The top 25 hopefuls sang, America voted, the judges deliberated, and the American Idol 2012 results are in. Which contestants made the top 13? Read on for a recap of elimination night action from Ryan Seacrest, Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler, Randy Jackson, and the whole Idol crew.
Ryan opened the show by welcoming the 25 hopefuls to the stage. He revealed that 33 million votes had been cast and that as each contestant was called forward, record producer Jimmy Iovine would share some pre-recorded thoughts about his or her chances at success.
With that, Ryan turned to the guys and summoned Chase Likens, Phillip Phillips, and Jeremy Rosado. Jimmy called Jeremy one of the nicest guys he'd met in a long while, but didn't seem overly impressed with his talent, and he wasn't impressed with Chase at all. Phillip, on the other hand, drew rave reviews as Jimmy admitted that he'd sign him on the spot if he had the chance. After a dramatic pause, Jeremy and Chase learned they were not members of the top 10. Phillip, however, advanced and took the first seat in finalists' row.
Next, Ryan called the first four ladies—Jessica Sanchez, Hollie Cavanagh, Hallie Day, and Brielle Von Hugel—to the stage. Jimmy thought that with "the right material," Hollie could "do some real damage," and appreciated Brielle's performance value but criticized her song choice ("The Dock of the Bay"). Hallie drew Jimmy's praise for her vocal quality, but he worried she was just another blonde on the show. Finally, he said he'd sign Jessica "on the spot" and called her American Idol 2012 competition "pole sitter." After the requisite pause, Brielle and Hallie were sent back to the couches while Hollie and Jessica advanced to the top 10 and joined Phillip on the stools of glory.
Results action continued with Joshua Ledet, Heejun Han, and Adam Brock. Jimmy called Joshua "the real deal" and said he was looking forward to working with him, but was less than impressed with Adam, noting that the hopeful needed to work harder to establish his identity. Jimmy confessed to being "confused" by Heejun, and remarked that the show isn't about "American Comedian." Joshua and Heejun became the fourth and fifth members of the top 10. Adam, conversely, headed to wild card lane.
Baylie Brown, Chelsea Sorrell, Skylar Laine, and Shannon Magrane made their way forward next. Jimmy loved Skylar's song choice, "Stay with Me," and enjoyed her charisma and stage presence. He said he would've voted for her. Baylie, on the other hand, was criticized for failing to "put all the pieces together." Jimmy called Chelsea's voice "really nice" but didn't appreciate the "Carrie Underwood karaoke." Finally, he liked Shannon's voice and predicted she'd stick around, but said she needed help with styling. But he was right about her vocal chops: Shannon moved on to the top 10 and was followed by Skylar. Baylie and Chelsea, however, were relegated to wild card row.
With six finalists in place, Ryan summoned Creighton Fraker, Aaron Marcellus, and Reed Grimm. Jimmy found Reed "way too kitschy" and "cabaret" for his taste, and said that Aaron's performance "did not work for me." He was succinct in his criticism of Creighton, noting "the judges loved him. I didn't." Aaron was dismissed first, and was followed by Creighton and Reed.
Elise Testone, Erika Van Pelt, Haley Johnsen, and Jen Hirsh were called up with one spot for girls remaining. Jimmy called Jen's voice "really nice" but said she needed to stay away from Adele. He said that Erika has "music in her blood" and that she could go all the way if she stays in her comfort zone, but slammed Haley's "robotic mimicking." Jimmy appreciated Elise's "character" and said he'd like to see her sing her own material. When the verdict came down, Elise earned the nod.
With two spots in the top 10 left, Ryan called DeAndre Brackensick, Colton Dixon, Jermaine Jones, and Eben Franckewitz forward. Jimmy was pleased to see Jermaine return, and said he was rooting for him to do well. He appreciated DeAndre's potential, but didn't think Eben was "ready for primetime yet." He called Colton one of the show's most talented singers, but said that he needs to "pace himself." DeAndre was sent back to the couches first, and Ryan momentarily teased Colton before revealing that he'd made the top 10. After a dramatic pause, Jermaine took the last spot.
Following a break, the wild card sing-off began with the first of six performances. Up first was Jen Hirsh, who sang the Beatles' "Oh Darling". She was followed by Jeremy Rosado who sang a tearful rendition of "I Know You Won't," and Brielle Von Hugel who failed to impress with Adele's "Someone Like You." Up fourth was DeAndre Brackensick with "Georgia on My Mind," followed by Erika Van Pelt, who let loose and conquered with Lady Gaga's "The Edge of Glory." Last up with a wild card shot was the quirky Reed Grimm, who sang "Use Me" and did his best to work the crowd.
After deliberations, Jennifer, Steven, and Randy each chose a hopeful to take a wild card spot. Randy awarded the first pick to Erika, and Jennifer chose Jeremy. After an emotional Jeremy hugged the judges, Steven gave the final nod to DeAndre, sealing the fates of Jen, Reed, and Brielle.
When American Idol 2012 resumes next week, the top 13 will take on the music of Stevie Wonder and Whitney Houston under the tutelage of Mary J. Blige.