During the live elimination show on Fox TV, host Ryan Seacrest revealed Yamin received 33.06 percent of the 50 million public votes cast following Tuesday night's performances, compared to 33.26 percent cast for McPhee and 33.68 percent for Hicks.
"It doesn't get any closer than that," Seacrest said.
Yamin's ouster was predicted Tuesday night by judge Simon Cowell, who softened the blow by saying: "Whatever happens you will make your mom very proud by what you achieved in this competition."
McPhee and Hicks will compete for the title next Tuesday in a live broadcast from the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles.
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