NEW YORK - Uneasy lies Chikezie, who won't wear the crown.
The one-name singer — who previously worked security at Los Angeles International Airport — was eliminated from "American Idol" as the show narrowed the competition to nine finalists.
Chikezie, 22, of Inglewood, Calif., injected the singing contest with enthusiasm and soul. His performances could be risky and kinetic, as when he sang the Beatles' "She's A Woman," or safe and retro, as seen in his earlier rendition of "More Today than Yesterday."
Simon Cowell criticized Chikezie for singing the ballad "If Only for One Night" on Tuesday's performance show: "You chose the wrong song last night. ... It wasn't original."
The other lowest vote-getters were Jason Castro and Syesha Mercado.
Tattooed finalist Carly Smithson took a moment to address speculation she's expecting a child with her husband. She told host Ryan Seacrest: "Apparently I'm pregnant — but I'm not."
Wednesday's show also featured a performance by "Idol" also-ran Kimberley Locke, who placed third behind Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken in season two.