- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 19, 2009

LOS ANGELES (AP) - There was no saving Alexis Grace on “American Idol.”

The show’s four judges unanimously decided not to keep the soulful 21-year-old single mother from Memphis, Tenn., from being eliminated on the Fox singing competition after she received the least number of viewer voters Wednesday. The panel first teased they might veto her dismissal, but after a final performance, Simon Cowell told her it wasn’t good enough.

“I wish I could’ve done better,” she said after her ouster. “But, you know, things happen for a reason.”

Introduced last week, the judges now have a one-time-only opportunity to save a singer from being eliminated until the top five finalists are selected. If the panel unanimously agrees, no contestants will be eliminated that week, but two crooners will be out the next week. As the judges deliberated her fate, Grace sang _ her voice cracking _ one last time.

“It was good, but it wasn’t good enough,” said Cowell. “Sorry. It’s the end of the line I’m afraid.”

Grace disappointed the judges on Tuesday’s Grand Ole Opry-themed performance show with a subdued rendition of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene.” Kara DioGuardi told the pink-streaked crooner she “lost her edge.” Joining Grace as the bottom three voter-getters this week were 16-year-old high school student Allison Iraheta and 27-year-old oil rig worker Michael Sarver.

“I’m gonna cry like a frickin’ baby,” Sarver exclaimed after he learned he was safe.

The 10 finalists remaining in the competition are Sarver, Iraheta, Adam Lambert, Anoop Desai, Danny Gokey, Kris Allen, Lil Rounds, Matt Giraud, Megan Corkrey and Scott MacIntyre.

On next Wednesday’s performance show, the top 10 finalists will perform Motown tunes. Then, on next Thursday’s result show, another finalist will be sent packing _ or possibly rescued.


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