For most folks who’ve been watching American Idol this season, it wasn’t a shock to see Brooke White and Syesha Mercado in the bottom two this week. After all, with the judges continuing to fawn over leading competitors David Cook and David Archuleta, and with all the girls going gaga over dreadlocked cutie Jason Castro, the two remaining female finalists have had targets on their backs for weeks.

In the end, it was Brooke saying goodbye. The 24-year-old former nanny was typically emotional, choking back tears — and flubbing the lyrics — as she sang her encore of the Neil Diamond classic "I Am…I Said" over the closing credits.

After the show, the final four Idol hopefuls surrounded Brooke to give her long hugs. Paula Abdul embraced the Arizona gal and would hardly let her go before Simon Cowell broke up the love-fest to offer his own plus words of condolence.

In fact, Simon might have been one of the few people in the room surprised that Jason Castro wasn’t going. Earlier in the evening, when Ryan Seacrest announced that Jason was safe, the ornery judge appeared taken aback, turning to Paula and saying “Wow!” at the judges’ table.

Now Brooke can only hope that her own top five finish on Idol will jump start her singing career. A few weeks ago, when OK! asked her why she should be the next American Idol, she explained, “I don’t have a really great answer but I’m passionate about music and it brings me a lot of happiness. I think if you’re doing what makes you happy, it makes other people happy, too. I’ll create music that will connect with people.”

So what do you think? Are the four remaining contestants the most deserving of the finalists?

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