FOX Press Release: American Idol Voting Results

Jasmine Murray And Jorge Nuñez Are Eliminated From The “American Idol” Competition

Judges’ Save Adds New Twist To Season

Randy Travis To Mentor Top 11 On Country-Themed Show Tuesday, March 17, On Fox

Randy Travis, Carrie Underwood And Brad Paisley To Perform Wednesday, March 18

Finalists Jasmine Murray and Jorge Nuñez were eliminated tonight from AMERICAN IDOL’s first-ever Top 13 after they received the fewest of America’s nearly 33 million votes. On Tuesday’s performance show, finalists sang music from Michael Jackson’s songbook, and Murray, 17, from Starkville, MS, sang “I’ll Be There,” while Nuñez, 21, from Carolina, PR, performed “Never Can Say Goodbye.”

Tonight, AMERICAN IDOL also announced a new twist in the competition: the Judges’ Save. Up until only five finalists remain, the judges – if they unanimously agree – have the option to save from elimination the finalist receiving the lowest number of votes. The judges do not have to save a finalist during the competition. However, if they choose to use the Judges’ Save, they may only do so once during the season. The following week, the two finalists receiving the lowest number of votes will be eliminated.

On Tuesday, March 17 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed), the Top 11 finalists (Kris Allen, Megan Joy Corkrey, Anoop Desai, Matt Giraud, Danny Gokey, Alexis Grace, Allison Iraheta, Adam Lambert, Scott MacIntyre, Lil Rounds and Michael Sarver) will return to the IDOL stage and perform songs popularized by members of The Grand Ole Opry. In addition, country music superstar Randy Travis joins the Idols as the first mentor of the season.

Tune in the following night Wednesday, March 18 (9:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) to see if the judges use their save or if America sends another finalist home. Also, Randy Travis and Carrie Underwood will sing “I Told You So” (previously a hit for Travis and now a hit single for Underwood), and Brad Paisley will perform his new single, “Then.”

With more than 23 years on the charts and an Opry member since 1986, Randy Travis is one of the Top 10 best-selling solo country artists of all-time. Since making his debut with 1986’s multi-platinum “Storms of Life,” he has sold over 21 million albums and has 22 No. 1 hits, six Grammy Awards, five Country Music Association (CMA) Awards, nine Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards and 10 American Music Awards (AMAs). His most recent album, “Around the Bend,” was nominated for two Grammy Awards in 2008. His many hits include “Forever and Ever, Amen,” “Three Wooden Crosses,” “1982,” “Diggin’ Up Bones,” “He Walked on Water,” “Look, Heart, No Hands,” and “Hard Rock Bottom of Your Heart.” In addition to his extraordinary recording career, Travis has appeared in films and on television. His new CD, “I Told You So: The Ultimate Hits of Randy Travis,” will be in stores March 17.

Carrie Underwood was crowned AMERICAN IDOL just four short years ago in 2005, and made her first live performance on the Grand Ole Opry a few weeks later on June 10, 2005. She was invited to become an Opry member by Randy Travis in March 2008, and her official induction took place on May 10, 2008 by Opry member Garth Brooks. Since winning AMERICAN IDOL, Underwood has become one of the most popular performers in the nation. Her debut album, “Some Hearts,” is the biggest selling AMERICAN IDOL debut project to date in the U.S., having sold more than 7 million albums. With the release of her current album, “Carnival Ride,” she has now sold 10 million albums and has had nine No. 1 singles. Underwood has received eight Billboard Awards, six ACM Awards, five CMA Awards, five AMAs, four CMT (Country Music Television) Music Awards, four Grammy Awards, five People’s Choice Awards and two BMI Songwriter Awards.

Brad Paisley recently marked his eighth year as an Opry member, having been inducted by his friend and mentor Steve Wariner on February 17, 2001. The West Virginia native embraces his Opry membership with numerous Opry performances each year and treasured friendships with Opry members, including country legend Little Jimmy Dickens, who has made several appearances in Paisley’s music videos. Paisley is the reigning ACM and CMA Male Vocalist of the Year, and has garnered a record-setting nine consecutive No. 1 singles in addition to another four chart-toppers. He was awarded two Grammy Awards this year and is currently the most nominated artist for the upcoming ACM Awards, with six nods. “The Paisley Party Tour” concludes this week, after having played to over 800,000 fans in seven months. “American Saturday Night,” Paisley’s next CD, will be in stores June 30.