With more than 25 million votes cast following Wednesday's performance show, three more American Idol contestants have advanced to the Top 12.
After a blazing rendition of "Alone" by Heart, 16-year-old Allison Iraheta, of LA, beat Matt Breitzke, 27, and Jesse Langseth, 25, for a coveted top 12 spot. While judge Simon Cowell thought Allison was "boring and lacked personality," America disagreed. "He doesn't know me enough," she admits, "and honestly, I am not!"
When judge Paula Abdul said last week, "Singing Michael Jackson can be the kiss of death," on Idol, Kris Allen, 23, of Conway, Ark., should have known better. "When Paula made that comment, I did get a bit nervous," Kris tells In Touch. But his risk paid off, and his version of "Man in the Mirror" ensured victory against fellow hopeful Megan Joy Corkrey, 22, making Kris the fifth to make the Top 12.
In Idol's nail-biting final announcement, 26-year-old Adam Lambert from LA emerged victorious against hopeful Nick Mitchell (aka Norman Gentle), 27. Nick's spirited rendition of "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" (from Dreamgirls) received mixed reactions from the judges, but proved very entertaining. However, Adam's powerful version of the Rolling Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," showed an incredible vocal range, making him an early frontrunner for Idol victory. "I was really nervous standing next to Norman," Adam tells In Touch. "I didn't know which way it would go, but I thought he was fantastic."
Allison, Kris and Adam join last week's winners, Danny Gokey, Alexis Grace and Michael Sarver in the American Idol Top 12. For more about Idol's latest Top 12 additions, click here.
Voted through: February 26
How did you control your nerves?
Allison: Obviously, you can tell I get nerves before I sing, but I really try not to show them and focus on the song while I am performing. Anyone who is going to be performing on a stage like that is going to get nervous. I love the song "Alone" and the band Heart and really wanted to do that song. I guess that helped me out. I just thought about Carrie [Underwood] doing it really well before on the show, but focused on me and how I would do it. I wanted to give people a taste of what I can do.
Are you a natural redhead?
Allison: I wish. That would be great! Then, I wouldn't have to worry about dyeing the roots. No, I am naturally black-haired. But I might be red for the next few months and then purple - I might be doing something with my hair!
Is it true you won a talent contest on Telemundo?
Allison: Yeah, I did, two years ago. I was 14 and it was a great experience. I sang in both Spanish and English and it was amazing to win - awesome! That helped me out with being onstage in front of cameras, but that is nothing compared to this show.
Would it mean a lot to you to be the first Latina Idol?
Allison: It would, actually! It would be pretty cool.
What can we expect to see you from you during the show?
Allison: Well, I love doing all music, but trying to go down the pop/rock road, something that really can show my style. Maybe a little of everything, but rock.
Voted through: February 26
You have been dubbed the musical theater guy. What was your first performance?
Adam:I was cast in a production of You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown when I was 10 years old, playing Linus with the blanket. It was at the Lyceum Theatre in San Diego. It was pretty wild, but I don't remember the song I sang.
You have a distinctive look. Is it all you?
Adam: Up until this point, it's been my own eye. Though I did up the fashion a little this week for the performance. It's funny when I started going into rehearsals for Wicked, all the kids looked at me like I was a freak because I was dressed like that in rehearsal. That's always been my style. The stuff you have been seeing me wear on Idol is really my daily street wear.
So it is true you had a part in Wicked in Los Angeles?
Adam: I understudied in Wicked for the lead. And yes, I did manage to hit the stage a handful of times.
Simon is always commenting that certain performances are "too Broadway." How are you going to get away from that?
Adam: Luckily, he hasn't said "too theatrical" yet. But I take that comment as a compliment. Simon makes it seem derogatory, but in the pop music scene right now, a lot of big artists are going theatrical. There are lots of costumes and kind of an angle, so I think it's time for something like that. But the theater experience could be detrimental to me because I am not going for a Broadway sound. I don't listen to show tunes in my spare time [laughs]. I can assure you.
Whose career would you want to emulate?
Adam: I think David Bowie is a really cool artist. Considering he has re-invented himself and taken a ton of risks, both visually and musically. Vocally we are very different, but we have some similarities and he is a great model for me.
Hometown: Conway, Ark.
Voted through: February 26
Do you think Simon's comment about chicks digging you helped you make it through?
Kris: [laughs] You know, it probably helped. I am not gong to lie.
So for all the women - are you a ladies' man?
Kris: Well, not really. I have been with the same woman for the past seven years! But I am going to try to be myself, whatever that is. Hopefully, they like it and guys like it, too.
Do you think Nick/Norman was wasting a valuable spot on the show and making a mockery of it?
Kris: He's not mocking the show, he's doing what he knows how to do and that is entertain - and he is really, really, good at it. No one feels any animosity toward him. We all love him to death.
When Paula said, "Singing Michael Jackson is a kiss of death" last week, what made you do it anyway?
Kris: I decided to do it a while back, and it was a little scary to hear that, but I was also confident in what I was doing. I was just happy I didn't get compared to him ... But we had to think of a lot of songs. My first impression was, "Oh, no." I had "Man in the Mirror," of course. But I thought, I am not doing it how he does it and if they didn't like it, fine. I did it how I wanted to. That song has a lot of meaning to it, and I think people noticed that,
You have kind of been in the background the last few weeks. How are you going to stand out?
Kris: Really, the only thing you can do is be who you want to be. Be yourself and just hope that people like it. That's all you can do, and as musicians, just go out there and do your best.