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'American Idol' reveals the twelfth season's Top 40 semifinalists


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/15/2013 

American Idol has revealed the identities of the twelfth-season Top 40 contestants -- 20 female and 20 male semifinalists -- who will be competing in the upcoming Las Vegas Round during Thursday night's Fox broadcast of the final Hollywood Week eliminations.

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Last night's episode began with the 47 remaining female contestants performing solos for American Idol judges Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Keith Urban, and Randy Jackson on the final day of Hollywood Week. Each hopeful was allowed to choose a song off a list or sing an original of their own. 

The women shown surviving the solo round were Angela Miller, an 18-year-old in food services from Beverly, MA; Candice Glover, a 23-year-old administrative assistant from St. Helena Island, SC; Janelle Arthur, a 23-year-old fitness instructor from Oliver Springs, TN; and Zoanette Johnson, a 20-year-old habilitation health specialist from Tulsa, OK.

Jett Hermano, a 25-year-old from Seattle, WA; Shubha Vedula, a 17-year-old student from Mt. Pleasant, MI; Juliana Chahayed, a 15-year-old student from Woodland Hills, CA; Melinda Ademi, a 19-year-old in retail from Yonkers, NY; Kree Harrison, a 22-year-old demo singer from Woodville, TX; and Lauren Mink, a 26-year-old program director from Winchester, KY, also advanced.

The female contestants shown being cut were Kiara Lanier, a 21-year-old college student and teacher from Chicago, IL; Kez Ban, a 27-year-old amateur fire performer from Durham, NC; Ashlee Feliciano, a 20-year-old student from East Hartford, CT; Briana Oakley, a 16-year-old student from Antioch, CA; and Sarina-Joi Crowe, a 17-year-old student from Columbia, TN.

The 24 remaining girls were then called back onstage to face the panel of judges once again.

Within moments, Jackson announced the Idol dream had ended for Mink, Holly Marie Miller and Ariel Sprague.

At this point in the competition, 21 girls were left standing but only 20 could move on. Minaj, Carey, Urban, and Jackson then revealed they weren't completely sold on their picks, so they asked Stephanie Schimel, a 21-year-old lingerie store employee from Milwaukee, WI, and Rachel Hale, a 21-year-old student from Prescott, AR, to sing again. After both performances, the judges announced Schimel had been cut and Hale made it along with 19 other lucky female contestants.

The pressure then moved on to the 28 remaining male contestants, who had been waiting a week to discover whether they would become a Top 40 contestant and Top 20 male semifinalist.

Copying their method for whittling down the ladies, the Idol judges then asked Adam Sanders, a 19-year-old musician from San Antonio, TX, and Josh Holiday, a 24-year-old caregiver and vocal coach from Celeste, TX, to sing for them again. Following their performances, the judges cut Sanders and advanced Holiday.

In addition to Sanders, the seven other men who got the boot at this stage in the competition were Will White; David Leathers Jr., an 18-year-old student from Fayetteville, NC; Peter Garrett from Texarkana, TX; Marvin Calderon, a 22-year-old college student from San Diego, CA; Devan Jones, a 27-year-old wedding singer from Aurora, CO; Kenny Harrison from Woodland, NC; and Tony Foster from Oklahoma City, OK.

The Las Vegas Round, which was first introduced in the franchise's tenth season, will begin airing on Wednesday, February 20 and continue for three more episodes until the phase ends on Thursday, February 28.

The Las Vegas Round will feature the 40 semifinalists performing songs in four groups of 10 and the judges eliminating five hopefuls after every performance show. The women will be shown on the Wednesday episodes while the men will be featured during the Thursday night broadcasts. The Las Vegas Round will therefore conclude with 20 semifinalists moving on.

Once those 20 semifinalists are all revealed, similar to last season, American Idol will air back-to-back live semifinals performance shows which will feature the first group of 10 semifinalists on Tuesday, March 5 and the second group of 10 semifinalists on Wednesday, March 6. A live results show announcing the season's finalists will then air on Thursday, March 7.

The five male and five female semifinalists who receive the most home viewer votes will automatically advance to Idol's twelfth-season finals. In a departure from last season, the judges will not have the opportunity to each select a "Wild Card" pick to join America's chosen Top 10.   

Once the finalists are determined, American Idol's first twelfth-season performance show will then air on Wednesday, March 13 and feature the finalists singing for home viewer votes. One finalist will then be eliminated the following night during the season's first live elimination results show.

American Idol's Top 20 twelfth-season female semifinalists are:

- Melinda Ademi, a 19-year-old from Yonkers, NY

- Janelle Arthur, a 23-year-old from Oliver Springs, TN

- Juliana Chahayed, a 15-year-old from Woodland Hills, CA

- Cristabel Clack, a 29-year-old from San Antonio, TX

- Aubrey Cleland, a 19-year-old from West Linn, OR

- Candice Glover, a 23-year-old from St. Helena Island, SC

- Rachel Hale, a 21-year-old from Prescott, AR

- Kree Harrison, a 22-year-old from Nashville, TN

- Jett Hermano, a 25-year-old from Seattle, WA

- Amber Holcomb, an 18-year-old from Houston, TX

- Brandy Hotard, a 26-year-old from Port Allen, LA

- Isabelle Pasqualone, a 22-year-old from Duluth, GA

- Zoanette Johnson, a 20-year-old from Tulsa, OK

- Adriana Latonio, a 17-year-old from Anchorage, AK

- Angela Miller, an 18-year-old from Beverly, MA

- Kamaria Ousley, a 29-year-old from Oakland, CA

- Breanna Steer, an 18-year-old from Laplace, LA

- Tenna Torres, a 28-year-old from Queens, NY

- Shubha Vedula, a 17-year-old from Mt. Pleasant, MI

- Jenny Beth Willis, a 17-year-old from Owensboro, KY


American Idol's Top 20 twelfth-season male semifinalists are:

- Lazaro Arbos, a 21-year-old from Naples, FL

- Charlie Askew, a 17-year-old from Little Rock, AR

- Nick Boddington, a 27-year-old from Memphis, TN

- Curtis Finch Jr., a 24-year-old from St. Louis, MO

- Kevin Harris, a 28-year-old from Montgomery, AL

- Josh Holiday, a 24-year-old from Celeste, TX

- Josh "J'DA" Davila, a 27-year-old from Chicago, IL

- Paul Jolley, a 22-year-old from Palmersville, TN

- Johnny Keyser, a 24-year-old from Pompano Beach, FL

- Elijah Liu, an 18-year-old from Rowland Heights, CA

- Vincent Powell, a 29-year-old from Austin, TX

- Cortez Shaw, a 21-year-old from Dallas, TX

- Gurpreet Singh Sarin, a 22-year-old from North Potomac, MD

- Jimmy Smith, a 25-year-old from Waynesboro, TN

- Bryant Tadeo, a 23-year-old from Hilo, HI

- Burnell Taylor, a 19-year-old from New Orleans, LA

- Mathenee Treco, a 26-year-old from Aurora, CO

- Devin Velez, an 18-year-old from Chicago, IL

- Chris Watson, a 25-year-old from Fords, NJ

- David Willis, a 21-year-old from Mount Dora, FL

(Photo credit Fox)


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