This season's American idol has been quite a ride for North Texan Casey James, but the ride came to an end Wednesday night.
James was eliminated during the results show, leaving Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze to face each other in next week's finale. Although James had been in the show's bottom two or three a few times, neither Bowersox nor DeWyze has come that close to elimination.
"I'm so thankful for the opportunity," James said after host Ryan Seacrest delivered the news. "It's been an amazing, amazing journey and I'm so thankful that I'm here."
The episode featured a montage from James' homecoming visit last week, with crowds cheering for him at Millsap High School, his alma mater; in the Fort Worth Stockyards; at Fort Worth's Keys Lounge; at an AT&T store in Grapevine; and at KDFW/Channel 4's Good Day, with cameos for hosts Lauren Przybyl and Tim Ryan and James' mother, Debra. James was also shown visiting Harris Methodist Fort Worth (billed as "Texas Health Fort Worth"), where he talked to medical staff who had treated him after a motorcycle accident six years ago.
In Idol tradition, James also got to reprise a song, and he went with John Mayer's Daughters, which the judges chose for him on Tuesday night's show. The reprise turned out to be one of his best performances of the season, with James smiling and at ease, performing without his guitar and serenading a little girl he'd plucked from the crowd.
Idol's final performance show will be Tuesday at 7 p.m. on KDFW/Channel 4.