Two shocking things happened at the end of Thursday night's installment of "American Idol". First, judge Steven Tyler stripped down to his skivvies, mooned the camera - his naked booty obscured by an "American Idol" logo, of course - and then went for a swim in the water surrounding the stage in the Le Reve theater at Wynn Las Vegas, as Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson looked on, incredulously. Hey, what better way to celebrate the fact that the season's Top 24 contestants had been chosen?
But wait - make that 25. The other shocking moment that happened was the announcement that the judges had decided to reinstate one previously-cut male contestant, resulting in a boys Top 13, instead of the usual Top 12. The four contestants who are vying for the extra slot include:
- Gentle giant Jermaine Jones, whose elimination earlier in the night was the most emotional send-off of the broadcast. - 17-year old David Leathers Jr., the pint-sized smooth-talker who sounds like a young Michael Jackson. - Bossy cowboy Richie Law. - Johnny Keyser, the kid to whom Jennifer Lopez said at the end of his first audition, "You know you're going to be a star, right?"
The returning contestant will be revealed next week, with the boys singing on Tuesday and the girls getting their turn on Wednesday.
Here's what else happened on Thursday's show:
The cliffhanger over the fate of Adam Brock was resolved: he made it to the top 24. Also making it through were several contestants who had been cut in past seasons, including Deandre "Milli Vanilli Hair" Brackensick, Aaron Marcellus and Hollie Cavanaugh, a British girl who famously melted down in her audition last year. Scott Dangerfield, a returnee who left the show during Hollywood Week last year but who we barely saw on camera this year, got cut.
Also making it through were Jeremy Rosado, Chase Likens, Hallie Day and Skylar Laine, the country singer who Jennifer said reminded the judges of Reba McEntire. Skylar was afraid she wouldn't make it through because Chelsea Sorrell, another country singer, had already been selected, but she was chosen.
Beautiful 16-year-old Shannon Magrane, who Steven Tyler famously described as "hot, humid and happening" - in front of her father - also made it through. Her dad Joe Magrane, a former Major League Baseball pitcher, was on hand Thursday night to tell Ryan Seacrest how he felt about Steven's comment. "Everyone told me to wring his neck," said Mr. Magrane, "But…" His wife, Shannon's mom, then cut him off, saying, "It was funny! It was hysterical!"
The most dramatic eliminations came toward the end, when only one male and one female slot remained. The three remaining girls - Hollie Cavanaugh, Ariel Sprague and Shelby Tweten - all went to see the judges together, with only Hollie making it through. The remaining male slot was a contest between David Leathers Jr. and 15-year-old Eben Franckewitz, with Eban making the cut. But remember, David's one of the four guys who has another chance to get back in the game.
Here is your "American Idol" Season 11 Top 24, America:
Boys Adam Brock Deandre Brackensick Eben Franckewitz Chase Likens Jeremy Rosado Creighton Fraker Joshua Ledet Reed Grimm Phil Phillips Heejun Han Colton Dixon Aaron Marcellus
And either: Jermaine Jones, David Leathers Jr., Richie Law or Johnny Keyser
Girls Jen Hirsh Hallie Day Skylar Laine Hollie Cavanaugh Shannon Magrane Haley Johnson Elise Testone Erika Van Pelt Chelsea Sorrell Baylie Brown Jessica Sanchez Brielle Von Huegel
"American Idol" returns next Tuesday at 8 p.m. Eastern time on Fox.