One night after she won Simon's praise on Andrew Lloyd Webber night, the tattooed lass with the big voice loses the popular vote; Webber night missteps don't derail Brooke White or Jason Castro, who move on to Neil Diamond week
Carly Smithson, American Idol

Simon Cowell may have loved Carly Smithson (this week), but American Idol voters didn’t. Despite rare praise from the hard-to-please judge Tuesday night after her roaring performance of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ”Superstar,” the former recording artist-turned-bartender-turned top 6 Idol finalist couldn’t rustle up enough support from the public to avoid getting cut on Wednesday’s results show. Joining her in the bottom two was her Idol roommate, Syesha Mercado, who now returns to compete next week, when Neil Diamond will be the mentor. True to form, front-runners David Cook and David Archuleta were announced as safe early in the show; more surprising, the judges’ harsh assessments of Jason Castro and Brooke White this week clearly didn’t hurt enough with voters to leave either at risk of elimination.

The hour leading up to the voting result included a taped appearance by President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush to thank donors who pledged $65 million to the charities supported by Idol Gives Back; another appearance by Andrew Lloyd Webber, who bantered with Ryan Seacrest about his pleasant week working with ”the kids”; a performance of ”Bleeding Love” by Simon Cowell protégée Leona Lewis; and a taped segment featuring past Idol finalists Clay Aiken and Tamyra Gray talking about their respective runs on Broadway in Spamalot and Rent.

For complete analysis of Wednesday’s results show and to post your own thoughts about Carly’s farewell, see Michael Slezak’s Idol TV Watch Yesterday’s poll results (see below) clearly showed readers were not expecting to be saying bye-bye to Carly tonight; let us know where you think she deserved to finish this season by voting in our poll below. Poll

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Results of yesterday’s post-Idol poll: Poll

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