Who says 13 is an unlucky number?
After eliminating 12 contestants, American Idol revealed its top 13 finalists Thursday night , after two nights that gave us the first live performances of the 11th season of the hit Fox show.
Host Ryan Seacrest — who said that 33-million votes were cast over two days — first announced the ten fan favorites, consisting of five guys and five girls.
The ‘Top Ten’ are Phillip Phillips, Jessica Sanchez, Hollie Cavanagh, Joshua Ledet, Heejun Han, Shannon Magrane, Skylar Laine, Elise Testone, Colton Dixon, and Jermaine Jones.
“America, you’re on fire, because this is an amazing top 10 brewing,” said judge Randy Jackson.
Once the fan favorites were announced, judges Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Jackson choose six remaining semifinalists to take to the stage in hopes of becoming one of the judges’ “wild card” selections.
After all six performed, in the final minutes of the show, the judges chose 17-year-old student Deandre Brackensick, of San Jose, California, 19-year-old receptionist Jeremy Rosado of Valrico, Florida, and 26-year-old disc jockey Erika Van Pelt, of South Kingstown, Rhode Island, to round out the top 13.
“I love somebody who can fight through the tears and still deliver,” Lopez told the emotional Van Pelt.
The finalists will return to the stage to sing live next week for the first round of the finals.
Seacrest said that the guys will perform Stevie Wonder songs, while the girls would pay tribute to late pop superstar Whitney Houston, who died last month at the age of 48.
American Idol returns next Wednesday at 8/7c on Fox.