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OTRC: Joshua Ledet talks 'American Idol' elimination, praises Phillip Phillips, Jessica Sanchez (Poll)

Joshua Ledet performs on the FOX series 'American Idol' on May 16, 2012. / Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez embrace Joshua Ledet after he is eliminated on 'American Idol' on May 17, 2012. (Michael Becker / FOX)

Joshua Ledet is not surprised he was eliminated from "American Idol" and says he even "felt relieved" when he was told it was the end of the road for him on the FOX singing contest show.

The 20-year-old Louisiana singer received mostly glowing reviews and a slew of standing ovations from the judges throughout this past 11th season. The remaining two contestants who will face off during next week's finale are Jessica Sanchez, a 16-year-old power vocalist from San Diego, California, and Phillip Phillips, a 21-year-old Georgia rock musician.

"I'm not gonna say I was surprised, because Phillip and Jessica are great, and they have huge fan bases," Ledet told People magazine after Thursday's results show. They deserve it just like anyone else. I was super excited for Phillip and Jessica. I was trying to hold a smile up, and I was definitely not upset. I felt relieved. A lot of pressure was off of me, and I feel really good."

Ledet also shared his feelings about being eliminated with his some 110,000 Twitter followers.

"A lot of people wanted to know how I'm feeling rite now!" he Tweeted. "Well I want all of you to take a second an go listen to Beyonce 'I was here' (: (sic)"

The pop diva's 2011 song contains the lyrics: "I was here / I lived, I loved / I was here / I did, I've done, everything that I wanted / And it was more than I thought it would be / I will leave my mark so everyone will know / I was here."

Phillips has emerged as the token season heartthrob and has been compared to Dave Matthews. He earned a standing ovation from the judges on Wednesday for his rendition of legendary rocker Bob Seger's 1978 ballad "We've Got Tonight." Show mentor Jimmy Iovine picked the song for him.

"The perfect song at the perfect time and your best performance on the show ever!" said judge Randy Jackson, who has been Phillips' harshest critic among the three judges. "Here is why - finally in the end, in this moment, where you need moments ... You had a giant moment."

After Thursday's results show, Phillips told his some 302,000 Twitter fans: "i just wanna say thank you to the ones that support me & appreciate what im doing with music. Words cant explain how thankful i am (sic)."

Male contestants have won "American Idol" for the past four seasons. The last female winner was Jordin Sparks, who was voted the champion of season 6 in 2007.

Sanchez, who has more than 367,000 Twitter fans, had been seen as a frontrunner throughout the season and was eliminated last month but brought back by the judges in a rare move. She had drawn comparisons to Mariah Carey. On Wednesday's episode, she sang one of her songs - "My All," earning praise from the judges. Jackson later said she should have sung Carey's version of another track she performed - "I'll Be There" by the Jackson Five. Sanchez also sang "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" by Aerosmith, Tyler's band.

You just took a great song and made it greater," he told her. "Thank you."

After being named one of the final 2 performers on "American Idol," Sanchez Tweeted: "You guys..I have never in my life thought I'd be in this position..Thank you so much!"

Earlier this month, Sanchez booked a high-profile gig - she is set to perform at PBS' National Memorial Day Concert in Washington D.C. The event takes place days after the "American Idol" finale, which airs on Wednesday, May 23. It is set to feature performances from last year's winner, Scotty McCreery, as well as Rihanna and other "surprise guests." The top 12 "American Idol" contestants will also reunite on the show.

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