Thursday night's two-hour episode of American Idol was long and grueling as we waited to hear who would be eliminated from the eleventh season. The five male and five female selections were decided by the more than 33 million votes that came in from viewers. The judges also got to select three "wild card" contestants out of six singers who had to "sing for their lives" and who were lucky enough to get a spot in the final 13. So let’s just get to it -- here are your American Idol top 13!
America's Top 10: Jessica Sanchez, the young 16-year-old from San Diego, earned herself a spot after singing Jennifer Hudson's "Love You I Do" in the semifinals. Hollie Cavanagh, the 18-year-old from Texas, was cut from season 10 in the "sing for your life" round; however, she made it through without a hitch this year. Phillip Phillips, a Georgian native, is not only a talented singer but also plays the bass, piano and drums and the judges have said he reminds them of singer Dave Matthews. Six-foot, 16-year-old volleyball player Shannon Magrane got her golden ticket by impressing judges with her rendition of "Go Light Your World." Skylar Laine, a nursing student, says she is influenced by Miranda Lambert, Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline. Josh Ledet was given a standing "O" by the judges in his top 13 performance of Jennifer Hudson's "You Pulled Me Through." Heejun Han impressed viewers with his version of "Angels" by Robbie Williams. Elise Testone describes her voice as a blend of soul, jazz and hip hop, and her performance of Adele's "One and Only" proved to be overwhelmingly soulful. Country crooner Colton Dixon is a favorite even after being sent home in season 10. It looked like Jermaine Jones may have been on the chopping block before making it to the final round before he was given a second chance to sing and win us over with his rendition of "Dance With My Father."
Along with the top 10 are these three lucky singers and wild cards: 26-year-old, Aretha Franklin-influenced Erika Van Pelt (Randy's choice); Florida native Jeremy Rosado (J. Lo's choice), who auditioned for American Idol four times previously; and DeAndre Brackensick (Steven Tyler's choice), who was originally cut in season 10.
With these finalists, it's sure to be an exciting and entertaining season!