In a vote that came as a surprise to the American Idol judges, all-American blonde Kimberly Caldwell of Katy, Texas, was booted from the Fox talent show last night.

Caldwell, 21, was voted off by American Idol viewers who cast their ballots by phone.

But if it had been up to judges Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell, Caldwell would have survived at least another week. Each of them expressed surprise that Kimberly had received the most negative votes.

The judges all agreed she performed better Tuesday night than 18-year-old Carmen Rasmusen of Bountiful, Utah, who narrowly escaped ejection on last night's show.

Caldwell maintained her composure when she received the bad news from host Ryan Seacrest. "Thank you so much for this incredible, incredible experience," Caldwell said.

Her surprise exodus leaves six finalists: Rasmusen; Clay Aiken, 24, of Raleigh, N.C.; macho Marine Joshua Gracin, 22, of Oceanside, Calif.; sultry Kimberley Locke, 25, of Nashville; Ruben Studdard, 25, of Birmingham, Ala.; and Trenyce, 23, of Memphis.