It was a night of tension for American Idol’s two Tampa Bay contestants – ultimately ending in heartache for Valrico 19-year-old Jeremy Rosado and joyous relief for Tampa 16-year-old Shannon Magrane.

Rosado, 19, received high marks Wednesday night from judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler for his rendition of Stevie Wonder’s Ribbon In the Sky, but wound up Thursday night as the lowest male vote-getter along with the female singer who garnered the fewest votes, 28-year-old Charleston, S.C. teacher Elise Testone.

Per the rules laid out by Idol host Ryan Seacrest, the Lopez, Tyler and Randy Jackson had to decide which of those two to eliminate from the group of 13 contestants. In the end, the good-natured and likeable Rosado – panned by blunt recording industry expert Jimmy Iovine earlier in the result’s show – got the boot. But true to form, he handled the disappointing moment with grace and a smile.

Magrane had been in danger after experiencing some jitters in her performance of Whitney Houston’s I Have Nothing. The judges all noted that she was affected by nerves, but her strong singing throughout the show to date no doubt no over many voters wanting her to stay alive in the competition.

It was an nerve-wracking evening for a handful of other contestants as well. Joining Rosado, Magrane and Testone in the low-vote category – raising the possibility of elimination – were 25-year-old Jermaine Jones, of Pine Hill, N.J.; 26-year-old disc jockey Erika Van Pelt, of South Kingstown, R.I.; and 19-year-old student Joshua Ledet, of Westlake, La.

Given the soaring performances and heavy praise Van Pelt and Ledet received Wednesday from the judges, it was hard to believe they were up for possible elimination. But Seacrest quickly sent each of them back to the safety of the couch rather than drag out the tension. Magrane was then told she was safe, leaving Testone and Rosado awaiting their fate – after the commercial break, naturally.

In the end, Lopez – Rosado’s biggest supporter throughout – had to deliver the difficult verdict that Testone was staying.

Rosado’s departure leaves the field at 12 heading into next week. The American Idol Tour traditionally includes the Top 10 performers, so there’s a lot riding on the next two weeks for the singers.

Meanwhile, Iovine’s no-holds-barred critiques of each singer on Thursday’s results shows continue to add an entertaining dynamic to the views of the judges, who frequently seem to disagree. His presence – especially during the sessions with celebrity mentors each Wednesday – has been a plus for the show, even if he ruffles a few feathers.


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