Gutsy Sherman Oaks singer Katharine McPhee held her ground on “American Idol” Wednesday, but unexpectedly saw fan support dwindle. McPhee, the subject of kitchen conversation from Calabasas to Glendale, had among the lowest number of votes this week. Her version of “The Voice Within” by Christina Aguilera prompted resident meanie Simon Cowell to knock her rendition as “nowhere near” as good as Aguilera’s. But it was Lisa Tucker, 16, who got the boot Wednesday, with viewers agreeing with judges who slammed her version of 2002 “Idol” winner Kelly Clarkson’s ballad “Because of You.” Tucker’s ouster trimmed the hopefuls to nine. The final “Idol” will be crowned May 24. Until this week, McPhee’s well-trained voice and Broadway moves were paying off, making her the most polished of the remaining “Idol” hopefuls and a firm audience favorite. Her closest competition, according to fans, was bald singer Chris Daughtry. After Tucker, McPhee, 21, and Ace Young, 25, had the next-lowest vote tallies. “The public knows best,” Cowell said. Wednesday’s elimination show featured a sizzling performance by Latin pop star Shakira and rapper Wyclef Jean, who performed Shakira’s latest single “Hips Don’t Lie,” featuring Jean. Fred Shuster, (818) 713-3676 and [email protected] AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl event160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!