American Idol ousted Kristen O'Connor during Thursday night's live results show on Fox, determining the thirteenth season's Top 12 finalists.

Kristen, a 24-year-old nurse tech from Sebastian, FL, became the first finalist sent home from American Idol's thirteenth season after she received the fewest home viewer votes cast following Wednesday night's performance show, which featured the Top 13 finalists performing songs which they believed best represented them as individual artists.

"This has been such a surreal experience. I feel like I'm living my dream. It's incredible," Kristen said in a video montage that played following her ouster.

"I learned a lot. I think from the time I auditioned up to now, I learned so much about myself, the way I am as a performer and what it's like to perform for these people. I've listened to everything [the judges] have said to me and to the other contestants and I've taken so much [in]. I'm so thankful to you guys, the judges and everyone who's voted for me."

Kristen's elimination became official after Idol judge Harry Connick Jr. announced the show's judges were not going to prevent her departure by using "The Judges' Save," which Harry and fellow judges Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban can use once during the finals to prevent the elimination of a finalist whom America had voted out of the competition during a weekly performance round.

The decision would have to be unanimous amongst the judges to utilize the special save, which expires at the Top 6.

After discussing Kristen's fate during her survival performance of Adele's "Turning Tables," Harry revealed the panel's decision to American Idol host Ryan Seacrest.

"The key to using 'the save' is that it has to be a unanimous vote. This is the one opportunity where it's not majority, which is why we thought very carefully about it. The decision was not unanimous, which means we're going to have to say goodbye to you Kristen," Harry explained.

Kristen had received mixed reviews from the judges following her performance of Kelly Clarkson's "Beautiful Disaster" on Wednesday's performance show.

"I think that you're a really strong pop singer, like a really strong pop singer... I've heard you sing really in tune before and I saw you take your earpiece out. I'm not sure why... It must be some weird sound thing. [Mentor Randy Jackson] can help you with that as the weeks go on because you were just singing out of tune and I know you can sing in tune. I've heard you do it," Harry told Kristen.

"Kristen, first of all, I think that was a good song choice, I really do. What was really good about that performance is you have such a great range, and you were able to show that range and bring it down and show control and dynamics all within a short space of time... So I thought you did that particularly well," Keith said.

"Stop thinking a little bit. I know this is a lot of pressure," Jennifer added.

"What you have to start thinking about is what you know more than what you're afraid might happen... What the song is about, how you want to come off, the fact you deserve to be here, that this is where you belong. And what you want to do is share a moment with everybody here. That's the important thing. That's what you guys have to do when you get up there and sing."
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Prior to Kristen's elimination, M.K. Nobilette, a 20-year-old from San Francisco, CA, and Malaya Watson, a 16-year-old student from Southfield, MI, were revealed to be the other two members of this week's bottom three vote-getters.

The remaining Top 12 Idol finalists are: MK, Malaya, Jessica Meuse, Emily Piriz, Majesty Rose, Jena Irene, Ben Briley, C.J. Harris, Caleb Johnson, Alex Preston, Dexter Roberts, and Sam Woolf.

During Thursday night's broadcast, Ryan revealed over 71 million votes were cast for the finalists this week. Twelfth-season American Idol winner Candice Glover also took the stage and performed a medley of her hits.

About The Author: Elizabeth Kwiatkowski
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.