In one of the biggest surprises of the current “American Idol” season, onetime favorite Melinda Doolittle was voted off the show Wednesday, leaving just two contestants to battle it out for the 2006 crown next week. Doolittle was considered the best singer of the bunch, but began to draw criticism in recent weeks. The remaining hopefuls are Jordin Sparks and Blake Lewis. “Congratulations to you two,” said judge Simon Cowell, who covered his face when the announcement was made. “My commiserations, Melinda, `cause you are one heck of a singer.” Doolittle, 29, has worked as a professional backup singer before her “Idol” run. Seemingly resigned to her fate, she belted “I’m A Woman” before leaving the stage. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! It’s anybody’s guess who will win at the two-hour finale May 23. Sparks, 17, has gained considerable traction recently and rose from the bottom ranks to gain momentum. But Lewis, 25, also has been winning fans lately by taking risks with song choices and arrangements.