‘Idol’ fairy tales end for YouTube king and teen queen in double elimination

And then there were seven after two early American Idol front-runners got the boot in a not-so-shocking but heartbreaking double elimination.

Andrew Garcia and Katie Stevens became the latest casualties on Wednesday night’s FOX telecast, a week after the judges used their one-time-only save on Michael Lynche.

“Big Mike” stood at Katie’s side near the end of the hour as Ryan Seacrest announced the results, but said that one of them wasn’t even in the bottom three that week – that said person was Michael, leaving Katie as the departing finalist.

Minutes earlier, Seacrest picked out Andrew from a group of three consisting of him, Casey James, and Aaron Kelly and said that his Idol journey has ended, but not before torturing him with questions and comments about his experience and the friendships he made (They both obviously had Lee DeWyze on their minds – seriously, this is heartbreaking).

Andrew graciously bid adieu before and after reprising “You Give Me Something” by James Morrison. “I appreciate everything, and I’m glad I’m here,” he said after his singout. “I’m glad I’ve been through what I’ve been through.”

Katie, on the other hand – little 17-year-old Katie – choked back tears as she sang “Let it Be” by the Beatles, a song she was praised for by the judges just last week. At the end, as Andrew rejoined the group to watch their joint farewell video, her waterworks came flowing out.

Both finalists were deemed as early front-runners – Andrew for his innovative acoustic covers and already-established fanbase from YouTube and Katie for her big sultry sounding voice and poise – but ultimately couldn’t live up to the high standards they had set so early in the competition.

I also blame the judges for their contradictory remarks and criticisms throughout the season. But I also have to say – I don’t think Andrew was able to adapt to the limiting themes very well, and I think Katie had trouble finding herself as an artist.

Nonetheless, I was very sad to see these two talents leave. Andrew was always a favorite of mine and I was starting to warm up to Katie again after not liking/caring about her for weeks. Even more, they both seemed to have genuinely fun, friendly, and endearing personalities that didn’t come through well on stage, but shined in interviews and behind-the-scenes segments. And have I mentioned how much I’ll miss dissecting the epic Andrew/Lee bromance every week from here on out? Besides Lee himself, his friendship with Mr. Garcia is my favorite thing about this lackluster season.

Andrew and Katie will be back for next month’s finale and the summer tour, both of which I’m looking forward to (The live and in-your-face interactions with Idols make for some amazing moments, personally). The remaining seven finalists – Mike, Casey, Aaron, Lee, Tim Urban, Crystal Bowersox, and Siobhan Magnus – will be back next week to sing inspirational tunes to coincide with the charity event Idol Gives Back. Alicia Keys will be the mentor.

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