Casey James was eliminated from "American Idol" on Wednesday night (May 18), leaving Lee DeWyze and Crystal Bowersox as the final two contestants standing. DeWyze and Bowersox will face off next Tuesday for the season nine "Idol" crown.
"I'm so thankful for the opportunity," said James, a 27-year-old Texas native known as much for his guitar playing and good looks as his singing. "It's been an amazing, amazing journey, and I'm just so honored that I'm here."
Video: Casey James is eliminated from "American Idol"
James closed out his run by performing John Mayer's "Daughters," which was chosen by Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi for him to sing during yesterday's performance show. His version was mostly praised by the judges, but the song that James chose for himself, Eric Hutchinson's "OK, It's Alright With Me," was panned for being too low-key for a top three "Idol" finalist.
Before the results were announced, both DeWyze and Bowersox spoke of their desire to compete in next week's season finale. "I've never wanted to win more than I do right now," said DeWyze, while Bowersox added, "We're at the stage where anything's obtainable. We're there. We're right in the home stretch."
Tonight's marquee performer was teen pop star Justin Bieber, whose pre-taped performance of "U Smile" and "Baby" aired. The songs are from Bieber's "My World, 2.0" album, which returned to No. 1 on this week's Billboard 200 chart.
Also performing was Travis Garland, a new artist signed to celebrity blogger Perez Hilton's Perezcious Music label. Garland performed his debut single, "Believe."
47 million votes were cast for tonight's results show, according to host Ryan Seacrest -- more than any other vote total this season, but a paltry sum compared with the near-88 million votes that came in at this stage of the competition last year.