Smooth Operators

American Idol
Image credit: Frank Micelotta/American Idol/Getty Images

Phil Stacey

Will Phil Stacey win ''American Idol''?

Stacey, 29, scored some of the choicest screen time early on when Idol cameras followed the Jacksonville, Fla., resident into the hospital where his wife, Kendra, had just given birth. After his dreary rendition of ''Night and Day'' during standards week, Stacey said to Seacrest, ''I was trying to focus on my wife.'' The comment very well may have spared him from being eliminated.

''I do believe that they realize the context of those statements when they make them,'' Seacrest says, once again pointing to the polished nature of this year's crop. ''The reality is they're judged every moment they're on television.'' Stacey swears it wasn't a calculated move. ''It was actually my excuse for why I was disconnecting [from the song],'' he says. ''I'm too frightened on that stage to be witty.''

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