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[03/03/06 - 12:00 AM]
Heather Cox, Brenna Gethers, Jose "Sway" Penala and David Radford Eliminated from the "American Idol" Competition

[via press release from FOX]

HEATHER COX, BRENNA GETHERS, JOSE "SWAY" PENALA AND DAVID RADFORD ELIMINATED FROM THE "AMERICAN IDOL" COMPETITION

TOP 8 GIRLS TAKE THE STAGE NEXT TUESDAY, MARCH 7, FOLLOWED BY THE TOP 8 GUYS ON WEDNESDAY, MARCH 8; TOP 12 FINALISTS TO BE NAMED ON THE RESULTS SHOW THURSDAY, MARCH 9, ON FOX

The amazing fifth season of AMERICAN IDOL hit another high note, with over 42 million votes cast after Tuesday and Wednesday's performance shows. So far this season, AMERICAN IDOL is showing incredible growth compared to its same nights last year, increasing +11% among Adults 18-49, +8% among Adults 18-34 and +11% in Total Viewers. Last night, it was revealed that the AMERICAN IDOL journey ended for Heather Cox, Brenna Gethers, Jose "Sway" Penala and David Radford. Cox, from Jonesville, NC, sang "Hero," while Gethers, of Mt. Vernon, NY, sang "Last Dance." Jose "Sway" Penala, who currently lives in South San Francisco, CA, entertained the audience with "Overjoyed," and Radford, from Crystal Lake, IL, sang "The Way You Look Tonight." Season 4 winner Carrie Underwood returned to the AMERICAN IDOL stage, performing her hit single "Jesus, Take the Wheel."

Next week, the Top 8 girls (Paris Bennett, Ayla Brown, Mandisa, Kinnik Sky, Melissa McGhee, Katharine McPhee, Kellie Pickler, Lisa Tucker) will take the stage once again, singing live for America on Tuesday, March 7 (8:00-9:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed). Then it's the guys' turn, as the Top 8 boys (Kevin Covais, Bucky Covington, Chris Daughtry, Taylor Hicks, Will Makar, Gedeon McKinney, Elliott Yamin, Ace Young) perform live in hopes of winning America's vote on Wednesday, March 8 (8:00-9:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed). Tune in the following night to see who receives enough votes to stay in the competition, and who goes home. Another two males and two females will be eliminated on the live results show Thursday, March 9 (8:00-9:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) on FOX.

Fourteen-time Emmy-nominated AMERICAN IDOL is created and executive-produced by Simon Fuller, founder of 19 Entertainment, Ltd.; and executive-produced by Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO, FremantleMedia North America, Inc.; Nigel Lythgoe, President, 19 Television; and Ken Warwick, Executive Producer, FremantleMedia North America, Inc.

Go to AmericanIdol.com for all of your AMERICAN IDOL news. Check out the photos from the different audition cities, along with special, behind-the-scenes information on AMERICAN IDOL. For all photo requests, please go to www.foxflash.com.





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· AMERICAN IDOL (FOX)











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