Kevin Covais Cut From 'American Idol'

Lisa Tucker, Bucky Covington duck expulsion as contest crop is cut to 10

Simon Cowell seemed to have amiable "American Idol" hopeful Kevin Covais pegged from the very beginning of the contest's fifth season. The cutting judge mused that the 16-year-old Long Island, New York, native's survival on the nationally televised talent contest rested solely in the hands of doting grandmothers and crush-prone schoolgirls infatuated with his charming impishness. Apparently there weren't enough calling in to keep Covais' crack at "Idol" grandeur going.

At the conclusion of Wednesday's elimination episode, which featured a performance of Sammy Fain and Paul Francis Webster's "Love Is a Many Splendored Thing" by this week's celebrity coach Barry Manilow, host Ryan Seacrest broke the bad news to the youngest of the male contestants (by nine years): The "Idol" faithful had divested themselves of Covais.

The expulsion of the boy Seacrest had compared to Chicken Little followed what could be argued was his best "Idol" performance, a heartfelt take on Nat King Cole's "When I Fall in Love" (see " 'American Idol' Recap: Simon Catches McPhee-Ver, Chris Walks The Line"). Covais' exile was also a bit surprising since he wasn't among the three lowest vote-getters the previous week.

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Soon after the results were revealed, Seacrest wondered aloud, "What are we going to do without you?"

"I don't know," Covais responded.

And with that, his "Idol" run was over. Abdul characterized him as possessing "more moxie than most people I've met in my entire life."

The show's faithful spared Bucky Covington and Lisa Tucker the perils of television obscurity for at least one more week. The pair's consignment to the bottom three was anticipated, but for Tucker, the designation was perhaps more crushing.

The 16-year-old from Anaheim, California, was at the bottom the previous week, and her rendition of Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers' "Why Do Fools Fall in Love?" failed to score points with the judges. Cowell called her performance "cutesy," and said that he felt as though he were "trapped in a high school musical." When it came to Covington, a 28-year-old from Rockingham, North Carolina, Cowell blasted his stab at Buddy Holly's "Oh, Boy!" as "nothing more than a pointless karaoke performance."

Next week, America will continue to whittle away at the final 10, leading up to the "American Idol" finale scheduled for May 24.

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