The Stage Is Set For Next Week’s American Idol Finale After Shocking Elimination

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May 18 2012, Published 6:00 a.m. ET

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By Staff

Despite a series of standout performances that had the judges raving and audiences rising to their feet, Joshua Ledet will not be crowned this season's American Idol.

The Westlake, Louisiana native had the least amount of viewer votes following Wednesday's show, setting up next week's finale between Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez.

"I just feel that we're all winners at this point," Ledet, 20, said before he was sent home. "If I end up not making it and my friends make it, I'll be voting for both of them."

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The gospel prodigy delivered a slew of memorable performances in his time on the show, particularly his mastery of James Brown's It's a Man's Man's Man's World.

Prior to Ledet's ouster, the judges were adamant any of the current trio of Ledet, Phillips and Sanchez could walk away the winner.

"You guys are three of the best we've ever had," Randy Jackson said. "All so talented in such different ways. All got big careers in front of you"

The outgoing Jennifer Lopez agreed: "I just feel like to lose any one of you tonight is heartbreaking for me and most of America -- I've never felt so connected to each one of you."

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Other highlights included a rare live performance from Lisa Marie Presley and the return of Adam Lambert.

The 2-day American Idol finale begins on a special day -- next Tuesday at 8/7c on Fox   -- with the winner crowned on Wednesday.



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