Charleston's Testone advances on 'American Idol'

Elise Testone advanced on "American Idol." (Source: YouTube)
Elise Testone advanced on "American Idol." (Source: YouTube)

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Another "American Idol" finalist was eliminated Thursday, but it wasn't Charleston's Elise Testone.

Elise Testone and Joshua Ledet successfully channeled icons of the opposite sex during Wednesday night's performance on "American Idol."

Shaking her wavy blond hair and sporting a pair of tight bellbottoms, Testone delivered a faithful rendition of Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love," while Ledet soared by embracing Mariah Carey's vocal acrobatics on Badfinger's "Without You" during the Fox singing competition's idol-themed performance round Wednesday night.

"You made everybody get up," Jennifer Lopez told Testone. "It was crazy."

The 28-year-old teacher from Charleston, and the 19-year-old student from Westlake, La., both earned standing ovations from the panel - as did three other finalists: 16-year-old student Jessica Sanchez of San Diego with Beyonce's "Sweet Dreams"; 21-year-old pawn shop worker Phillip Phillips of Leesburg, Ga., with Jonny Lang's "Still Rainin'''; and 17-year-old student Deandre Brackensick of San Jose, Calif., with Eric Benet's "Sometimes I Cry."

It wasn't a laughing matter for Heejun Han on "American Idol." The goofy 22-year-old nonprofit organizer from New York who found his way back into the judges' good graces after weeks of silly on-stage antics was eliminated from the Fox singing contest. After receiving the fewest viewer votes, Han couldn't convince the judges to save him Thursday by reprising his serious take on Leon Russell's "A Song for You."

"Heejun, let the record show you knew this was coming yourself," said "Idol" judge Steven Tyler.

Han was joined in the bottom three by 18-year-old finalists Skylar Laine of Brandon, Miss., and Hollie Cavanaugh of McKinney, Texas. Laine was lauded by the judges during Wednesday's idol-themed performances for her energetic rendition of Miranda Lambert's "Gunpowder and Lead," while Cavanaugh failed to light up Tyler and Randy Jackson with Carrie Underwood's "Jesus, Take the Wheel."

The eight remaining singers will return to the stage to perform 1980s tunes for viewer votes next Wednesday.

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