The three – as well as the millions watching – bid farewell on Wednesday night to Ukrainian-born Anthony Federov, who departed American Idol and left the others to duke it out on the upcoming May 24-25 finale of the FOX talent hunt.
On Tuesday, Federov, who may be as skinny as Clay Aiken but lacked Clay's charisma, sang the high-voltage song "If You Don't Know Me By Now." But judge Simon Cowell short-circuited Anthony, saying: "I think you need soul for that song. It's like trying to have Woody Allen play the lead in Shaft."
Less classy was the fact that Idol dished up another technical snafu. The dial-in phone number for Underwood was displayed on the closed-captioning for all four contestants, possibly aiding her survival. The correct numbers, however, were shown with on-screen graphics and announced by Seacrest.
A statement issued Wednesday by FOX said, "The producers and network apologize to our hearing-impaired viewers for any confusion, and the situation was immediately corrected for our tape-delayed West Coast broadcast," reports the Associated Press.