Andrew Garcia didn't have to sweat his fate long on Wednesday's "American Idol" when he was voted off the top-rated singing competition just 15 minutes into the live television broadcast.
In a double elimination that capped the contest's "Elvis" week, teenager Katie Stevens also was sent home, leaving only two women among the remaining seven finalists.
The results came as no surprise to the show's regular fans or "Idol" bloggers as both singers had struggled through weeks of uneven performances, drawing harsh words from the judges and often landing near the bottom of fan voting.
Garcia sang "Hound Dog," while "Baby, What You Want Me To Do" spelled Stevens' downfall in Tuesday's performance show.
The double elimination followed last week's dramatic judges' save of Michael Lynche, who would have been sent packing after a surprising last-place finish had the panel not used its once-per-season veto power to keep him singing.
Lynche came back strong and sure Tuesday night with a moving rendition of "In the Ghetto," and wasn't even among the bottom three after a season-high 34 million votes.
"I'm glad I've been through what I've been through," Garcia said, adding that his time on the show gave him the kind of experience he never would have had otherwise.
The Elvis-themed week was mentored by last season's runner-up Adam Lambert, the first time a former contestant had served as mentor.
Season 7 finalist Brooke White also returned for a duet with Justin Gaston of Elvis' "If I Can Dream," while Lambert rocked the house with a laser-augmented performance of his hit single, "Whataya Want from Me."
The remaining finalists include Crystal Bowersox, Tim Urban, Lee DeWyze, Casey James, Aaron Kelly and Siobhan Magnus.
The finale airs in May, when the next "Idol" winner lands a recording contract and invaluable media exposure. Past champions include Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, but last year's winner, Kris Allen, has found himself overshadowed by glam-pop singer Lambert.
(Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)
COPYRIGHT: (c) Reuters 2009. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.