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Idol Down to Ruben and Clay

For Ruben Studdard (search) and Clay Aiken (search), next week will be a do-or-die race to the finish of American Idol. For Kimberly Locke (search), the competition is over.

Locke, 24, a student from Nashville, Tenn., was booted off Fox's hit show last night after a close decision in which more than 19 million votes were cast nationwide.

"Here they are, your American Idol finalists," host Ryan Seacrest said of Studdard and Aiken. "By no means is this a done deal."

Locke, who underwent one of the most profound physical makeovers during the months-long competition, became confused and tried to exit the stage after getting the news during the final moments of last night's live broadcast.

But she ultimately stuck around to sing one last number.

Even without making it into the final two, Locke, whose strongest suit is singing jazz, is so well known now, she's likely to be signed by a major record label anyway.

Studdard, 25, who's been nicknamed "The Velvet Teddy Bear," has already been granted his own holiday in his home state by the governor of Alabama since he began appearing on the show.

Aiken, 24, drew a sellout crowd May 8 to the minor-league Durham (N.C.) Bulls baseball game where he was flown onto the field in a helicopter to sing the national anthem.

Earlier that day, the spikey-haired Aiken, who's been ripped for appearing stiff while he sings, was given a lapel-pin by the governor of North Carolina, who told him to shake his booty a little bit more.