‘American Idol’ Unveils Top 13

After four hours of singing and 33 million votes, the field of “American Idol” hopefuls were slashed from 25 to 13 Thursday.

Voters had cut 15 off the bat, and the judges chose three of those who hadn’t made it to get back into the race as wild cut picks.

It all capped cap a week in which each of the 25 semi-finalists seemed to get enthusiasm from the judges, Jimmy Iovine made his first “American Idol” appearance of the season and began tearing them apart one by one.

Other than two that he’d sign immediately (and he should, ending the competition instantly), the contestants were doing things that “are not going to work on this show,” weren’t special enough, didn’t stand out, were cheesy, too cabaret and out of tune for a whole song.

Well, the judges grumbled, maybe he was right.

But still, many of them got into the voters’ top 10.

The finalists chosen were:

  • Hollie Cavanagh, 18, of McKinney, Texas. Big voiced little blonde.
  • Colton Dixon, 20, of Murfreesboro, Tenn., the rock screecher with the unfortunate two-toned extreme hair, misidentified by Randy Jackson as an “indie, alt rocker type.”
  • Heejun Han, 22, Flushing, N.Y., Deadpan humorist whose jokes wear thin on Iovine, with strong voice nonetheless.
  • Jermaine Jones, 25, Pine Hill, N.J., the tall guy with a low voice who is constantly called “the gentle giant” by Jackson.
  • Skylar Laine, 18, Brandon, Miss., the diminutive country-voiced spitfire who revived Faces’ “Stay with Me.”
  • Joshua Ledet, 19, Westlake, La. The sincere soul man who says he learned his skills in church.
  • Shannon Magrane, 16, Tampa, Fla. Towering volleyball player who brings big emotion to her songs.
  • Phillip Phillips, 21, Leesburg, Ga. The first to be placed in the Top 10, he was one of those who Iovine said he’d sign in a flash.
  • Jessica Sanchez, 16, San Diego, was the other one. Iovine all but said she’d be the winner, always a good jinx.
  • Elise Testone, 28, Charleston, SC. A great, gritty singer who also seems like she’s 10 years older than most of the others.

For the wild card choices, judges picked six of the unchosen 15 to perform a “sing for your life song.” Then each got to pick one. They were:

  • Erika Van Pelt, 26, of South Kingstown, R.I. The mobile DJ was chosen by Randy Jackson.
  • Jeremy Rosado, 19, Valrico, Fla., a sweet-voiced singer known for emotions and being a good guy, was chosen by Jennifer Lopez.
  • DeAndre Brackensick, 17, of San Jose, was chosen by Steven Tyler, possibly because the contestant’s hair is as long as his.

Chosen to sing again but not to continue were Reed Grimm, Jennifer Hirsh and Brielle Von Hugel.

The others not saved by judges – and not even asked to sing — were: Adam Brock, Creighton Fraker, Eben Franckewitz, Chase Likens, Aaron Marcellus, Baylie Brown, Hallie Day, Haley Johnsen and Chelsea Sorrell.

Next week, the surviving seven guys sing Stevie Wonder and the six girls sing Whitney Houston. Both will be mentored by Mary J. Blige.

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