ford music video that the contestants are shooting — in one memorable sequence, Lauren Alaina is shown tied to a chair next to a ticking time bomb, while Paul McDonald laughs maniacally.
Season 9 champ Lee DeWyze also returned to the Idol stage to perform his latest single, the sweeping rock ballad “Beautiful Like You.” Shortly after, the Black Eyed Peas played new single “Just Can’t Get Enough” for the first time, and before busting out some robotic dance moves, Will.i.am dedicated the track to “our friends in Japan.”
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