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VIDEO: On "American Idol," rejection hurts

WHO MUST STAY: Crystal Bowersox. This cool cat is simply at a different level than the rest of the competition. Her performance of Tracy Chapman’s “Give Me One Reason” was electric and a refreshing change from the sit-on-a-bench-while-playing-acoustic-guitar snooze fest that so many of her fellow contestants participated in. One thing that Bowersox does need to worry about, however, is getting too much Simon-love. It’s no secret that Simon is infatuated by this dreadlocked wonder. He showers her with praise after each performance and seems to have dollar signs in his eyes whenever she belts out a powerhouse note. While some Simon-love can help a contestant win support from the voters, too much Simon-love can cause voters to believe that the contestant is already safe. This can lead to an undeserved elimination. Let’s hope Crystal doesn’t face this fate.

WHO MUST GO: There are way too many contestants who belong in this category and, to make matters worse, none of them were eliminated last week. The worst of the worst was probably Paige Miles, whose rendition of Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile” was a big fat mess. Honorable mention in this category goes to Tim Urban whose performance of Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah” reminded me of season 7 contestant Jason Castro’s amazing performance of “Hallelujah” minus the emotion, falsetto moments, and conviction. Despite giving such a lackluster performance, Urban was glorified by the judges and even received a hug from Ellen DeGeneres. A dull performance like his was much more deserving of elimination instead of an embrace.

FINAL WORD: Last week’s eliminations of Lilly, Alex, and Katelyn devastated me. In previous weeks, I had praised them in my column. So seeing them eliminated instead of the likes of Aaron Kelly and Lacey Brown was definitely hard to watch. After the show I was in a state of Alex Lambert-esque grief, too upset to even bring myself to move from the couch or begin writing this column. I was frustrated and couldn’t understand why these contestants were victims of such an unfair fate. Why did America reject such awesome singers?

Yet before I could begin to truly evaluate the whole situation, I faced my own bout of rejection when I received a rejection letter from one of the top schools I had applied to. For the first time in my life, I was able to truly understand the pain that contestants feel when they are eliminated from “Idol.” Like the contestants on “Idol,” I was given no specific reason why I was rejected. I was simply rejected and it hurt.

Yet after a couple of hours of feeling sorry for myself, I decided to stop complaining about this thing that I couldn’t change and began to focus on the aspects of my life that I could. By doing so, I was able to realize all the new opportunities that rejection actually opens up for me. While the road to reach my goals will not be the one I originally anticipated, I am optimistic that with hard work and determination, I will end up at the same destination.

I hope these “Idol” contestants can come to a similar realization about their future. Getting eliminated from “Idol” is not the end. With a little bit of hard work, making it to the top is certainly possible.

Kelly Lin is an SDNN contributor.