‘American Idol’ Recap: Amanda Overmyer Handles Elimination Announcement With Grace

It’s back to sporting scrubs for Amanda Overmyer. The 23-year-old Harley-riding nurse — with streaked hair, an adoration of Southern-fried rock and roll and a proclivity for using the word “killer” — won’t be spending this summer on the road, touring with the rest of the “American Idol” contenders. She’s headed back to Mulberry, Indiana, after being voted off the show during Wednesday night’s episode.

Overmyer — whose gravelly vocal style drew comparisons to Janis Joplin from the “Idol” judges — was the latest contestant to get the boot, following her Tuesday night performance of the Beatles’ “Back in the U.S.S.R.”

Millions of fans called and texted in their votes after Tuesday’s episode, and it seems America agreed with the show’s judges: While entertaining, Overmyer’s raucous performance just didn’t cut the “Idol” mustard. Overmyer, whose mouth barely moved during the night’s opening group performance, didn’t seem too shocked by the results — in fact, she took the rejection surprisingly well, and with graciousness.

“It’s been a run,” she told host Ryan Seacrest. “Number 11 out of all them people was more than I could ever expect.” Several of her “Idol” compadres wept as Overmyer spoke, and there was an audible gasp from the studio audience as the results were revealed. Seacrest praised her for being “one of the most fearless contestants we have ever had.”

This week’s bottom three was estrogen-packed: Kristy Lee Cook, a 24-year-old from Selma, Oregon, who performed “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away”; and Carly Smithson, a 24-year-old from San Diego-by-way-of-Ireland, who tackled “Blackbird,” were the other two lowest vote-getters.

Cook, a bottom-three fixture for the past few weeks, was visibly shocked upon learning she was once again safe, and breathed a hearty sigh of relief. Acerbic judge Simon Cowell — who has characterized Cook as “forgettable” and once likened her voice to “Dolly Parton on helium” — told Cook after Tuesday’s performance that she’s “like musical wallpaper, insomuch as you notice it, but you can’t remember it.” For a second-straight week, Cowell conceded that America indeed got the vote right.

For Smithson, it was her first brush with dismissal, and perhaps the night’s single jaw-dropping moment. When she learned she could be leaving, Smithson looked down, pierced her lips and shook her head in befuddlement. Judge Paula Abdul booed the result and said, “America definitely got it wrong.” Smithson fought back the tears as she strolled over to the stools designated for the show’s bottom three. Later on in the show, when she was admitted to the top 10, Smithson asked Seacrest, “Are you kidding me?”

Rounding out the contenders who will on the “Idol” tour this summer are David Archuleta, Jason Castro, David Cook, Chikezie Eze, Michael Johns, Ramiele Malubay, Syesha Mercado and Brooke White.

Wednesday night’s elimination show featured a performance by season-five contestant Kellie Pickler and a Ford commercial in which the “American Idol” finalists performed the Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go.” In addition, Seacrest revealed this season’s mentors, which include Dolly Parton, Mariah Carey, Neil Diamond and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Chris Harris


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