NAPLES — Naples-native Paige Miles was one song away from making the jump into the "American Idol" Top 10 and with it a chance to tour with the group this summer.
What she came up with was a widely panned version of Phil Collins' "Against All Odds" that the show's judges and "idol" watchers alike agreed should put her on the chopping block.
And that's where she ended up. Miles, a 24-year-old teacher and Community School of Naples graduate, was eliminated from the competition.
Instead of a teary ending, she finished her last show smiling and singing Free's "All Right Now."
Katie Stevens and Tim Urban were the other performers in the bottom three vote-getters. It was Urban's second week in the bottom group.
The judges declined to save the singer. Simon Cowell told her even before she tried to sing to stay on the show that she wasn't making it. But he said she should take back with her the criticism and praise the judges had given her along the way. And the knowledge that she'd already performed in front of millions of people.
"You've got to use that to your advantage," he said.
The judges played up the importance of making the Top 10, if nothing else for the financial benefits it brings the performers. Cowell likened making the tour to having a winning lottery ticket.
Miles has struggled in the past few weeks on the show, turning in a series of performances that looked substandard when compared to front-runners such as Siobahn Magnus, Crystal Bowersox and Michael Lynche. The judges continually questioned both her choices of songs and her performances culminating in harsh criticism of her Tuesday night rendition.
"It was the worst vocal that I have ever heard from you and possibly this season," judge Kara DioGuardi said.
Tonight, Miles said she got too much inside herself and the song instead of just performing.