NEW YORK – It's down to two on American Idol.
Nikki McKibbin, 23, from Grand Prairie, Texas, was the latest to get booted from the hit Fox talent show, in which the grand prize is a recording contract.
"What an incredible journey this has been," McKibbin wept moments after she was told the bad news.
"Just to know that so many people support me and enjoy what I do means so much. It's been worth it every step of the way. I couldn't ask for better fans or better exposure."
McKibbin drew the fewest viewer votes out of the millions cast this week.
With McKibbin gone, the stage is now set for next week's highly anticipated final showdown between Justin Guarini of Doylestown, Pa., and Kelly Clarkson of Burleson, Texas.
Guarini, 23, and Clarkson, 20, will square off next Tuesday night during a live performance. One of them will be revealed as the show's ultimate winner on Wednesday night.
American Idol is based on last year's British hit, Pop Idol.
That show launched the singing career of winner William Young and helped land recording deals for a few of the show's other contestants.
American Idol -- described as a cross of Survivor and Star Search -- has drawn a combined total audience averaging about 11 million viewers since its debut in June.
Tuesday night's broadcast drew about 15 million viewers, the show's best ratings to date.