Heejun Han voted off "American Idol," eight remain

Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:14am EDT
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Heejun Han, known for his goofy sense of humor, was kicked off of TV singing contest "American Idol" on Thursday night after his second performance of Leon Russell's "A Song for You" failed to convince judges to keep him on the show.

Han, who found himself in the ranks of the bottom three for the second week in a row alongside fellow competitors Hollie Cavanagh and Skylar Laine, appeared disappointed as he shook host Ryan Seacrest's hand after judge Steven Tyler informed him that he was being sent home.

Han's departure leaves eight contestants remaining from 10 finalists for the show that has given rise to stars ranging from Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood to Adam Lambert.

Seacrest began Thursday's show by sharing tweets from Underwood, Mariah Carey, and others praising the contestants' performances from the previous evening's singing segment, for which contestants chose their songs.

R&B singer Eric Benet made a cameo appearance on the show to deliver feedback to contestant DeAndre Brackensick personally.

Thursday's elimination show featured performances by rapper Nicki Minaj and Season 10 "Idol" winner Scotty McCreery. Minaj performed the single "Starships" from her upcoming album "Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded," which comes out on April 3. McCreery, who expressed enthusiasm about visiting the show where he rose to fame, sang "Water Tower Town," his new single.

Now in its eleventh season, "Idol" continues to be the most watched reality TV show in the United States, though it has received stiff competition this year from "The Voice."

Judges critique the contestant's performances, and audiences vote for their favorites by phone and text message each week. The winning contestant receives a recording contract. This season's winner will be decided in a finale on May 23.

(Reporting by Andrea Burzynski; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

Contestant Heejun Han gestures at the party for the finalists of the television show "American Idol" in Los Angeles, California March 1, 2012. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni