But in a twist, it’s announced that one of four eliminated contestants will be welcomed back next week for the first Top 25.
By Adam Graham
“American Idol” revealed its final 10 semifinalists Thursday (February 23), rounding out the Top 24 that will compete for America’s votes during season 11’s live episodes, which begin next week.
The remaining 10 contestants were chosen from the pool of 42 sent to Las Vegas to compete for the chance to perform on the live shows. The first 14, including Heejun Han (Heejun Han!), were unveiled during Wednesday’s episode.
Thursday’s show picked up with the cliffhanger from Wednesday, regarding the fate of 27-year-old Adam Brock. The teary-eyed Brock made it, of course; “American Idol” can be cruel (see last week’s brutal “Gotcha!” twist), but it’s not cruel enough to let a contestant hang in the balance for a full day and then not let him through. Especially one with a cute little girl at home.
The toughest cut Thursday was the one dealt to Jermaine Jones, the 25-year-old baritone-voiced “gentle giant” who took the news very hard, nearly collapsing in tears. Most shocking was the elimination of David Leathers Jr., the would-be heartthrob nicknamed “Mr. Steal Your Girl” who was thought early on to be one of the contestants to beat, despite the fact that the bow-tied 17-year-old looked like he was 12.
But in a shocking final twist — “GOTCHA!” — it was revealed at the end of the episode that either Leathers, Jones, Richie Law or Johnny Keyser will return next week to join the show, making it a Top 25. Isn’t “Idol” fun?
Here is the full list of the season’s Top 24 contestants:
» Adam Brock, 27, Washington, Pennsylvania
» Jeremy Rosado, 19, Valrico, Florida
» Eben Franckewitz, 15, Loveland, Ohio
» Shannon Magrane, 16, Tampa, Florida
» Hallie Day, 24, Baltimore, Maryland
» Chase Likens, Point Pleasant, New Jersey
» Aaron Marcellus, 27, Atlanta
» DeAndre Brackensick, 17, San Jose, California
» Skylar Laine, 18, Brandon, Mississippi
» Hollie Cavanagh, 18, McKinney, Texas
» Heejun Han, 22, Flushing, New York
» Phillip Phillips, 21, Leesburg, Georgia
» Creighton Fraker, 28, Queens, New York
» Jen Hirsh, 25, Agoura Hills, California
» Chelsea Sorrell, 23, Stokesdale, Arizona
» Elise Testone, 28, Charleston, South Carolina
» Reed Grimm, 26, Ellsworth, Wisconsin
» Joshua Ledet, 19, Westlake, Louisiana
» Erika Van Pelt, 26, South Kingstown, Rhode Island
» Baylie Brown, 22, Krum, Texas
» Jessica Sanchez, 16, San Diego
» Colton Dixon, 20, Murfreesboro, Tennessee
» Haley Johnsen, 23, Beaverton, Oregon
» Brielle Von Hugel, 17, Staten Island, New York
Next week, the men compete during Tuesday’s two-hour episode and the women square off on Wednesday’s two-hour showdown, and the first finalists will be revealed on Thursday’s two-hour live results show.
What do you think of this year’s Top 24? Let us know in the comments!
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