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American Idol update: Elise Testone eliminated just shy of reaching the Top 5

Elise Testone talks to MTV about being eliminated and defends her musical integrity.

(Updates are at the bottom.)

If you hadn't already heard the news, Charleston's own Elise Testone (who you've probably seen singing every Thursday night at Fish restaurant) is one of the remaining 42 contestants on American Idol.

According to the article in yesterday's Post and Courier, Testone, 28, teaches at Music Unlimited in Mount Pleasant and is a 2005 graduate of Coastal Carolina University with a degree in music.

You can watch a video interview Elise gave about her Idol experience and singing background as well as a clip of her literally "wowing" the judges during Hollywood week.

Tune into FOX tonight at 8 p.m. to watch Elise and the other American Idol hopefuls when they take the stage in Las Vegas.

Update February 17: Elise Testone and her group killed it during last night's performance during Las Vegas week and she's moved on to the Top 42.

Posted above is the her group's rendition of "The Night Has A Thousand Eyes" by Bobby Vee which garnered a standing ovation from all three judges.

Update February 23: On Wednesday night's episode, six guys and eight girls - including Elise - were told that they're now part of American Idol season 11's illustrious Top 24.

Update March 1: On Wednesday night, American Idol fans finally got a chance to see the remaining 12 girls perform live for the first time on stage.

Both Elise Testone and Jen Hirsh chose to do a cover of Adele's "One and Only." We aren't playing favorites here when we say that it was Elise who really nailed it. Coming out on the piano and showing off her soulful, raspy pipes, Elise proved that she is one of the contestants to watch. She did, however, have a little trouble keeping herself from crying during the song.

You can watch Elise's February 29th performance in the video posted above.

Voting took place for two hours after the show aired and the results will be revealed during tonight episode which airs tonight on FOX at 8 p.m.

Update March 2: Elise's soulful voice and impressive cover of "One And Only" convinced voters that she's still got what it takes to be the next American Idol

Else was announced as one of the The Top 10 contestants - three others made the cut as well as "wild cards." All 13 will take the stage next week for the first round of the finals of season 11.

Update March 8: On Wednesday night's episode, the remaining ladies on American Idol were tasked with singing covers of Whitney Houston songs.

Rehearsal footage showed that Elise Testone's first song pick was a cover of Whitney's “Greatest Love Of All.” However, this week's singing coaches Mary J. Blige and Interscope chairman Jimmy Iovine decided to have her switch to “I’m Your Baby Tonight.”

Seemingly annoyed with the song change, Elise gave a live performance after which judge Randy Jackson said felt like she was “boxing with the song.” Hopefully American feels otherwise!

Tune in to FOX tonight at 8 p.m. to find out who gets kicked off.

Update March 9: It came down to the wire last night, with Elise and Jeremy Rosado as the last two contestants left on the stage.

Luckily, the judges, who had the final say in who got the axe this week, sent Rosado packing.

Update March 15: American Idol judges and America were treated to a big heaping spoonful of what Elise Testone is all about.

Tasked with performing a song from the year that she was born, Elise went with Al Green's "Let's Stay Together." The soulful jam, which she described as "baby making music," wowed the judges. It was great to see Elise back in her element and back in the good graces of the judges.

Update March 15: Elise Testone once again survived elimination on Thursday night, though she finished in the bottom three.

Testone is now in the final 10 that return to compete on Thursday, March 22.

Jermaine Jones was eliminated for not disclosing all of his criminal background and Shannon Magrane was the bottom finisher.  

Update March 22: Elise Testone was the shining star of Wednesday night's episode of American Idol in which the contestants were challenged by singing songs from the Billy Joel songbook.

Elise belted out a flawless rendition of "Vienna" (posted above) which brought the crowd and all three Idol judges to their feet.

Finally seeming comfortable with her song choice, the cameras and the crowd, Elise's personality and insane vocal talents took center stage and blew everyone away. After this performance, we're thinking she'll pass through to the next round without a problem.

Update March 23: Elise's Wednesday night performance of Billy Joel's "Vienna" won over judges and America - she's safe this week and advances to the Top 9 in the competition.

The next round is March 29.

Update March 29: Elise closed out Wednesday night's American Idol with an unforgettable cover of Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" that rocked the house AND the judges faces off.

Elise worked the crowd and was clearly having fun with her song choice this week. Her energy and passion for the song impressed this week's guest vocal coach Stevie Nicks and garnered a standing ovation and a whole lotta praise from all three of the Idol judges.

The votes will be tallied by this evening's 8 p.m. episode in which the American Idol Top 8 will be announced.

Update March 30: Elise's rocking cover of "Whole Lotta Love" has advanced her to the American Idol Top 8.

Look out for her next performance on Wednesday, April 4th

Update April 6:Elise Testone was sweating it out on Thursday night as she was once again faced with being one of the bottom three contestants for the week. On Wednesday night, Elise gave a not-so-in-tune performance of Foreigner's 80s ballad "I Want To Know What Love Is." Her rendition underwhelmed all three judges and vocal coach Jimmy Iovine called her performance "an old-fashioned choke."

Despite the criticism, Testone beat the odds and America has kept her in the competition. She's now part of the Top 7 and will sing again on Wednesday, April 11th.

Update April 12: For this week's contest, Elise Testone was paired up with Philip Phillips for a cover of the wildly popular "Somebody That I Used To Know" by Gotye feat Kimbra.

While Phillips screamed the entire chorus, Elise handled Kimbra's part of the song with the slyness and beauty that shines through in the original.

The judges ate the duet up and said that the two should do more duets together - eh.

Update April 12, 9 p.m.: Chronically caught up in the bottom three, Elise got enough votes to advance, once again, in the American Idol competition.

Despite the good news that Elise is safe, the judges unanimously voted to use their one-save-per-season on Jessica Sanchez.

Update April 19: On Wednesday night, the Idol hopefuls had to perform twice, singing songs from recent and past years.

Elise earned raves from the judges after rasping her way through Alicia Keys' "No One," then drew some critical evaluation for her rendition of Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On".

Both performances were strong, but judge Jennifer Lopez may have hit the nail on the head when she explained to Elise that American "isn't connecting" with her because she fails to show a lot of emotion or vulnerability.

You can watch her performance of "No One" above, and "Let's Get It On" below.

Update April 20: America has voted and Elise is safe.

Despite spending time on her vacation home (aka the elimination stools), Ryan Seacrest quickly announced that she was safe and would be part of the Top 6 contestants.

Congrats to Elise, who in my opinion, had two outstanding performances on Wednesday night.

Update April 26:With only six contestant left, the American Idol competition is getting down to the nitty gritty. On Wednesday evening, the remaining few were challenged to sing one song by Queen and a second song of the Idolette’s choosing.

Elise hit the ground running, with tambourine in hand, and delivered an incredibly strong cover of Queen's "I Want It All." The judges loved it.

For Elise's personal pick, she went with the obscure song "Bold As Love" by Jimi Hendrix. Showing off her rock and jazz vocal abilities with the song was a slick move, but when you're trying to win American Idol, going with something more mainstream is key. Judges Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson chided her for picking such an obscure tune, but JLo went out of her way to shush the nay-sayers and told Elise she "slayed it."

Tune in to FOX tonight at 8 p.m. to see which contestants make it in to the Top 5.

Update April 27: With the finale less than a month away, Charleston Elise Testone has been eliminated from the American Idol competition.

Posted above is video of Elise reacting to the news and defending her song choices from Wednesday night.