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America voted: Alexis Grace cut from 'American Idol'

Grand Ole Opry Week spells her downfall, leaving 10 to go on tour.

March 19, 2009|Richard Rushfield

"American Idol's" Season 8 showed its fangs, severing a major artery for the first time in the final rounds as Angel of Death Ryan Seacrest paid a house call on Alexis Grace Wednesday night, removing her from the competition. Coming after the non-shocking eliminations last week of two second-tier contestants, Jorge Nunez and Jasmine Murray, Grace's fall from "Idol" took the competition to a much-higher-stakes level for those who remain.

The 21-year-old pixie-like contestant from Memphis, Tenn., earned an early legion of supporters with the surprising combination of her size (just under 5 feet) and powerful vocals. Grace was also one of a crop of young and/or single mothers, endearing herself to viewers with the commitment to her infant daughter.

One of only three female contestants to make it through to the finals on viewers' votes, Grace was talked of in many quarters as one who had the potential to take the "Idol" crown. But the last two weeks were not kind to the singer, as she delivered performances that earned mildly favorable reviews from the judges.

They seemed to seriously consider using their one "save" of the season on Grace, saying that they were open to keeping her after it was revealed she was the low vote-getter. As she began singing in a final appeal, however, reprising her rendition of Dolly Parton's "Jolene," the judges put their heads together and by the time the song was half over, they pulled apart, their decision made. When Grace finished, Simon Cowell delivered the news that her song had been "good, but not good enough."

The remaining 10 contestants will perform this summer on the Idols Live tour and earn the sizable paycheck that comes with those slots.


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