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 `American Idol' drills down to 9 contestants

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PostSubject: `American Idol' drills down to 9 contestants   Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:58 pm

LOS ANGELES Michael Sarver got a crude awakening Thursday night from his "American Idol" life.

The 27-year-old oil rig worker from Jasper, Texas, made his final plea by belting out "Ain't Too Proud to Beg," but it just wasn't slick enough for the judges to overrule the votes of viewers.

Sarver was also in the bottom two last week, and put on a consensus weak performance in Wednesday night's performance round. Even sugary-sweet Paula Abdul chimed in, comparing the 27-year-old oil rig worker from Jasper, Texas, to an old-school Vegas lounge act.

His unrefined reprisal of the Temptations classic didn't appear to tempt the judges to spend their one-time save of a low-vote getter. The four got their heads together for a moment, then Simon Cowell told the married father of two children: "Michael, you're going home. Sorry."

Matt Giraud, 23, of Kalamazoo, Mich., was the other bottom vote-getter, despite the judges' positive appraisal of his "Let's Get it On" by Marvin Gaye.

Stevie Wonder kept the Motown mojo of this week's show going by singing a medley of his songs, energizing both the contestants who were dancing and grooving along and audience.

The nine contestants who remain on the Fox network's singing competition are Allison Iraheta, Adam Lambert, Anoop Desai, Danny Gokey, Kris Allen, Lil Rounds, Matt Giraud, Megan Corkrey and Scott MacIntyre.

Fox pushed this week's "American Idol" broadcasts back a day to steer clear of President Obama's prime-time news conference on Tuesday night.

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