"American Idol" viewers sent four more contestants packing on Thursday night (Mar. 4), as Haeley Vaughn, Jermaine Sellers, Michelle Delamor and John Park were eliminated from the competition.
After the entire "Idol" top 20 performed the Black Eyed Peas' "I Gotta Feeling," the first contestant to receive the bad news from host Ryan Seacrest was John Park, a Northwestern University student who'd been criticized for sleepy song choices like John Mayer's "Gravity." Park seemed to take the news in stride, reminiscing about his audition chemistry with guest judge Shania Twain and saying, "I've really enjoyed my time here."
27-year-old Jermaine Sellers was the next to be sent home, after both he and Andrew Garcia were brought to the middle of the stage for a moment of suspense. Upon hearing the news, Sellers said, "Where I sing from -- you can't be taught how to riff and run and sing high notes. I'm a church singer. That's where I come from."
The first female contestant voted off was Michelle Delamor, who had performed Creed's "With Arms Wide Open" last night and received mostly positive feedback from the judges. "Idol" judge Kara DioGuardi predicted that Delamor would be in trouble right before her elimination, saying, "as moved as I was in the room, when I went back to watch it, it was technically off." "I think I was so wrapped up in trying to do everything right while being judged that I kind of lost sight of just performing," said Delamor.
The final contestant eliminated was Haeley Vaughn, who was celebrated for her quirky style but criticized for her lack of training, as displayed in her shaky performances of the Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and Miley Cyrus' "The Climb." "I think I could definitely use some more experience," said Vaughn.
Following Kris Allen and Allison Iraheta's "Idol" return last week, last season's third place-finisher Danny Gokey came back to perform "My Best Days Are Ahead of Me," the lead single from his upcoming debut album. An animated Gokey joked with Ellen DeGeneres and talked about his switch from adult contemporary to country music, explaining, "I love telling stories…I love connecting with the fans, and a lot of country artists do that."
"American Idol" continues with the top 16 contestants next Tuesday (Mar. 9). The top 12 will be revealed on Mar. 11.