updated 05/21/2008 AT 11:00 AM ET
•originally published 05/14/2008 AT 6:00 AM ET
It’s David vs. David!
David Archuleta and David Cook will battle it out in next week’s American Idol finale, after a less than surprising elimination show Wednesday that sent Syesha Mercado home.
“I don’t know what to say,” a beaming Mercado replied, when Ryan Seacrest asked her to address the judges and the fans after learning her fate. “I just want to say thank you.” She looked more proud than disappointed to have made it so far after so many close calls along the way. For her final performance in the competition, Syesha sang “If I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys.
It was a happy ending to an emotional hour that recapped Tuesday s grueling three-song sets and featured moving video footage of the contestants’ hometown visits. The Idol producers even played each of their farewell videos – tracing David, David and Syesha’s journeys on the show because, as Ryan said, “it’s a very, very close race.”
It may be close, but it was hardly surprising to see Syesha say goodbye. She failed to impress the judges on Tuesday with the song of her choice, Peggy Lee’s “Fever,” which Simon called “a lame cabaret performance.” Even Paula said, “I don t know if it’s going to be good enough to get into the finals.”
As for next week’s battle of the Davids, Simon predicted, “We’re going to have a real humdinger.”