NEW YORK – And then there were two. Vonzell Solomon (search), a 20-year-old singer from Fort Myers, Fla., who became known affectionately as "Baby V," was knocked off FOX's "American Idol" Wednesday night.
Solomon's exit paved the way for a showdown between the two contestants many have long expected to be in the finals: Bo Bice and Carrie Underwood (search).
A postal letter carrier, Solomon endeared herself to fans with her emotional openness. Always an underdog, she had tried out once before for "Idol" (search) but was rejected. This time, she made it all the way to the top three, which is sure to yield her a recording contract.
"My 'American Idol' journey has been crazy — a lot of emotions balled up into one. But it's been all worth it," Solomon said in a video montage played after host Ryan Seacrest announced that she had received the fewest votes.
Next Tuesday, Bice and Underwood will perform for one last time before the winner is crowned Wednesday.
Though Underwood, a 22-year-old college senior from Checotah, Okla., has for weeks appeared the odds-on favorite, Bice's a capella performance of Badlands' "In a Dream" Tuesday may have catapulted him into the front-runner position.
The long-haired 29-year-old from Helena, Ala., floored the audience and the judges in what is being considered the performance of the season.
"You may have just put 34 musicians out of work," said judge Simon Cowell.
"Idol" weeded out the less talented singers many episodes ago, and Fox will air some of the less impressive tryouts Thursday on "World's Worst Auditions" (9 p.m. ET).