LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Lacey Brown was voted off “American Idol” on Wednesday after struggling with nerves for weeks on America’s most-watched TV show.
But Tim Urban, whose acoustic reggae version of “Under My Thumb” was judged the most bizarre performance of Rolling Stones-themed week, lived to fight another day despite ending in the bottom three after the public vote.
Paige Miles, who sang despite laryngitis, was also one of the three aspiring pop stars with the least number of votes, but she survived the cut.
Brown, a shy redhead plagued by pitch problems who sang “Ruby Tuesday” on Tuesday night, was given the opportunity to sing for her life as producers brought back the controversial “judges’ save.”
Under the rule, the four “Idol” judges can save one contestant per season from being axed, as long as they are unanimous and only until the contestants are whittled down to the Top 5.
The judges’ save was introduced last year to help tweak the eight-year old Fox show, whose ratings have slipped in the past three years.
But on Wednesday, the panel decided not to use their save on Brown after she sang her version of “The Story.”
“That’s alright. I’m having a blast” she said. “I’m not going to stop singing for my fans because I love to do this. I am excited for the future.”
The remaining 11 contestants will return next week for a teen-idol-themed night of songs.
Wednesday’s results show also featured performances by 2008 “Idol” winner David Cook and pop newcomer Ke$ha, whose dance singles “Blah Blah Blah” and “Tik Tok” have been the breakout hits of the year.
“American Idol” reaches its climax in May when viewers will crown the next star and he or she wins a recording contract.
Previous winners have included bona-fide Grammy artists Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, while “losing” contestants have included Jennifer Hudson, who went on to win an Oscar for her role in the 2006 musical movie “Dreamgirls.”
Reporting by Jill Serjeant