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Hollie Cavanagh gives advice to future American Idol singers

Hollie Cavanagh tells USA Today that on American Idol "You can't be just a voice. You have to show your personality." Hollie Cavanagh was eliminated from American Idol Thursday night.

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The final four in "American Idol," from left, Phillip Phillips, Hollie Cavanaugh, Josh Ledet, and Jessica Sanchez, are shown in Los Angeles. Hollie Cavanagh was eliminated from the singing competition Thursday, May 10, 2012.

(AP Photo/Fox, Michael Becker)

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Hollie Cavanagh was sent home from top-rated Fox television talent show "American Idol" on Thursday night after singing "I Can't Make You Love Me" – a song choice that proved prophetic.

Cavanagh closed out the show by performing Miley Cyrus' "The Climb," remaining composed while fellow contestant Joshua Ledet wept as she sang.

Almost 70 million votes were cast to determine Thursday's outcome. Audience voting was based on performances on Wednesday night's episode during which contestants sang songs by artists from California, followed by songs they wished they had written.

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Cavanagh first belted out "Faithfully" by rock band Journey, and the show's judges marveled that she was hitting her stride. Panelist Randy Jackson said her rendition "did him [Journey singer Steve Perry] proud."

The judges, however, were less enthusiastic about her second selection, Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me." Jackson called it "the wrong choice at the wrong time." Jennifer Lopez told her there was "a little too much vibrato," and mentor and record producer Jimmy Iovine was the most blunt, saying Cavanagh "crashed and burned."

At 18-years-old, Cavanagh's failure was chalked up to her lack of real-life experience with heartbreak that was needed to infuse the song with proper emotion.

 ”It’s not good to get bad criticism at this point, but I felt [the song],” Hollie told HollywoodLife.com after taping the live show. “I felt the lyrics in it, she continued. “They can tell me I didn’t feel it, but I felt it. I feel like I felt it, then I felt it, you know?”

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