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Published: Thursday, 5/10/2007

American Idol voters say no to singer Jones 'Stayin' Alive'

BY ERIKA RAY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

LaKisha Jones is the American Idol contestant who will not be "Stayin' Alive" to sing again next week.

The 27-year-old from Fort Meade, Md., is the latest contestant to get the ax on the popular Fox reality TV show.

With tears running down her face, Jones reprised her version of the hit "Stayin' Alive" for the last time on the Idol stage last night after it was revealed that she was the lowest vote-getter.

More than 45 million votes came in for the rest of the four contestants, but not enough of them were aimed at saving the Flint, Mich., native.

This was the first week that each of the contestants got two chances to show America what they've got. On Tuesday, all four contestants each sang two songs that Barry Gibb made famous with the Bee Gees.

Jones went third, and her first choice was the upbeat "Stayin' Alive."

Judge Randy Jackson said he felt she tried to do too much with the song while Judge Paula Abdul said the slower tempo hurt her because the audience expected to groove.

Judge Simon Cowell was much more blunt. "No kiss tonight, baby," he said. "We're back to the shouting again. The performance was verging on scary in parts."

The judges agreed that her second song, "Run To Me," was better, even though her voice gave out on her a bit at the end.

"Do not beat yourself up at all over that," Abdul said. "You're still a champ."

Not many positive comments were doled out: All received their share of the sometimes harsh criticism from all three judges.

Cowell predicted that Jones would be heading home.

Three are still vying for the title of the next American Idol: Melinda Doolittle, 29, of Brentwood, Tenn.; Jordin Sparks, 17, of Glendale, Ariz., and Blake Lewis, 25, of Bothell, Wash.

One more will be eliminated next week. Two will go into the semifinals on May 22.

The new American Idol will be crowned on May 23.



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