NEW YORK - Simon Cowell once told Jason Castro that his face would save him from elimination. Not this time.
The dreadlocked heartthrob was voted off "American Idol" Wednesday as the show narrowed the competition to three finalists: David Cook, David Archuleta and Syesha Mercado.
Castro, 20, from Rockwall, Texas, started off strong in the show's seventh season but lost momentum in recent weeks. He gave weaker performances, and flubbed the lyrics to Bob Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man" on Tuesday's performance show.
Cowell predicted Castro's gaffe could spell the end of him. "Jason, I'd pack your suitcase," Cowell told the singer.
Castro took his fate in stride and didn't wipe the ever-present grin off his expansive face after learning the result.
Earlier in Wednesday's show, he told host Ryan Seacrest: "I think it's just getting tough for me. I think my inexperience is coming in."
Castro said this week he tried to pick songs he knew — "Mr Tambourine Man" and Bob Marley's "I Shot the Sheriff" — and yet he "screwed it up."
After Castro's cover of "I Shot the Sheriff," a less-than-impressed Cowell said: "I don't know what you're thinking!"
Castro replied: "I'm thinking, Bob Marley!"
Castro had his share of spacey moments while he was in the running, like when a viewer asked Wednesday what the contestants' biggest challenges were in the competition. Castro answered: "Just the brain being dead."
The program also featured performances by Maroon 5 and "Idol" alum Bo Bice.