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Ex-Stripper Booted Off "American Idol"

American Idol Season 7's Top 24 contestant David Hernandez poses at a party in their honor, in this Feb. 14, 2008 file photo in Los Angeles. The 24-year-old "Idol" finalist from Glendale, Ariz., once worked as a stripper at Dick's Cabaret, dancing fully nude and giving lap dances to the club's "mostly male" clientele, according to club manager Gordy Bryan.
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
David Hernandez's weak performance of the Beatles' "I Saw Her Standing There" drew jeers from the judges and the least amount of votes from the fans this week, making him the first of the final 12 contestants to get the boot this season.

The 24-year-old ex-stripper from Glendale, Ariz., made headlines last week after it was revealed to The Associated Press that he worked as a stripper at a Phoenix club with a "mostly male" clientele.


Photos: "American Idol" Season 7
"Honestly, things happen for a reason," Hernandez said before leaving the stage Wednesday. "I think we all have a plan. ... This isn't it for me."

The judges didn't think much of his performance Tuesday. Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson thought he overdid his vocal phrasing. Simon Cowell was underwhelmed.

"No. No. No. I thought it was corny verging on desperate," said Cowell. "I didn't think it was a particularly strong performance."

Kristy Lee Cook, a 24-year-old from Selma, Ore., and Syesha Mercado, a 21-year-old from Sarasota, Fla., rounded out the bottom three vote-getters.

Host Ryan Seacrest said that this week the show received more than 29 million viewer votes via text messaging and toll-free phone lines.

Finalists had the opportunity to perform classics from the John Lennon-Paul McCartney songbook this week. The show's producers recently got permission to use songs belonging to Sony/ATV Music Publishing, a company formed by Sony and Michael Jackson.

The standouts were Carly Smithson ("Come Together"), Brooke White ("Let It Be"), David Cook ("Eleanor Rigby") and Chikezie ("She's A Woman").

David Archuleta, whose cover of Lennon's "Imagine" drew heaps of praise two weeks ago, showed that he's merely mortal when he flubbed the lyrics to "We Can Work It Out." That didn't fly with Cowell, who called the 17-year-old's performance "a mess."

The show opened with an animated intro from the "cast" of the upcoming "Horton Hears A Who." Then, Seacrest introduced the actor behind the voice of Horton, Jim Carrey, who was sitting in the audience wearing the character's elephant ears and feet.

"This must be a Fox movie, huh?" said Seacrest.

"You had to point out the elephant in the room," Carrey shot back.

Wednesday's show also featured a performance by season-five finalist Katharine McPhee and musician David Foster (on the piano).