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Published: Thursday, 3/31/2005

Sierra's exit leaves 9 'Idol' contestants

BLADE STAFF
One judge says Jessica Sierra deserves a better finish. One judge says Jessica Sierra deserves a better finish.
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No need for a revote this week, America. Last night, Jessica Sierra was booted off American Idol without controversy or technical mishaps - but with misgivings by some of the show's judges.

Sierra, 19, of Tampa, performed "On the Side of Angels" during Tuesday's show. The night's theme was the '90s.

Despite the fact that Sierra was voted off the show, leaving nine remaining contestants, Judge Randy Jackson said last night that she and Anwar Robinson did not deserve to be among the bottom vote-getters.

"I wouldn't put either one of these two in the bottom two," he said.

Still, his earlier comments about her performance were that he did not like her song selection, and judge Paula Abdul said it did not showcase her talent. Simon Cowell, another judge, said she did not share the other contestants' likeability factor. Over 32 million votes were cast by viewers, who opted to knock off Sierra. The bottom three vote-getters revealed last night also included Robinson and Nadia Turner.

The three judges narrowed the field from thousands of hopefuls, but viewers decided the final dozen. All of those eliminated so far have been female. Once they are whittled down to two finalists, they will battle it out live from the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood on May 24. The new American Idol will be crowned May 25.



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