Stephen M. Silverman
April 10, 2003 10:41 AM

Texan Rickey Smith, 23, got the old heave-ho on Wednesday night’s edition of “American Idol,” making him the fifth finalist on the FOX talent search to get the hook.

Smith, a schoolteacher, sang “Let’s Groove” and “Endless Love.”

Contestants Carmen Rasmusen, 17, of Utah, and Trenyce, 22, from Memphis, were actually in line to have been booted last week — until they were spared when producers delivered an exit visa to Corey Clark after newly revealed allegations that he had assaulted his 15-year-old sister and resisted arrest last fall. (Clark denied the charges on last week’s show, and he and his sister give their side of the story in the latest issue of PEOPLE.)

As for Smith, he was denied his final moment in the sun Wednesday night, presumably because of time factors. He did not deliver a farewell speech.

With Smith out of the picture, the remaining contestants are Rasmusen, Clay Aiken, Joshua “The Marine” Gracin, the popular Ruben Studdard, Trenyce, Kimberly Caldwell and Kimberley Locke.

Last season’s winner, Kelly Clarkson, also appeared on Wednesday’s program, singing from her new album “Thankful” (due in stores April 15) and showing up in a clip with last season’s runner-up Justin Guarini.

The two costar in the upcoming “American Idol” movie, “From Justin to Kelly,” which is scheduled for release in June.

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