'Idol' : Kristy Lee's Time Runs Out

Photo: Frank Micelotta/FOX

She cried — but she also faced elimination with country grace and a sense of humor.

Kristy Lee Cook, the 24-year-old from Selma, Ore., who sold her horse to pay to get to the American Idol audition, was cut from the show Wednesday, leaving only six contestants in the competition: David Archuleta, Carly Smithson, Jason Castro, David Cook, Syesha Mercado and Brooke White.

Cook, who languished in the bottom three for weeks before bouncing out during Dolly Parton week, tended to shine the brightest when she went country (although “Eight Days a Week” by the Beatles was an exception). So it was no surprise that she turned Mariah Carey‘s “Forever” into a solemn country tune, but to mixed reviews.

“I’m like blown away,” Paula Abdul told her Tuesday. “You’d have a hit with it in the country world, I believe … I’m so proud of you.”

Simon Cowell disagreed. “You didn’t give me chills,” he told the contestant, but “you managed with what you could.”

Apparently, another so-so performance wasn’t enough for Cook, who enjoyed the company of Syesha Mercado and Brooke White in the bottom three. When she heard the news, Kristy Lee cried a little but then bucked up, thanked America for voting and asked, “Can I go ride my horse now?”

Her final performance just might be her most memorable. Cook sat on the judges’ table right in front of Simon and started singing “Forever,” staring directly at the notorious judge. And it goes like this: Those days of love are gone / Our time is through …

Tell us: Did America make the right decision in sending Kristy Lee Cook home?Frank Micelotta/FOX

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