With the early favorite ousted, four hopefuls remain

Paris Bennett is out, while Chris Daughtry, Taylor Hicks, Katharine McPhee and Elliot Yamin are still standing on American Idol.

On Wednesday night’s show, Ryan Seacrest told Bennett, 17, of Fayetteville, Ga., that she’d drawn the least number of votes among the nearly 46 million cast.

I love you,” Bennett told her family in the audience, including her grandmother, Grammy-winning gospel singer Ann Nesby.

The other member of the bottom two was Yamin.

On Tuesday night, Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul had praised Bennett’s funky rendition of Prince’s 1988 hit “Kiss,” though Simon Cowell considered it “screechy” and “annoying.” Bennett fared better with her second performance, a cover of Mary J. Blige’s “Be Without You.” “I think she did rather well with that,” Cowell admitted.

Of Yamin’s delivery of “On Broadway” on Tuesday’s show, Cowell found it “disjointed.” Cowell also said he was “just a little bit concerned” following Yamin’s cover of Michael Buble’s “Home.” “I’m not sure I would have chosen the lyrics, ‘I want to go home,’ ” Cowell pointedly advised the 27-year-old.

In other Idol news, American Idol Season 5 Encores, a compilation CD of songs by this season’s top 12, will be released May 23.

Songs on the disc will include Chris Daughtry’s take on Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive,” Kellie Pickler’s version of Patsy Cline’s “Walkin’ After Midnight,” Taylor Hicks’s cover of the Doobie Brothers’ “Takin’ It to the Streets,” Paris Bennett’s update of Gladys Knight & the Pips’ “Midnight Train to Georgia” and Kevin Covais’s cover of Nat King Cole’s “When I Fall in Love.”