LOS ANGELES: There was no saving Matt Giraud this time on "American Idol."
The 23-year-old dueling piano player from Kalamazoo, Mich., was rescued by the show's judges two weeks ago. But on Wednesday it was revealed that he received the fewest viewer votes on the Fox singing competition — just beneath this season's most formidable front-runner.
"I'll definitely remember being the cat with nine lives up here," Giraud said after his dismissal.
At the start of the show, host Ryan Seacrest split the finalists: Giraud and Kris Allen on one side, Danny Gokey and Allison Iraheta on the other. Seacrest then allowed seemingly unstoppable Adam Lambert to choose which group he belonged in. Lambert picked Gokey and Iraheta, but Seacrest dropped a bomb: Lambert was in the bottom three with Giraud and Allen.
"My mouth went open again," said judge Kara DioGuardi. "That's what happens with Adam."
The drama was extended after Seacrest sent Allen to safety, leaving Lambert and Giraud as the bottom two vote-getters. While the judges were split on Tuesday's "Rat Pack"-themed show over Giraud's "My Funny Valentine" rendition, they all agreed that 27-year-old theater actor Lambert's "Feeling Good" performance left them feeling, well, really good.
The Lambert alarm was all for naught, though. Giraud was sent packing.
Gokey and Iraheta, who both recently celebrated birthdays, were safe from elimination, but the 29-year-old church music director from Milwaukee and the 17-year-old high school student from Los Angeles weren't totally out of harm's way. Video was shown of them tangling in a cake-making brawl that left their kitchen a mess.
Gokey was served with the cleaning bill.
"You mean `American Idol' doesn't pay for this?" Gokey asked.
"Maybe we'll take care of it if you win," Seacrest responded.
The four remaining finalists — Allen, Gokey, Iraheta and Lambert — will perform rock 'n' roll songs next week, two weeks before the two-part finale.