After a nationwide vote, we learned on Thursday night's installment of "American Idol" that your next Idol will be … one of the following top 13 people:
Your Top 10 Phil Phillips Hollie Cavanaugh Jessica Sanchez Heejun Han Joshua Ledet Skyler Laine Shannon Magrane Elise Testone Colton Dixon Jermaine Jones
The Judge's Wild Cards: Erika Van Pelt DeAndre Brackensick Jeremy Rosado
The show began with host Ryan Seacrest announcing that 33 million votes had been cast in choosing the top 10. Then, he called the contestants forward in groups of three or four, alternating boys and girls, reviewed their performances and revealed their fates.
Interscope Records chairman Jimmy Iovine appeared via videotape to play the Simon Cowell role, brutally critiquing most of the performances. Those who'd received enough votes to make it into the top ten were sent to the silver stools, while those who didn't were sent back to the couches to see if the judges would choose them as Wild Card picks.
Ryan called Chase Likens, Jeremy Rosado and Phil Phillips first, and then revealed that Phil had made it, while Chase and Jeremy didn't. Hollie Cavanaugh, Brielle Von Hugle, Hallie Day and Jessica Sanchez were next; Hollie and Jessica made it. Heejun Han, Joshua Ledet and Adam Brock followed: Joshua and Heejun made it through. Skyler Laine, Shannon Magrane, Chelsea Sorrell and Baylie Brown came next: Shannon and Skyler made it through, while Baylie and Chelsea, the two remaining country females, were cut.
Aaron Marcellus, Creighton Fraker and Reed Grimm were all called up and all cut. Jen Hirsh, Erika Van Pelt, Elise Testone and Haley Johnsen were called next. Erika and Haley were cut immediately; then it was down to the two who both sang the same Adele song Wednesday night to see who would take the final girls' spot. It was Elise.
Finally, Deandre Brackensick and Eben Franckewitz were cut, while Jermaine Jones and Colton Dixon made it through. The one near-shocker of the night was when Ryan told Colton, in a major fakeout, "You are not…" but then finished with, "going to be disappointed tonight because you made the top 10!" And millions of tween girls could breathe again.
Next, Jennifer Lopez, Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler chose six contestants from those remaining to "sing for their lives" - three would be chosen as wild cards. The rest of the contestants were sent packing, and as Jimmy Iovine pointed out, because they'd made it this far in the competition, they can never come back again. "They should change the rules!" he said.
The judges chose Jeremy Rosado, Erika Van Pelt, Jen Hirsh, Brielle Von Hugel, Deandre Brackensick and Reed Grimm to sing again. Jeremy sang Carrie Underwood's "I Know You Won't," while Jen Hirsh did the Beatles' "Oh! Darling." Deandre sang "Georgia," Reed did Bill Withers' "Use Me," and Erika belted out Lady Gaga's "Edge of Glory." Brielle sang Adele's "Someone Like You," but the judges told her it wasn't a great performance - she was not chosen. Jeremy made Jennifer Lopez cry; he was chosen. So were Erika and Deandre; the rest of the contestants were sent home.
Next week, the girls will pay tribute to the late Whitney Houston, while the boys will sing Stevie Wonder tunes. Both the girls and the boys will be coached by Mary J. Blige. It all happens next Tuesday night on Fox, beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern time.