The 23-year-old waitress from Los Angeles was eliminated from the ninth season of the Fox singing competition Wednesday.
Benami, who was panned for her overdramatic rendition of Jimmy Ruffin's "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted" on Tuesday's soul-themed show, received the fewest viewer votes and was not saved by the show's judges.
"You are a very brave young lady," host Ryan Seacrest told the weepy singer.
Joining Benami in the bottom three were 20-year-old college student Tim Urban of Duncansville, Texas, and 17-year-old high school student Katie Stevens of Middlebury, Conn. Urban was slammed for his uninspired rendition of Anita Baker's "Sweet Love," while Stevens received a wholly lukewarm response for her take on Aretha Franklin's "Chain of Fools."
With Benami gone, shaggy-haired Urban maintains his reign as the Sanjaya Malakar of season nine. While the judges have consistently pummeled his performances, the smiley singer continues to avoid dismissal thanks to viewer votes. When Urban happily explained why he keeps grinning through the judges' harsh critiques, the studio audience went wild.
"I don't know what to make of it," said judge Kara DioGuardi.
Before Benami's ouster, the awkwardness between Seacrest and Simon Cowell continued to mount. The chirpy host probed the acerbic British judge on how 16-year-old contestant Aaron Kelly of Sonestown, Pa., could honestly sing about love when he has never experienced it. Cowell forcefully warned Seacrest that he was really, really getting on his nerves.
"Ryan, this is not the Oprah Winfrey show," Cowell sniped.
The other finalists remaining in the competition are Crystal Bowersox, 24, of Toledo, Ohio; Lee Dewyze, 23, of Mount Prospect, Ill.; Andrew Garcia, 24, of Moreno, Calif.; Casey James, 27, of Fort Worth, Texas; Michael Lynche, 26, of Astoria, N.Y.; and Siobhan Magnus, 20, of Marstons Mills, Mass.