Jon Peter Lewis, Jennifer Hudson, Leah LaBelle and George Huff complete 'American Idol's Top 12 finalists
By Reality TV World staff, 03/11/2004
After a dramatic American Idol "Wild Card Night," Jon Peter Lewis, Jennifer Hudson, Leah LaBelle and George Huff advanced to the finals, completing the Top 12.
Last night it was revealed that approximately 14 million votes were received after Tuesday's performance show and Jon Peter Lewis from Rexburg, ID, who sang "A Little Less Conversation," was America's choice, receiving the most votes. In addition, each of the judges put through one contestant he or she felt should be among the Top 12.
Leah LaBelle from Seattle, who sang "Let's Stay Together," was Paula Abdul's pick; Jennifer Hudson from Chicago, who sang "I Believe in You and Me," was Randy Jackson's pick; and George Huff from New Orleans, who sang Lean On Me," was Simon Cowell's choice for the finals. American Idol Ruben Studdard also thrilled the audience last night, when he performed his hit single "Sorry 2004."
This season there were over 70,000 auditioners, 117 Hollywood-Round contestants, 32 semifinalists and now 12 finalists – one of whom will be the next American Idol. Beginning Tuesday, March 16 (8-10 ET /PT) things will heat up as the Top 12 finalists take the stage. All 12 will sing their hearts out to win America's vote, but the contestant who receives the fewest votes will be eliminated on the live results show on Wednesday, March 17 (8:30-9:30 PM ET/PT).
• Fantasia Barrino, age 19. Fantasia is from from Highpoint, NC and started singing in church with her family at the age of 5. According to her mother, Fantasia's 2-year-old daughter, Zion Barrino, is going to be an American Idol. Self-described as a crazy woman, Fantasia likes to go skating and dancing. Currently, Fantasia is attending PCBI – Madison High School, pursing her diploma. First performance: "Something to Talk About"
• Diana Degarmo, age 16. Diana is from Snellville, GA and has been singing since the age of 5. In her free time, she enjoys going to football, soccer and basketball games. Diana's favorite singers range from Celine Dion and Patsy Cline to Nickelback and the Ying Yang Twins. First performance: "I've Got the Music in Me."
• Matthew Rogers, age 25. Matthew is a mortgage banker, enjoys football, fishing and poker. One of his goals is to make the 2007 World Series of Poker Championship. Born in Arcadia, CA, Matt graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in business communications. His definition of an American Idol is a person "who has a great voice, individual style, great look, solid morals, and knows who they are." Matt currently lives in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. First Performance: "What You Won't Do For Love."
• Camile Velasco, age 18. Camile, who also goes by the nickname Koy, was born in Makati City, Philippines and currently lives in Haiku, Maui. Camile is a waitress at the International House of Pancakes. She has sung all her life, but she only began performing at age 16. First performance: "One Last Cry."
• La Toya London, age 24. Married with stepchildren, La Toya currently lives in Hawthorne, CA and attends the Musicians Institute in Los Angeles. La Toya has been singing for the past 22 years. She classifies her vocal style as soul and most identifies with India.Arie. If she couldn't sing, she would like to be a musician on the piano, guitar, bass and drums. First performance: "All By Myself."
• Amy Adams, age 24. Amy works as a professional makeup artist in Bakersfield, CA. Amy describes an American Idol as "someone with an unlimited amount of talent. A person who maintains a persona respected by the American public, with grace and elegance at all times. A person with a strong enough mental state to handle anything they may face while in the public eye." She most identifies her style with Celine Dion, Faith Hill, and Barbra Streisand. Amy was born in Kansas City, KS. First performance: "Power of Love."
• John Stevens, age 16. A junior at Willliamsville East High School, John recently returned from a choir tour in Europe. Aside from his enthusiasm for singing, he also does impersonations of celebrities; many people say he reminds them of Conan O'Brien. John admires Frank Sinatra's music and most identifies his vocal style with Sinatra himself. John was born and raised in East Amherst, NY. First performance: "She's Always a Woman."
• Jasmine Trias, age 17. Jasmine describes herself as "a typical Hawaiian teen" who enjoys surfing, dressing comfortably and playing the ukulele, strives to put Hawaii on the map. Jasmine was born and raised in beautiful Mililani, HI. She currently attends Maryknoll High School, performs for her church and school, and volunteers her time at the Kapiolani Hospital in the ER. She advises the other IDOL hopefuls to sing their hearts out and to not hold back. First performance: "Run to You."
• Jon Peter Lewis, age 24. Jon Peter was born in Lincoln, NE and now resides in Rexburg, ID, where he attends BYU-Idaho and studies pre-med. He speaks Spanish, some French, Catalan, and bits and pieces of a few Nigerian dialects. His favorite singer of all time is Sting. Jon Peter's advice to other singing hopefuls is to "Love the music in yourself, not yourself in the music." First performance: "Tiny Dancer" Second performance: "A Little Less Conversation."
• Jennifer Hudson, age 22. Born and raised in Chicago, Jennifer has been singing since the age of 7. Although she has never had formal singing training, Jennifer has been working on a cruise line as a singer and actress. Jennifer's favorite artists include Beyonce, Celine Dion, and Ruben Studdard. Jennifer believes that an American Idol is someone "who is an extremely talented, well-grounded individual with…every bit of star quality." First performance: "Imagine." Second performance: "I Believe in You and Me."
• Leah LaBelle, age 17. Leah is a full-blooded Bulgarian who was born in Toronto, Canada. She currently lives in Seattle, WA, where she is a junior at James A. Garfield High School. Leah's parents used their touring music group to escape from communist Bulgaria and she hopes their music will carry on through her. First performance: "I Have Nothing." Second performance: "Let's Stay Together."
• George Huff, age 23. George, from New Orleans, LA, is currently a music education major at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, OK. Self-described as a jazz, blues and gospel artist, Huff comes from a family of singers and at the age of 5 realized he loved to perform. Since then he has performed in almost every church in the state of Louisiana. George has also performed in New Mexico and Europe and was involved in many school choirs. First performance: "Always and Forever." Second performance: "Lean On Me."
American Idol Tuesday and American Idol Wednesday rank as the No. 1 and No. 2 programs of the season among Adults 18-49 and Total Viewers.
Five-time Emmy Award-nominee American Idol was created by Simon Fuller of 19TV and developed by FremantleMedia. Executive producers are Simon Fuller and Nigel Lythgoe for 19TV and Cecile Frot-Coutaz and Ken Warwick for FremantleMedia North America. 19 also manages such leading musical artists as Annie Lennox, Will Young, Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken.