Lacey Brown is down and out on "American Idol."
The 24-year-old event coordinator from Amarillo, Texas, was the first finalist eliminated from the ninth season of the Fox singing competition Wednesday. Brown, who turned in a lackluster rendition of the Rolling Stones' "Ruby Tuesday" on Tuesday's performance show, failed to impress the judges with a last-minute performance of Brandi Carlile's "The Story."
"I had a lot of people tell me maybe go the country route or something like that," the teary-eyed pixie-haired singer told host Ryan Seacrest after her dismissal. "I'm willing to keep working. I'm not going to stop singing. I'm going to keep singing for my fans and for myself because I love to do this, so I'm excited for the future."
At the beginning of Wednesday's show, Simon Cowell revealed the return of the judge's save. Introduced last season, the one-time-only power allows the show's panel to rescue a contestant from being eliminated until the top five finalists have been selected. If they unanimously agree, no singer is eliminated that week but two will be sent packing the next week.
The judges decided against saving Brown, who received the fewest viewer votes.
It wasn't a good night for Brown's fellow Texans, either. Joining her in the bottom three were 24-year-old preschool teacher Paige Miles from Houston and 20-year-old college student Tim Urban from Duncansville. Miles overcame a bout of laryngitis to sing a respectable "Honky Tonk Woman" while Urban was chastised for his reggae rendition of "Under My Thumb."
The other finalists remaining are Didi Benami, 23, of Los Angeles; Crystal Bowersox, 24, of Toledo, Ohio; Lee Dewyze, 23, of Mount Prospect, Ill.; Andrew Garcia, 24, of Moreno Valley, Calif.; Casey James, 27, of Fort Worth, Texas; Aaron Kelly, 16, of Sonestown, Pa.; Michael Lynche, 26, of Astoria, N.Y.; Siobhan Magnus, 20, of Marstons Mills, Mass.; and Katie Stevens, 17, of Middlebury, Conn.