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American Idol: Carly Smithson eliminated

Irish songstress Carly Smithson was eliminated from "American Idol" Wednesday, even though she offered what judge Simon Cowell called one of his favorite performances of the Andrew Lloyd Webber-themed week.

Smithson was joined in the night's bottom two singers by Syesha Mercado, another contestant the three-judge panel praised Tuesday.

The elimination came as a mild surprise to some viewers, especially given crooner Brooke White's do-over in the performance episode. But Smithson has had her share of struggles this season. From the beginning, fans were critical of her semi-pro past, namely a former deal with MCA Records.

Next week, the five remaining contestants will take on Neil Diamond songs.

Get a full recap of Wednesday's show at the "American Idol" blog at www.ledger-enquirer.com.

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