"Idol" Narrows Field To 24 Singers

Back Row (from left): Alexandrea Lushington, Robbie Carrico, Jason Castro, Danny Noriega (striped shirt), Brooke White, Amanda Overmyer, Michael Johns, David Cook (bandana), Luke Menard and Carly Smithson (standing far right). Bottom Row (from left): Chikezie Eze, Colton Berry, Asia Epperson, Kady Malloy (seated, black dress), Joanne Borgella, Ramiele Malubay, David Hernandez (seated, front), Amy Davis, Alaina Whitaker, Syesha Mercado, Jason Yeager, David Archuleta (seated), Garrett Haley and Kristy Lee Cook. Fox/Timothy White

The tears flowed on "American Idol" Wednesday night as the show trimmed the competition to 24 semifinalists.

They were mostly happy tears for the 12 guys and 12 gals who made the cut on the final night of Hollywood week. The winners included teen singing prodigy David Archuleta and Janis Joplin soundalike/respiratory nurse Amanda Overmyer.

Brooke White, who claimed in her audition to have never seen a rated-R movie, was beside herself with emotion before learning her fate from Simon Cowell and company. The verdict: Yes! Cue more crying.


Photo Essay: An "Idol" Finale To Remember
One of the biggest upsets of the night was the elimination of 18-year-old Josiah Leming, who seemed to be a judge favorite until his shaky rendition of "Stand By Me." Cowell said Tuesday that Leming - who lives in his car and sings with a faux British accent - was too confident for his own good.


Photos: "Idol" Auditions
Leming said he thought he was a shoo-in to make it to the finalists' ranks; in keeping with the night's theme, he too cried after the judges delivered the bad news.

Next Tuesday, the top 12 male singers are in the hot seat on the Fox talent contest, and, on Wednesday, the women follow.

The men are: Archuleta, 17, Murray, Utah; Colton Berry, 18, Staunton, Va.; Robbie Carrico, 26, Melbourne, Fla.; Jason Castro, 20, Rockwall, Texas; David Cook, 25, Tulsa, Okla.; Chikezie Eze, 22, Inglewood, Calif.; Garrett Haley, 17, Elida, Ohio; David Hernandez, 24, Glendale, Ariz.; Luke Menard, 29, Crawfordsville, Ind.; Danny Noriega, 18, Azusa, Calif.; Jason Yeager, 28, Branson, Mo., and Michael Johns, 29, Los Angeles by way of Australia.

And the ladies: Overmyer, 23, Mulberry, Ind.; White, 24, Van Nuys, Calif.; Joanne Borgella, 25, Hoboken, N.J.; Kristy Lee Cook, 24, Selma, Ore.; Amy Davis, 25, Cedar Lake, Ind.; Asia'h Epperson, 19, Joplin, Mo.; Alexandrea Lushington, 17, Douglasville, Ga.; Kady Malloy, 18, Houston; Ramiele Malubay, 20, Miramar, Fla.; Syesha Mercado, 21, Miami; Alaina Whitaker, 16, Tulsa, Okla., and Carly Smithson, San Diego by way of Dublin, Ireland.
  • Judy Rosen

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