American Idol gave its top 25 contestants a serious reality check on Thursday (March 1, 2012), with the numbers being cut down to just 13. It was the end of the line for 12 singing hopefuls who had clawed their way through to the final rounds.
Host Ryan Seacrest had announced that a massive 33 million votes were cast over two days and explained how the dramatic cut would play-out. The five lucky guys and girls who earned the most votes would be declared safe and automatically find themselves in the final. However, six singers would have to take to the stage in front of judges Jennifer Lopez, Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler and sing for one of the three 'wild card' spots. Those making it through automatically was the larger than life Jermaine Jones, as well as the heavily tipped Hollie Cavanagh. Phillip Phillips also made it through, as did Jessica Sanchez and Shannon Magrane. Elsewhere, Joshua Ledet, Heejun Han, Skylar Laine and the well-thought of Colton Dixon were also successful. As for the wild card spots, the first performer to go up before the judges was Jennifer Hirsh, who sang 'Oh! Darling', with Randy Jackson telling her "You went for the gusto. It was a good performance". Jeremy Rosado was next up, singing Carrie Underwood's 'I Know You Want'. Brielle Von Hugel played a coy game by tackling Adele's 'Someone Like You' - one of the biggest tracks of 2011 - but the judges weren't impressed, with Randy commenting, "Brielle may be in a little bit of trouble.That wasn't great". Erika Van Pelt took on Lady GaGa's 'Edge of Glory', with Reed Grimm performing 'Use Me' by Bill Withers and Deandre Brackensick singing 'Georgia On My Mind'
As for the results, the three remaining spots went to Erika, Deandre and Jeremy, who all collapsed in a heap on the floor before rushing to the judges panel for a series of hugs. American Idol returns on Wednesday (March 7, 2012), when the contestants will pay tribute to Whitney Houston.