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No surprise, Lee makes the cut once again
By Sheila Ahern | Daily Herald Staff

Lee DeWyze performs his rendition of "That's Life" on Tuesday.



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Published: 5/6/2010 12:05 AM | Updated: 5/6/2010 6:17 AM

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Even the bashful Lee DeWyze cracked a confident smile before host Ryan Seacrest announced he was safe for another week on "American Idol" on Wednesday.

That's probably because all four judges loved the Mount Prospect rocker's rendition of "That's Life" on Tuesday with Simon Cowell calling it the best performance of the night.

DeWyze's reaction to all the praise?

"I could've done better," he told Seacrest. "It's a weekly process and I hope to keep pushing myself."

Aaron Kelly wasn't as lucky. The 17-year-old high school student was voted off after turning in a mediocre rendition of "Fly Me to the Moon."

Kelly's departure came as a surprise after most Idol bloggers picked Casey James as the contestant who should be sent packing. James sang "Blue Skies" and judge Randy Jackson called it his worst performance to date.

While James may have a lot of work to do before next week, DeWyze has shaped up to be this season's front-runner, taking the lead from Crystal Bowersox.

Cowell said when DeWyze took the stage on Tuesday, he was a different person.

"You, Lee, suddenly started to believe in yourself," he said.

Before the vote, each contestant talked about life before Idol and what they'd normally be doing this week.

"Tuesday, I would go to work in the morning at the paint store," said DeWyze, referring to his former employer, Mount Prospect Paint.

Instead next week DeWyze will meet Jamie Foxx who will mentor the top four contestants as they sing songs of the cinema. If DeWyze makes the cut next week, he'll get a hometown parade. Mount Prospect officials already started planning the event which could attract up to 20,000 fans.