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‘American Idol’ Recap: Carly Out, Syesha Bulletproof?

[IMG:L]Although Carly Smithson was the one eliminated from American Idol Wednesday night, it has to be even tougher to walk in Syesha Mercado’s heels these days.

Over the past month and a half, Mercado has placed in the bottom three an astonishing five times.

Translation: She has probably expected to be eliminated on a weekly basis for some time now.

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But Syesha soldiers on once again after Irishwoman Smithson was surprisingly–though not quite on a Michael Johns level–sent packing following her Tuesday performance of “Superstar” from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar.

With just six contestants remaining heading into Wednesday night, the singers were trotted out in pairs to learn their fates: safety or the bottom two (reduced from three, given the small number of singers left on the show).

When the first pair to walk out consisted of golden boys David Archuleta and David Cook, who are basically immune to even so-so votes from here to the finale, it immediately became clear that the bottom two would be chosen from four contestants: Syesha, Brooke White, Smithson, and Jason Castro.

Out of Syesha and Brooke, based on performance, Brooke would’ve been the safer bet to be among the bottom two vote-getters, since she asked to restart her performance the previous night after forgetting a lyric–approximately five seconds into the song.

It stirred up some minor controversy and was no doubt the post-show talk of the blogosphere, but Simon Cowell had a great point Wednesday night when he said that Brooke’s do-over made her seem “more human,” which struck a chord with voters.

As for the last pair of the night to await Ryan Seacrest’s card reading, Syesha and Castro, the latter’s shaky performance (and song choice) of “Memory,” from Cats, would’ve seemed to spell his Idol demise. But the teenage girls–or whoever can be heard shrieking each time he takes the stage–can’t get enough of Castro.

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And so, arguably the two best from Tuesday night were the two least popular this week.

Smithson, 24, like the recently dismissed Johns, had previously been signed to a record deal and, also like Johns, will probably find more success off of Idol than she did on it.

Next week, less than a month before the finale, the top five will choose from the vast songbook of Neil Diamond.

And while Jason Castro will probably admit to having never heard of Diamond, I’m predicting that Syesha is the one to be voted off. (Note: I’ve been inaccurately predicting that for about a month, so why stop now? It’s not that she lacks the talent, it’s that she lacks the fans… Or does she?!)

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