May 05, 2005 08:00 AM

After surviving much longer than some people expected, Scott Savol, the beefy American Idol hopeful from Shaker Heights, Ohio, was the latest contestant voted off the competition Wednesday night.

Savol, who had been compared to Houdini for his ability to escape the show’s exit door, boasted after his Tuesday performance that he would be around for another week.

The decision didn’t seem to be any big surprise. Host Ryan Seacrest pulled aside Savol and Anthony Fedorov, who appears to be the remaining weak link. When Seacrest directed Savol to sit down next to Fedorov, the big vocalist triumphantly pumped his fist, apparently unaware that Seacrest hadn’t said he was safe.

Seacrest then told the remaining three contestants – Carrie Underwood, Bo Bice, and Vonzell Solomon – that they were safe, to which judge Randy Jackson replied that the right three people had been spared.

If Savol’s removal didn’t bring any big surprises, it may have been that people were preoccupied with other Idol business. The buildup this week wasn’t so much to the contest itself, but to the Primetime Live expos with former Idol contestant Corey Clark airing on ABC.

Clark, who claims he had an affair with judge Paula Abdul (see related story), proved to be a bombshell for the reality competition. But Abdul (who calls the allegations “lies”) gave no indication that she was acknowledging the controversy, nor did any of the other judges, contestants, or audience members.

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