Alexis Graces Misses Idol‘s Top 10

Alexis Graces Misses Idol‘s Top 10
Michael Becker/FOX

03/18/2009 AT 12:00 AM EDT

Ryan started off Idol Wednesday saying the voting results from country night were a shocker.

And they were: Favorite Alexis Grace, 21, wound up being the contestant destined to go home, thanks no doubt to an uncharacteristically strident performance of Dolly Parton's "Jolene" on Tuesday's performance show.

Because of the newly instituted Judges' Save rule -- and because the Mighty Four have always liked her so much -- Alexis was permitted to sing an encore as Randy, Simon, Paula and Kara huddled together and discussed her fate.

But this is the problem with the new rule: Alexis hadn't come to the theater with a whole new arrangement or interpretation, and under the gun she seemed even more histrionic.

How bittersweet that the song's lyrics include: “My happiness depends on you/And whatever you decide to do ... " The judges said she was good -- but not good enough.

The other singer with Alexis in the bottom two was Michael Sarver, 27, who at the start of the hour almost cried when he talked about missing his little daughter. But now he's in the top 10 -- even though Simon implied that the judges would NOT have asked him to perform again if he were the one facing elimination -- and will get to go on this summer's Idols Live tour.

Perhaps the more serious disappointment was the fact that rounding out the bottom three was none other than the immensely talented Allison Iraheta, 16. She's arguably the best natural singer in the whole competition but her surprisingly outsized voice and even her magenta hair may count against her tender years. People may regard her as more of a phenomenon than a talent. She may have to rethink her act. -- Tom Gliatto

Tell us: Are you sad to see Alexis go? Did America make the right decision? Who should have gone home instead of Alexis?

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Michael Becker/FOX


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