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'American Idol' Judges on Season 11: 'Gloves Off, Get Ready' (Video)

Ryan Seacrest, Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler talk to THR about this year's competition at the Top 13 party.

American Idol season 9 contestant -- and The Hollywood Reporter's special correspondent -- Didi Benami caught up with judges Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler as well as host Ryan Seacrest at Idol's first official coming out soiree -- the Top 13 party following Thursday's elimination show. “Tonight was really excruciating for them,” said Jackson of the season 11 semi-finalists.

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Of course, 12 of the top 24 hopefuls did not make it through that night, and were undoubtedly devastated with the results of America’s vote. Adding salt to the wound, at least three — Jen Hirsh, Brielle Von Hugel and Reed Grimm -- were given a coveted second chance in the wild card slot but were not chosen. 

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Steven Tyler had a more cumulative view of the long road taken to reach the top 13. “They talk about sing for your life, but they’ve been doing that for the last seven weeks,” Tyler told THR.

For her part, former finalist Didi Benami knows the highs and lows that come along with being one of the nation's chosen ones all too well. Watch her interview above.