no surprises, plenty of tears as 4 leave 'idol'
Whether this is American Idol's most talented final group yet is debatable, but what isn't is that it's the most teary. Not much is needed to get these people crying, and Thursday's booting of Alexandrea Lushington, Alaina Whitaker, Jason Yeager and ex-boy-band member Robbie Carrico of Melbourne produced enough water from those leaving and staying to soak a few potted plants. But there was no big surprise among the ejections, resulting from what host Ryan Seacrest said were almost 31-million votes cast. All four had shaky performances doing songs from the '70s, and all got pans from the judges. Carrico, trying to promote himself as a rocker and not doing it well beyond copying Axl Rose's look, got the worst of it after singing Foreigner's Hot Blooded. Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell said he just didn't come across as authentic. The Idol field is down to 16, and the final 12 will be set next week. Also announced Thursday was that Idol has finally gotten permission from music publisher Sony-ATV to use songs written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, and that's what the top 12 will perform March 11. And this year's Idol Gives Back charity show is April 9. Brad Pitt is on the celebrity guest list.
Sharon Fink, Times staff writer