Chris Sligh became the third finalist eliminated from American Idol's sixth season during Wednesday night's live broadcast of the Fox reality show's results show.

The 28-year-old Greenville, SC native was sent packing after more than 30 million votes were cast based on Tuesday night's live performances.

"Just making it this far on American Idol is probably the greatest experience of my life... outside of my wedding day," said Sligh during a video montage of his Idol journey.  "I just want to be able to do what I love."

Sligh performed The Police's "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic" during Tuesday night's Idol broadcast.  Idol judge Randy Jackson thought it was "a train wreck" rhythm-wise; Paula Abdul commented she thought Sligh's inability to stay "in the pocket" was an "eyesore" for the audience; while Simon Cowell called it "a mess" twice and thought his singing was  "all over the place."

Prior to Sligh's elimination Idol host Ryan Seacrest revealed Haley Scarnato, a 24-year-old from San Antonio who performed "True Colors," and Phil Stacey, a 29-year-old from Jacksonville, FL who sang "Every Breath You Take," were the other members of this week's bottom three vote-getters. 

Once the bottom group was narrowed to only Scarnato and Sligh, Seacrest asked the judges what they thought.  Jackson described it as a "hard call," Abdul said "both deserve really great, great warmth from the audience," while Cowell commented "bye-bye curly."  Seacrest then revealed that Sligh was eliminated.

Gwen Stefani, who served as a mentor during the Tuesday night performance show that celebrated pop music which inspired her career, also performed during the results show.  She sang "Sweet Escape" with rapper Akon.

The Top 9 finalists on Idol's sixth season -- Melinda Doolittle, Gina Glocksen, Sanjaya Malakar, Haley Scarnato, Phil Stacey, Lakisha Jones, Blake Lewis, Chris Richardson and Jordin Sparks -- will all perform live on Tuesday, April 3 beginning at 8PM ET on Fox, celebrating the music of Tony Bennett.  Then on Wednesday, March 28 at 9PM ET, Idol will air its fourth finals live results show, narrowing the field of finalists to eight.

(Photo credit Frank Micelotta / FOX)