No salvation from judges for Idol's Giraud

Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:04am EDT
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By Chris Michaud

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The judges could not save Matt Giraud again on Wednesday as "American Idol" fans eliminated the singer by casting the fewest votes for him this week based on his rendition of "My Funny Valentine."

Giraud, 23, of Kalamazoo, Michigan, was on the brink of elimination two weeks ago but the show's four judges unanimously chose to use their once-per-season veto power to keep him in the competition. Last week, he avoided the bottom three.

But Giraud's rendition of the Rodgers and Hart classic during the show's standards week spelled the end despite Simon Cowell's description of his performance as "absolutely brilliant."

"I'll definitely remember being the cat with nine lives," Giraud said. "This is definitely not the last time you'll see me," he promised before launching a reprise of the performance that sent him packing.

"One of the best things we did this season was save you," judge Kara DioGuardi told him.

More than 47 million votes, a season high, were cast for the five finalists.

The other bottom-three finishers were Kris Allen and Adam Lambert. The placement of Lambert, a much-presumed -- including by Cowell -- front-runner for the finale, was especially surprising and marked the first time he was threatened with elimination.

The others finalists are Allison Iraheta and Danny Gokey. By coincidence both had birthdays in the past week as Iraheta, the last remaining female contender, turned 17. Gokey is now 29.   Continued...

<p>"American Idol" contestant Matt Giraud sings his rendition of "My Funny Valentine" on the show, April 29, 2009. REUTERS/Frank Micelotta/Fox/Handout</p>