The Bowersox and DeWyze showdown might have been perceived as inevitable, as neither were ever in the bottom two or three. James, however, had frequently faced the harsh reality of elimination and had been in the bottom a few times.
"I'm so thankful for the opportunity," said James after hearing his fate. "It's been an amazing, amazing journey and I'm so thankful that I'm here."
The 27-year-old Texan won over the female judges, including guest judge Victoria Beckham, early in the season with his long-hair and bluesy voice. But, his two performances Tuesday night received mediocre reviews from the judges and failed to sway the voters.
After singing his first song of the night, "Ok, It's Alright With Me," by Eric Hutchinson, the judges criticized him on his obscure song choice and lackluster arrangement. Later, James was unable to redeem himself when he sang the judges' choice, John Mayer's "Daughters" and failed to make it his own.
Wednesday night's results show included performances by Justin Bieber and Travis Garland. Bieber performed a "U Smile" and "Baby" melody, while Garland took the "Idol" stage and performed his new single, "Believe."
Next week, DeWyze and Bowersox will compete for a recording contract and the coveted title of "American Idol." Past winners include Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, and Taylor Hicks.
The two-part season finale on May 23 will also be Simon Cowell's last day as a judge on the show. Cowell is leaving to work on a new reality show, "The X Factor," for Fox's Fall 2011 lineup. His replacement is still unknown.