By Andrea Burzynski
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Colton Dixon, the young singer from Tennessee known for his flamboyant hairstyle, became the fifth person voted off top-rated TV singing contest "American Idol" on Thursday night.
"I wasn't myself last night," said Dixon, whose Wednesday performance of Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" was roundly criticized by the show's judges. Dixon thanked them for their honest feedback, and assured them he would incorporate it into a future album.
Host Ryan Seacrest described the singer as "a class act" as he left the stage, and judge Jennifer Lopez shook her head when Dixon's dismissal was announced.
Though Lopez described Dixon's performance as "exciting," she questioned whether he chose the right song for his voice, and mentor Jimmy Iovine said he sounded "completely wrong."
Thursday was Dixon's first - and last - time in the show's bottom three, where he was accompanied by contestants Hollie Cavanagh and Elise Testone, both of whom had found themselves in danger of elimination in previous weeks.
Contestant Jessica Sanchez, who was saved by judges last week after audiences voted her off the show, received enough votes to stay out of the bottom three.
Thursday night's show featured a tribute to Dick Clark, who Seacrest cited as an inspiration and a boon to the music industry. Pop band LMFAO performed its dance hit "Sorry for Party Rockin,'" and "Idol" alum Kris Allen took the stage to sing his song "The Vision of Love."
Five contestants remain on "Idol," which is half of the original number of finalists.
"Idol", which first aired in on Fox in 2002, has launched the careers of singers Kelly Clarkson, Adam Lambert, and Jennifer Husdon.
Now in its eleventh season, the show continues to be the most watched reality show in America, though it has received stiff competition from "The Voice" this year.
Audiences vote for their favorite performers by phone and text message each week as contestants are challenged by a variety of musical styles. The winning contestant receives a recording contract. This season's winner will be decided in May.
(Reporting By Andrea Burzynski; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)