American Idol swings axe, three survive

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America's favorite pastime (apologies to baseball) is getting into its playoffs, and last night's American Idol saw the reality competition select the first three finalists that will be vying for fame, fortune, and paparazzi. And if our resident American Idol expert is correct, America got it right.

Wednesday's results show was the first of three cut downs to be decided by viewers, and the emotional hurricane that is Tatiana did not--I repeat, did not--advance. Alexis Grace of Memphis moved on with her rendition of Aretha Franklin's "I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You," Jasper's Michael Sarver became a finalist by singing Gavin DeGraw's "I Don't Want To Be," and Milwaukee's Danny Gokey belted out Mariah Carey's "Hero" for the final slot while Tatiana did her thing in the background.

American Idol was watched by 24.4 million viewers last night, according to The Hollywood Reporter, and pulled in an 8.9 rating and 24 share in the 18-49 demographic. Those stats register another solid performance for Idol, but still down from its heyday of a few seasons ago.

Fox also says it received 24 million votes from viewers, 10 million more than it received at the same period last year--meaning that almost everyone out there who watched it voted for their favorite or a few people out there have very sore texting thumbs this morning.

What did you think? Will Casey Carlson be voted in by the judges? Does Anoop stand a chance?

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