‘Idol’ loses another finalist

Not enough “American Idol” viewers were inspired to vote for Tim Urban.

The 20-year-old college student from Duncanville, Texas, was eliminated from the ninth season of the Fox singing competition Wednesday at the end of the “Idol Gives Back” charity event. Urban, who wasn’t at his best with his version of the Goo Goo Dolls’ “Better Days” on Tuesday’s inspirational-themed performance show, received the fewest viewer votes.

“Keep that smile alive,” host Ryan Seacrest told the unflappable singer.

Despite serving as a last-minute semifinalist replacement and receiving constant criticism in the early stages of the finals, Urban deftly evaded dismissal for several weeks — and kept grinning the entire time. In recent weeks, he won over the show’s judges with subtle performances, garnering the most praise for his rendition of The Beatles’ “All My Loving.”

Joining Urban in the bottom three were 27-year-old musician Casey James of Fort Worth, Texas, and spunky 17-year-old high school student Aaron Kelly of Sonestown, Pa. James was panned for his unoriginal interpretation of Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop,” while Kelly failed to soar with his less-than-inspired rendition of R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly.”

Urban’s elimination capped the third “Idol” charity event. “Idol Gives Back,” which has raised more than $140 million since its 2007 launch, will benefit Children’s Health Fund, Feeding America, Malaria No More, the United Nations Foundation and Save the Children’s U.S. programs this year. Viewers were asked to donate throughout the broadcast.

Celebrities such as Jennifer Garner and Morgan Freeman appeared in segments showcasing the charities’ work. The Black Eyed Peas, Mary J. Blige, Alicia Keys, Elton John and other musicians performed from the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. Annie Lennox, who was stranded in London because of the volcanic ash travel disruptions, performed in a pre-taped appearance.

The other finalists remaining in the competition are 24-year-old musician Crystal Bowersox of Toledo, Ohio; 24-year-old paint sales clerk Lee Dewyze of Mount Prospect, Ill.; 26-year-old personal trainer Michael Lynche of Queens, N.Y.; and 20-year-old glass blower Siobhan Magnus of Marstons Mills, Mass. The singers will be mentored next week by Shania Twain.

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Posted in American Idol.

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