Music News & Reviews

So much for those N.C. 'Idol' contenders this year

North Carolina residents hoping for the next Scotty McCreery, Fantasia Barrino or Clay Aiken on this season of "American Idol" are likely disappointed with the show's Top 20 males and Top 20 females.

Two Tar Heel residents were sent packing before the final cut to the Top 40, which was shown Thursday night.

Particularly surprising was the elimination of Kez Ban, right, a 27-year-old street musician and fire performer from Durham. Kez Ban had received a lot of airtime earlier this season because she was like no one else — a quirky troubadour wearing boots wrapped in crime-scene tape. But her unique voice blew the judges away.

Kez Ban's final performance in Hollywood, though, wasn't her best. And the judges told her that her journey was up. She was a good sport about it, asking whether she could stay on as a boom microphone operator or some other job with the show.

On the male side, David Leathers Jr., left, of Fayetteville just missed the Top 20, too. It was the second year in a row that the baby-faced teen had made it to the final round of judge's cuts, only to be disappointed.

Even though "Idol" had tryouts in Charlotte this year, no other North Carolina resident appeared to make the Top 40.

McCreery, the Garner native who is now a freshman at N.C. State University, won Season 10, and Barrino, of High Point, won Season 3. Aiken, of Raleigh, was the runner-up in Season 2.

And even though a Tar Heel didn't win Season 5 of "Idol," it had the most North Carolinians in the final 10 — Chris Daughtry, Kellie Pickler and Bucky Covington.

This year's Top 40 on "Idol" will perform next week.