Ronnie Gill in Newsday writes:
And then there were 16. Another four “American Idol” semi-finalists fell by the wayside last night in the second thinning of the herd. One last cut next Thursday will determine the sixth season’s 12 finalists.
Host Ryan Seacrest said over 32 million votes were cast on Tuesday and Wednesday. Those not garnering enough to remain in the competition were: Nick Pedro, 25, from Taunton, Mass., who sang “Fever.” Judge Simon Cowell told him he has a good voice but lacked charisma; Alaina Alexander, 24, of West Hollywood, Calif., who received universally bad reviews from all three judges for her rendition of the Dixie Chicks’ “Not Ready to Make Nice,” with Randy Jackson noting, “It was a mess for me.”; AJ Tabaldo, 22, of Santa Maria, Calif., who won the judges’ hearts with “Feeling Good,” but apparently not those of the viewers; and Leslie Hunt, 24, from Chicago, who also sang “Feeling Good” to lukewarm praise.
Surprisingly, the two contestants many felt are the worst –- Antonella Barba, 20, from Point Pleasant, N.J. and Sanjaya Malakar, 17, from Federal Way, Wash. –- survived to sing another week. Also still in the running is Coram native Jared Cotter, 25.
Kellie Pickler, a finalist from last season, returned to sing “I Wonder,” from her debut gold album “Small Town Girl.” Dressed in a too-tight, very low-cut blue dress, hair coiffed short and wearing heavy makeup, Pickler looked more like a 40-year-old housewife than the fresh-faced 19-year-old who sang on the “Idol” stage last year.
More in the morning ...
e-mail Idol Addict