‘American Idol’ selects first 3 finalists

tatiana-del-toroTatiana Del Toro had something else to cry about. The emotional 28-year-old crooner from San Juan, Puerto Rico, was one of nine “American Idol” semifinalists sent packing Wednesday. Del Toro, whom judge Simon Cowell called a “drama queen” after her performance Tuesday, bawled after she wasn’t selected to continue in the “Fox” singing competition.

She didn’t disappoint on that front. But we bet thousands of fans ended up pretty bummed anyway as the results started rolling in—there’s always a favorite who doesn’t make it through.

In what may be the most intriguing of the stalwart series’ season-eight format changes (certainly more intriguing than the addition of a fourth judge, anyway), the top guy and girl from last night’s performance show—along with the next-highest vote getter—were admitted into American Idol’s Top 12 Wednesday.

“It’s up to America,” she told host Ryan Seacrest before the results. “It’s up to the power of love.”

Trying to milk the (lack of) suspense for all it was worth, Ryan Seacrest trotted out Danny and Tatiana at the same time, making us wonder for a second whether the front-runner was about to fall victim to the “I don’t need to vote for him because everyone else is going to” trap. He didn’t, though. Tatiana looked as if she was about to pass out but, like Anoop, there could be another last chance in her future.

Download free mp3: Danny Gokey Hero, Pretty Young Thing, Jesus Takes the Wheel Adam Lambert Satisfaction, Black or White, Ring of Fire Lil Round The Way You Make Me Feel, Mariah Carey Hero-Mariah Carey, Hero Karaoke

The next group of 12—Megan Corkrey, Kris Allen, Mishavonna Henson, Matt Breitzke, Allison Iraheta, Matt Giraud, Jasmine Murray, Kai Kalama, Jesse Langseth, Adam Lambert, Jeanine Vailes and Nick Mitchell—performs next Wednesday.

But for the real twist, check out who advanced, contrary to what our commenters predicted…

The fans seemed to love Anoop Desai, but about 20,000 more of the 24 million votes cast landed in Michael Sarver’s camp instead.

Meanwhile, last night’s standouts, Alexis Grace, 21, and Danny Gokey, 28, sailed on through to the promised land.

No tears were shed by the first three finalists of season eight: Alexis Grace, the soulful 21-year-old single mother from Memphis, Tenn.; Michael Sarver, the beefy 27-year-old oil rig worker from Jasper, Texas; and Danny Gokey, the spikey-haired 28-year-old church music director from Milwaukee. The trio received the most viewer votes.

The 27-year-old oil-rig roughneck defied judges’ expectations by winning a spot in the Top 12 with his karaoke-ready rendition of Gavin DeGraw’s “I Don’t Wanna Be.”

But don’t count out Anoop Dogg just yet. He might not have to wake up from his present dream if he was the third-place finisher among the guys last night, or if the judges select him to compete in the March 5 Wild Card sing-off—and there’s a very good possibility of that, considering how much they like him.

Recent widower Gokey overwhelmed the judges with Mariah Carey’s “Hero” at the conclusion of Tuesday’s ho-hum performance episode. They were also impressed with Grace’s take on Aretha Franklin’s “Never Loved a Man,” comparing her to first “Idol” Kelly Clarkson. Sarver, who sang Gavin Degraw’s “I Don’t Wanna Be,” received a mixed reaction from the panel.

“I think if you get through, it’s because people like you,” Cowell told Sarver on Tuesday.

Next week, 12 more semifinalists will vie for three spots in the competition’s top 12, but Del Toro and the other dismissed semifinalists, such as Anoop Desai and Ricky Braddy, may have another chance. After the first nine finalists are selected by viewer votes, the judges will pick the last three finalists following a wild card round March 5.

2 Responses

  1. […] ‘American Idol’ selects first 3 finalists […]

  2. […] tipped his hat to both contestants Wednesday night, who shared a moment of musical camaraderie when they joined with Queen on the rock […]

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