Iraheta seemed to take her dismissal in stride, belting out an energized "Cry Baby" reprise then razzing the last three dudes standing - Kris Allen, Danny Gokey and Adam Lambert. Throughout the competition, judge Simon Cowell chided Iraheta for not showing off more of her personality, but she finally lashed back at the acerbic British judge on Tuesday.
"He was asking for it," she said.
Before the results were revealed, the final four were joined by this week's mentor, former Guns 'N Roses guitarist Slash, for a frantic rendition of Alice Cooper's "School's Out." Also taking the "Idol" stage - for the first time ever! - was judge Paula Abdul in a smokey pre-taped performance of her new single, "I'm Just Here for the Music."
Tuesday night's pre-show drama didn't seem to linger during the lead-up to Iraheta's elimination. The behemoth "Idol" logo which toppled over was back - and glowing - in place above the audience. And that moving staircase was also operational Wednesday after a crew member was sent to the hospital following a reported 20-foot fall from the top Tuesday.
However, Seacrest still seemed a little shaken up following all of the tumultuous tumbling, especially after No Doubt singer Gwen Stefani strutted down the steps, behind the judges' table and through the crowd while belting out "I'm Just a Girl" for an elimination episode performance. Seacrest joked she was making him nervous running around the stage.
"It's been a high-risk place this week," he said.
The finalists left in contest are Lambert, a 27-year-old theater actor from San Diego; Gokey, a 29-year-old church music director from Milwaukee; and Allen, a 23-year-old college student from Conway, Ark.
This week, the three singers will travel to their hometowns before performing two songs next week: one of their choosing, another from the show's judges.
The next "Idol" will be crowned May 20.
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Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.