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Another female finalist was eliminated as the “American Idol” field was whittled down to three on the Thursday night episode: http://blbrd.co/YqCXAR

Colton Dixon recently stopped by the Billboard office in NYC!

(photo by Kate Glicksberg)

Today in Billboard History

Feb. 7, 2009

Kelly Clarkson scored her first Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 since her debut “A Moment Like This” in 2002, as “My Life Would Suck Without You” rocketed 97-1 (the biggest vault in the chart’s history).

What did you think of last night’s “American Idol” premiere?

Turns out the ratings were down 19 percent from last year… Yikes.

Read all about the Nicki vs. Mariah drama, then check out our full recap.

Phillip Phillips and Jimmy Iovine cover the latest issue of Billboard magazine! Stay tuned for the cover story and click here to subscribe.

While we wait to see who will be named the next American Idol, flip through our gallery of American Idols: Then and Now.