4 "American Idol" Hopefuls Sent Packing

Friday, Feb 26, 2010  |  Updated 3:30 AM EDT
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4 "American Idol" Hopefuls Sent Packing

Getty Images for Fox

Contestant Jose Munoz was a judge favorite but he got the axe.

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The "American Idol" chopping block came down hard on Thursday night, sending four hopefuls packing.

Janell Wheeler, the blonde 24-year-old wine saleswoman from Orlando, Fla., who reportedly has a link to exiting Gators quarterback Tim Tebow, was first to get the cut.

"I had a feeling," she said after show host Ryan Seacrest delivered the news. "I really wanted a chance to play my guitar and do what I do best one more time."

Also sent away was Eva Longoria look-a-like Ashley Rodriguez, 22, from Chelsea, Mass., who had performed "Happy," a song made famous by Simon Cowell's "X Factor" protege, Leona Lewis.

"I want to say thank you to everyone who has supported me from day one," Ashley told the audience.

In more shocking elimination news, Joe Munoz, a judges' favorite from Wednesday's round of live competition, was sent home. Floppy haired Tim Urban, a latecomer to the Top 24, was saved by the cut and the camera panned to the 20-year-old Texan as he put his hands in his hair and held a stunned expression on his face.

As for Joe, he took his dismissal in stride.

"America votes, so I wasn't expecting anything," the singer said. "I was just waiting for things to happen."

The final elimination of the night was Tyler Grady, 20, from Nazareth, Penn., the young man who was influenced by '70s rock and bore a striking resemblance to Greg Brady's alter ego, Johnny Bravo.

And Tyler didn't hold back when asked about the judges' criticisms of his Wednesday performance of "American Woman," which they said was cliche.

"All the judges, I really had a great time with them, but I feel like I didn't get much constructive criticism during Hollywood Week," he said. "And I feel like what they told me [on] Wednesday, was a little bit too late."

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MORE ACCESS ON THESE TOPICS: American Idol - TV - Reality TV

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