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[04/27/06 - 12:00 AM]
Kellie Pickler Is Eliminated from the "American Idol" Competition Nearly 48 Million Votes Received - New Record for a Performance Show

[via press release from FOX]

KELLIE PICKLER IS ELIMINATED FROM THE "AMERICAN IDOL" COMPETITION NEARLY 48 MILLION VOTES RECEIVED � NEW RECORD FOR A PERFORMANCE SHOW

TOP 5 FINALISTS WILL PERFORM TWO SONGS EACH � ONE FROM THE YEAR THEY WERE BORN AND ANY TOP-10 BILLBOARD CHARTS FROM THIS WEEK � ON NEXT WEEK'S PERFORMANCE SHOW TUESDAY, MAY 2, ON FOX Top 4 Finalists to be Announced on May 3 Results Show

The AMERICAN IDOL phenomenon continues as more than 47.5 million votes were cast this week after the Top 6 finalists performed their favorite classic love songs. Last night, international superstar Andrea Bocelli mesmerized the audience with his new song "Because We Believe," accompanied on the piano by producer David Foster. It was revealed that Kellie Pickler received the fewest votes after Tuesday's performance show, ending her quest to become the next American Idol. Pickler, from Albemarle, NC, sang "Unchained Melody." Next week, the remaining contestants will each perform two songs � one from the year when they were born, and any Top-10 Billboard charts from this week.

So far this season, AMERICAN IDOL shows incredible growth compared to the same telecasts last year, increasing +12% among Adults 18-49 (12.7/31 vs. 11.3/29), +10% among Adults 18-34 (11.6/32 vs. 10.5/30), +6% among Teens (9.3/28 vs. 8.8/27) and +14% in Total Viewers (30.6 vs. 26.8 Mil).

Next week, television's hottest show gets even hotter when the Top 5 finalists (Paris Bennett, Chris Daughtry, Taylor Hicks, Katharine McPhee and Elliott Yamin) sing two songs each as they compete head-to-head again on Tuesday, May 2 (8:00-9:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed). Tune in the following night to find out who receives enough votes to stay in the competition and who must go home on the AMERICAN IDOL results show Wednesday, May 3 (9:00-9:32 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 photos from the different audition cities, along with special, behind-the-scenes information on AMERICAN IDOL. For photos of the finalists, please go to www.foxflash.com.





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· AMERICAN IDOL (FOX)





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