tampabay.com

'American Idol' Lakisha Jones voted off

By TIMES WIRES
Published May 10, 2007


A kiss from Simon Cowell turned out to be a kiss goodbye. A week after so impressing the cantankerous Cowell that he kissed her, LaKisha Jones was eliminated Wednesday on American Idol.

The Fox talent show is down to its final three contestants: Jordin Sparks, 17, Melinda Doolittle, 29, and Blake Lewis, 25.

Performances of Barry Gibb songs the night before led to a particularly brutal week of Cowell criticism. "No kiss tonight, baby, " Cowell had said to Jones.

He was even tougher on Lewis, calling one of his takes "absolutely terrible." But asked to choose whether Lewis, who wore a T-shirt with a painted-on bowtie, or Jones would be going home, Cowell correctly predicted the results from the 45-million votes.

News chief leaving WTVT

Phil Metlin, longtime vice president of news at WTVT-Ch. 13, will leave the Fox affiliate May 18 to become news director at WTXF in Philadelphia. The change will end the tenure of local TV's longest-serving news director. Metlin began as news director in 1997, not long after Fox network owner News Corp. bought the Tampa station. Executives at WTVT and WTXF broke the news simultaneously to their staffs Wednesday. "It's a tribute to Phil, " said WTVT general manager Bob Linger, noting Metlin is moving to the fourth-largest TV market in the country (Tampa Bay is No. 12). "For 10 years, he's provided excellent leadership. ... It makes sense they would want him to apply the things he's done here in Philadelphia."

Ty Pennington charged with DUI

Ty Pennington, host of ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, has been charged with driving under the influence. Two misdemeanor counts were filed against Pennington on Tuesday, the Associated Press reported. He is scheduled to be arraigned June 4. If convicted, he could face a maximum sentence of six months in jail and a $1, 000 fine. Pennington, 42, was arrested shortly after 12:30 a.m. Saturday in Los Angeles and released after posting $5, 000 bail. He apologized to fans and co-workers Monday. "I could have jeopardized the lives of others, and I am grateful there was no accident or harm done to anyone, " he said.