*“American Idol” has said goodbye to its first finalist.
Ashthon Jones, a 24-year-old retail manager from Nashville, Tenn., on Thursday was revealed to have the fewest viewer votes on the Fox talent competition. Then, the judges decided not to save the hopeful following her performance of Diana Ross’ “When You Tell Me That You Love Me.”
“I was rooting for you, baby,” Jennifer Lopez told a weeping Jones.
Joining Jones as the bottom three vote-getters were 21-year-old college student Karen Rodriguez of New York and 20-year-old college student Haley Reinhart of Wheeling, Ill. Randy Jackson dubbed their respective Wednesday performances of Selena’s “I Could Fall In Love” and LeAnn Rimes’ “Blue” as sleepy, and he criticized Reinhart’s lack of direction.
“Find your lane,” Jackson advised.
Casey Abrams, the 20-year-old film camp counselor from Idyllwild, Calif., delivered an energetic take on Joe Cocker’s rendition of “With a Little Help From My Friends” during Wednesday’s performance episode. He earned enough votes to move on in the competition, but he missed out on the results because he was hospitalized, “Idol” host Ryan Seacrest said.
“You’ll notice that Casey is missing from the group. He is unfortunately sick and in the hospital right now,” Seacrest said.
He didn’t elaborate on Abrams’ condition, and Fox had no additional comment on the matter.
The other finalists remaining in the competition are Naima Adedapo, 26, of Milwaukee; Lauren Alaina, 16, of Rossville, Ga.; James Durbin, 22, of Santa Cruz, Calif.; Stefano Langone, 21, of Kent, Wash.; Jacob Lusk, 23, of Compton, Calif.; Scotty McCreery, 17, of Garner, N.C.; Paul McDonald, 26, of Nashville, Tenn.; Thia Megia, 16, of Mountain House, Calif.; and Pia Toscano, 22, of Howard Beach, N.Y.
Below…the performance that got Ashton into the final 13.