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‘American Idol’ Recap: Syesha Out, Finale Set

[IMG:L]Syesha Mercado will be in the American Idol finale next week–just not as a competitor.

The 21-year-old from Sarasota, Florida, was eliminated Wednesday night, as many had predicted, setting up an all-David finale: David Cook vs. David Archuleta.

Mercado had been among the lowest vote-getters almost every week for the past two months, thus leaving most viewers and voters unsurprised by what transpired Wednesday night; Cook and Archuleta, on the other hand, have never been in the bottom three or two.

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On Tuesday night Mercado sang “If I Ain’t Got You,” “Fever” and “Hit Me Up,” the latter of which drew a rare accurate prediction from judge Paula Abdul: “I don’t know if it’s gonna be good enough to get into the finals of American Idol.”

It’s probably the finale most people want to see: the two goldenboys who couldn’t possibly be more different or appeal to more different fan bases, but who outshone everyone else week after week.

On the subject of fan bases, the young (17 years old), squeaky-clean Archuleta evokes the deafening screams (and certainly votes) of seemingly every under-20 female, while Cook, a scruffy 25-year-old rocker, undoubtedly appeals more to pure music fans.

And out of those two groups, who do you think accounts for more of those 50-plus-million votes?

Indeed, Archuleta should be crowned the new American Idol next week, but the more album-ready Cook might get the last laugh on the Billboard charts–a la Chris Daughtry, season 5’s fourth-place finisher and resident rocker whose eponymous band sold millions of records last year.

Although, it wouldn’t be the season’s biggest shocker if Cook were to win; that title will forever belong to Michael Johns, inexplicably voted off five weeks ago yet still arguably the most talented singer of season 7!

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Next Tuesday’s penultimate episode will be followed by Wednesday’s two-hour finale extravaganza, on which the top 12 will reunite and, of course, the winner will be announced…after the break.

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