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'American Idol' narrows twelfth-season male contestant pool to 28 hopefuls


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/08/2013 

American Idol narrowed its pool of twelfth-season male hopefuls to 28 contestants during Thursday night's Fox broadcast which featured additional coverage of the competition's Hollywood Week round.

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Last night's episode featured solo auditions from the men left standing following the season's prior group round. The 43 remaining male auditioners, who were successful in both the "sudden death" and group rounds, were instructed to choose a song from a large list and work with a vocal coach on an arrangement. They would be accompanied by the Idol band, and in an Idol first, could choose to play their own instrument as well while singing for judges Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Keith Urban, and Randy Jackson.

Unlike prior seasons, the singers would also receive immediate results after their performances instead of waiting and learning their fate in several rooms full of anxious contestants.

The men shown advancing were Paul Jolley, a 22-year-old retail salesman from Palmersville, TN; Curtis Finch Jr., a 24-year-old choir director from St. Louis, MO; Lazaro Arbos, a 21-year-old ice cream scooper from Naples, FL; Devin Velez, an 18-year-old student from Chicago, IL; Gurpreet Singh Sarin, a 22-year-old college student from North Potomac, MD; Cortez Shaw, a 22-year-old sales representative from Dallas, TX; Adam Sanders, a 19-year-old musician from San Antonio, TX; and Jimmy Smith, 25-year-old social worker from Waynesboro, TN.

Johnny Keyser, a 24-year-old musician from Pompano Beach, FL; Vincent Powell, a 29-year-old praise leader and teacher from Austin, TX; Nick Boddington, an unemployed 27-year-old from Memphis, TX; Charlie Askew, a 17-year-old student from Little Rock, AR; JDA, a 27-year-old in cosmetic sales from Chicago, IL; Mathenee Treco, a 26-year-old choreographer from Aurora, CO; Burnell Taylor, an unemployed 19-year-old from New Orleans, LA; and Marvin Calderon, a 22-year-old college student from San Diego, CA, were also told they'd live to see another day.

While 16 male contestants were featured moving on, American Idol host Ryan Seacrest noted a significant number of hopefuls were cut by the end of the Solo Day. Seven male hopefuls were shown being ousted from the competition during last night's American Idol Hollywood Week broadcast.

The Idol dream ended for Matheus Fernandes, a 22-year-old computer salesman from Atlanta, GA; Nicholas Mathis, a 23-year-old warehouse worker from Chicago, IL; Papa Peachez, an unemployed 19-year-old from Jackson, MS; Micah Johnson, a 24-year-old U.S. Navy seaman from Morrow, GA; Gabe Brown, a 22-year-old baker from Marion, IA; Nate Tao, a 24-year-old sign language teacher from Reston, VA; and Sanni M'Mairura, a 16-year-old student from Pearland, TX.

Next Wednesday night's American Idol broadcast will feature the twelfth season's female hopefuls competing in Hollywood Week and be followed by Thursday night's broadcast which will feature the unveiling of the season's Top 20 male semifinalists and Top 20 female semifinalists.

"So, next week we're going to see the girls.  Then, next Thursday, 20 of you will stay and eight of you will still have to leave.  Next Thursday we'll let you know," Jackson told the 28 remainng male hopefuls.

"Eight more guys still have to go -- find out who gets cut next week!" Seacrest teased as the episode ended.

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