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Published: Thursday, 4/7/2005

Nikko Smith gets the boot from 'American Idol'

FROM BLADE STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS
Nikko Smith Nikko Smith
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The female-only elimination streak has ended last night as America voted off its first male contestant, Nikko Smith, during the live results show of American Idol.

Smith, 22, of Town & Country, Mo., sang One Hand, One Heart from West Side Story during Tuesday s performance round. The theme was Broadway show tunes.

Dubbed The Comeback Kid by judge Paula Abdul, Smith s performance was criticized by judge Simon Cowell who said part of the song was out of tune.

Before being eliminated, Smith was joined, to the dismay of the audience, by Scott Savol, 28, of Shaker Heights, Ohio, and Vonzell Solomon, 21, of Fort Myers, Florida, as the bottom three vote-getters.

Judge Randy Jackson was surprised by the bottom three results and called voters confused, and Abdul added that all contestants, including Smith, deserve recording contracts.

While Smith, who mainly performs in the tradition of R&B artists, took the high road about his elimination, he did tell host Ryan Seacrest that Tuesday s Great White Way tribute was difficult for most contestants.

[Tuesday s show] was hard for everybody. It took us out of our element, Smith said.

Eight contestants remain, and finalists will battle live from the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood when one American Idol will be crowned on May 25.



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