erikav A drastic, unexpected fashion makeover may have wowed the judges, but America still sent Erika Van Pelt packing tonight on American IdolVan Pelt, who sang the signature Billy Joel tune “New York State of Mind” this week, performed the Whitney Houston tune “I Believe In You And Me” as her last chance song, but the judges decided not to save her.

Rounding out the bottom three were DeAndre Brackensick and Heejun Han, whose unfettered rendition of “My Life” stands as one of this season’s more surreal, and possibly cringe worthy, moments.

After the show, Randy Jackson talked about the key ingredients behind American Idol’s success and longevity:

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posted by Greg Srisavasdi (Twitter: @gsrisavasdi)