'American Idol' reveals five tenth-season Top 24 semifinalists
By Reality TV World staff, 02/24/2011
American Idol ended the dreams of 26 more hopefuls and formally revealed the first of the competition's tenth-season Top 24 semifinalists during Tuesday night's special two-hour Fox broadcast.
Five semifinalists were unveiled during the broadcast: Naima Adedapo, a 25-year-old grounds cleanup worker from Milwaukee, WI; Clint Jun Gamboa, a 26-year-old karaoke bar host from Long Beach, CA; Haley Reinhart, a 20-year-old student from Wheeling, IL; Paul McDonald, a 25-year-old musician from Nashville, TN; and Ashthon Jones, a 24-year-old retail manager from Goodlettsville, TN.
In addition, American Idol judges Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson told five additional hopefuls -- Hollie Cavanagh, Lakeisha Lewis, Alex Ryan, Deandre Brackensick, and Chris Medina -- that they were among the 40 who made the season's Final Judgement but hadn't made the semifinals.
However given their youth, the judges urged Cavanagh and Brackensick to both continue pursuing a musical career and consider re-auditioning for Idol in the future.
"I was outvoted here, I wanted to put you through. Because I honestly believe you have one of the best voices and you belong in the Top 24," Lopez told Cavanagh, a 17-year-old student from McKinney, TX.
"But when you look at everybody else, I feel like Randy said something that really it home: you're 17 year old. In a year or two I fell like, honestly Hollie, you could come back and win -- win the whole thing. That's how good you are! That's how talented you are! But right now, I think you just need to grow a little but, figure out who you are as an artist. And in that sense I think [Steven and Randy] are right."
"Make sure you come back, okay?" Jackson added.
"I will," Cavanagh replied. "Thank you... thank you."
Brackensick, a 16-year-old student from San Jose, CA, received similar praise from the judges.
"I stress and urge that you should definitely continue. You're 16, man. You should work hard and come back," Jackson told him.
"Because, honestly, of all the people that we have to let go today, I really feel that you have a great, great chance of being a recording artist right now," Lopez added. "I hate to see you go... [and] I don't want to see you stop or get discouraged."
However, Lopez saved her most emotional reaction for Medina, who had touched the judges with his tragic story of his fiance Juliana Ramos' serious injury in an automobile accident during his initial audition.
"It was hard for me to tell him," Lopez said as she began to tear up after informing Medina, a 27-year-old barista and caretaker from Oak Forest, IL, that he had failed to make Idol's tenth-season semifinals.
"Listen, you did it the best way possible. And I think you were really real and really honest with him," Jackson told Lopez as he and Tyler both attempted to comfort her after she began crying.
"Like I said, I just don't feel I told him in the right way," Lopez sobbed.
"No, no you did!" Jackson replied.
"No, you so did," Tyler added. "Just the perfect words."
"I didn't want to tell him, 'No!'" Lopez continued as a smiling Medina met with American Idol host Ryan Seacrest and said his goodbyes.
"You're a good man," Seacrest told Medina as the pair exchanged as final handshake.
However, still overcome by emotion, Lopez eventually asked for a break.
"I don't want to do this anymore," she said as the broadcast ended.
American Idol will formally reveal the tenth season's 19 remaining semifinalists during Thursday night's broadcast.