VIDEO: First Four American Idol Contestants Voted Off

Feb. 26 2010, Published 4:49 a.m. ET

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The tension was thick on Thursday night as the very first elimination round of American Idol Season 9 sent four contestants packing: Janelle Wheeler, Tyler Grady, Ashley Rodriguez and Joe Munoz.

The elimination wasn’t a complete shock—except for maybe Ashley Rodriguez, who was billed as a frontrunner. But for Rodriguez and Wheeler, the judges felt they picked songs that were too big for them, and it looks like America agreed.

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Happier parts of the night kicked off with the top 24 singing the first group performance American Boy. There were also some familiar faces dotting the telecast. Season 8 contestant Alison Iraheta returned to the Idol stage singing her new single Scars while Season 8 winner Kris Allen sang Let It Be (the song that helped launch his career!) complete with snapshots of his trip to Haiti playing in the background.

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Other highlights included a funny video clip of Grady wearing a bathrobe to his rehearsal and host Ryan Seacrest’s chatter with the judges.


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