| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Fans of "American Idol" eliminated Alexis Grace from the show's eighth season on Wednesday when they cast the fewest votes for the Memphis singer's rendition of Dolly Parton's "Jolene" during the show's country music-themed week.
Grace, 21, was sent packing after the show's four judges declined to use their onetime per season vetos to save her from elimination at the end of the Grand Ole Opry week.
"It was good," said judge Simon Cowell after Grace reprised the song that got her the fewest fan votes among more than 31 million cast this week. "But it wasn't good enough."
On Tuesday, the judges took issue with Grace's choice of song, with the show's newest judge, Kara DioGuardi, saying the singer had lost some of her "edge."
Grace was philosophical after her loss, saying "I wish I could have done better, but ... things happen for a reason."
Wednesday's elimination was critical because only the show's top 10 finalists will join the "American Idol" summer tour, providing critical exposure for the nine finalists who don't actually win the big prize.
Wednesday night's live show also marked the return of season 4 winner Carrie Underwood, who performed a duet of "I Told You So" with singer Randy Travis.
The remaining finalists include Adam Lambert, Anoop Desai, Danny Gokey, Kris Allen, Lil Rounds, Matt Giraud, Megan Joy, Scott MacIntyre, Michael Sarver and Allison Iraheta.
"American Idol," the nation's top-rated program, pits aspiring singers against each other in a series of competitions that focus on a different musical theme each week.
Past winners include singing star Kelly Clarkson. Several runners up from past competitions including Clay Aiken and Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson have gone on to lucrative music careers as well as work in films and on Broadway.
The winner of "American Idol"'s eighth season will be announced during a live finale later this spring.