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American Idol Season 10 finally has its top 24.
After weeks of auditions and a drama-filled Hollywood round, judges Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson unveiled the two dozen finalists who will face off for fans’ votes starting next week, adding 19 more future-household names to the five already revealed Wednesday night.
Among those who made the cut? Nearly everyone who’s earned a significant amount of screen time thus far, as viewers were treated to two hours of almost entirely good news and given nary a chance to mourn early favorites getting the boot. Idol also made good on its promise to go young — shoo-in Lauren Alaina, who has turned 16 years old since first auditioning at the minimum age in Nashville, received the good news in a pastel leopard-print dress and matching cowboy boots. The bubbly teen was joined by other young favorites like 15-year-old Thia Megia, who has already competed on NBC’s America’s Got Talent, and 16-year-old Scotty McCreery, who was chosen over similiarly husky-voiced country crooner John Wayne Schulz.
Sentimental favorite and 15-year-old Jacee Badeaux was not as lucky, though, as the judges decided to choose redhead Brett Lowenstern over him and Colton Dixon. Others who were sent packing included Jackie Wilson, a Nashville standout whose progress appeared to stall in Hollywood, and Jessica Cunningham, who was auditioning for her seventh time.
More newly anointed top 24-ers included Jacob Lusk, who stunned the judges in Hollywood with an acrobatic version of “God Bless the Child,” and James Durbin, whose range has earned comparisons to Adam Lambert (to the dismay of hardcore Lambert fans).
Last night’s episode ended with a cliffhanger after Chris Medina‘s shocking elimination, as Lopez burst into tears and appeared to question her place on Idol, saying, “I don’t want to do this anymore.” While the dramatic plotline kicked off Thursday night’s Top 24 episode, the drama was quickly squelched as Lopez pulled it together.
Below, the top 24:
Clint Jun Gamboa
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