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Published: Wednesday, 5/5/2010

Pennsylvania teen voted off 'American Idol' competition


Crystal Bowersox had another off night Tuesday. It didn't matter as American Idol viewers deemed Aaron Kelly the worst performer this week, sending the 17-year-old from Sonestown, Pa., home.

Kelly struggled with the big vocals of “Fly Me to the Moon” for Frank Sinatra night, though the judges were mixed on his performance.

“You did a really good job,” said Randy Jackson.

Simon Cowell, though, called Kelly's performance a mouse compared to Sinatra's lion.

“It didn't have the conviction for me,” he said. “And I thought the vocals towards the end were a bit corny.”

Kelly said he had “a blast” being on the show, and never thought he would make it as far into the competition as he did, the top 5.

When the high school student was asked how old he thought he was now, after months of pressure-packed weekly performances, Kelly laughed and maintained his ever-present grin.

“Still 17,” he said.

Joining Kelly in the bottom two was 26-year-old Michael “Big Mike” Lynche.

Bowersox sang “Summer Wind” on Tuesday's show. And like Kelly, the 24-year-old from Ottawa County's performance drew mixed reviews.

“It's out of your element, but I kind of liked it. I did,” said Kara DioGuardi. “I liked your phrasing and that's a really important thing this week.”

Cowell, however, said the beginning of the song was “too jazzy … too small nightclub” before it picked up.

He advised Bowersox to step it up if she wanted to remain in the competition.

“For you, Crystal, I think you've had two OK weeks. I think if you survive next week … now it's about being in it to win it. It's not about just singing for yourself anymore. It's about using this opportunity to nail it week after week after week. So I expect better.”

American Idol host Ryan Seacrest said more than 32 million votes were registered Tuesday night after the show.

Next Tuesday beginning at 8 p.m. the top four finalists will be performing. The hourlong results show will air beginning at 9 p.m. American Idol can be seen locally on WUPW-TV, Channel 36.

Contact Kirk Baird at: kbaird@theblade.com or 419-724-6734.

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