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[03/16/06 - 12:00 AM]
Melissa Mcghee Is Eliminated from the "American Idol" Competition

[via press release from FOX]

MELISSA McGHEE IS ELIMINATED FROM THE "AMERICAN IDOL" COMPETITION

TOP 11 FINALISTS WILL COMPETE ON "MUSIC OF THE '50s"-THEMED PERFORMANCE SHOW TUESDAY, MARCH 21, ON FOX Barry Manilow to Perform on Results Show Next Wednesday, March 22

The incredible fifth season of AMERICAN IDOL reached new heights this week, when the Top 12 finalists performed songs by the legendary Stevie Wonder on Tuesday and joined Wonder on stage last night. Wonder performed "My Love Is On Fire" from his new album "A Time To Love." Approximately 32.5 million votes were cast after Tuesday's performance show, determining the fate of one of the Top 12 finalists and ending her quest to become the next AMERICAN IDOL. It was revealed that the journey ended for Melissa McGhee after she received the fewest votes. McGhee, from Tampa, FL, sang Wonder's hit "Lately."

Nearly 33 million people tuned in to Tuesday's show, making it the most-watched performance show ever. This season, AMERICAN IDOL shows incredible growth, gaining exponentially versus last season, including +12% in Total Viewers and +11% among Adults 18-49.

Next week, the competition on television's hottest show heats up when the 11 finalists (Kevin Covais, Bucky Covington, Chris Daughtry, Taylor Hicks, Elliott Yamin, Ace Young, Paris Bennett, Mandisa, Katharine McPhee, Kellie Pickler and Lisa Tucker) compete head-to-head again on Tuesday, March 21 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed). The theme for the performance show will be "music of the 50s," with a special performance by renowned artist Barry Manilow. Tune in the following night to see Manilow perform and find out who receives enough votes to stay in the competition and who must go home on the live results show Wednesday, March 22 (9:00-9:32 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) on FOX.

Fourteen-time Emmy-nominated AMERICAN IDOL is created and executive-produced by Simon Fuller, founder of 19 Entertainment, Ltd.; and executive-produced by Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO, FremantleMedia North America, Inc.; Nigel Lythgoe, President, 19 Television; and Ken Warwick, Executive Producer, FremantleMedia North America, Inc.

Go to AmericanIdol.com for all of your AMERICAN IDOL news. Check out the photos from the different audition cities, along with special, behind-the-scenes information on AMERICAN IDOL. For all photo requests, please go to www.foxflash.com.





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· AMERICAN IDOL (FOX)











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