American Idol 11 – Finalists Are Revealed! – Recap, Photos, Video

The Top 13 will be revealed tonight! Will your favorites make the cut? Five girls and 5 guys will advance via YOUR votes.  Then, each judge will choose a wildcard pick.  It’s a two hour show, so I’m assuming wildcard candidates will sing for a spot in the Top 13.

Next week:  The Top 13 girls sing the songs of Whitney Houston. The boys sing the songs of Stevie Wonder. Mary J. Blige mentors.

I’ll be hosting a live blog at Entertainment Weekly. Do come and join us.

Entertainment Weekly Live Blog

Quick thoughts:

  • Jimmy Iovine needs to sit on the judges panel.  He was mean and hilarious and often spot on.  Put Jimmy on the panel, and get rid of Randy and Jennifer next year. Keep Steven for the lulz.
  • NEVER understood the love for Brielle Von Huegel.  Hallie Day should have had her spot. What a waste of a wildcard spot.
  • I KNEW Jermaine Jones would make it through after he got the pimp spot and sang that treacly “Dance For My Father”.  I can’t see him as relevant in any way.  And his vocals are interesting, but uneven. After a couple of girls are eliminated (you know that’s gonna happen) he may be the first boy to leave.  Well, he and Jeremy Rosado.
  • Speaking of which…Jeremy Rosado? Really Jennifer? Ugh. The girls should have had TWO wildcard spots.  As a group, they are so much better than the boys.  Hallie Day or Jen Hirsh would have been a good choices.  But I knew Jennifer might pick him when his wildcard performance brought her to tears.
  • REALLY glad Reed Grimm didn’t get a wildcard spot. His wildcard performance was ridiculous.  His silly antics obscure his musical chops. It’s too bad, because the guy is talented.
  • I wonder how long before the crowd turns on Heejun Han? His schtick is funny, but it could get old. And lets face it–he’s only a mediocre singer.
  • SO happy Erika Van Pelt got a spot! She totally laid it all out on the stage tonight! Sing for your life–indeed!
  • I love Elise Testone! My top favs will definitely be girls this season
  • All in all? This is a really good Top 13! I’ m looking forward to the rest of the season.

Top 10:

  • Phillip Phillips
  • Jessica Sanchez
  • Hollie Cavanagh
  • Joshua Ledet
  • Heejun Han
  • Shannon Magrane
  • Skyler Laine
  • Elise Testone
  • Colton Dixon
  • Jermaine Jones


  • Randy picks Erika Van Pelt
  • Jennifer picks Jeremy Rosado
  • Steven picks Deandre Brackensick

The Top 10 vote-getters are first.   First up…the boys.  Jimmy Iovine is commenting on each of the contestants and it sure is delicious!

Read What Jimmy Iovine had to say about each of the Top 24

Chase Likens, Phillip Phillips and Jeremy Rosado take the stage first.  Chase and Jeremy are eliminated.  Phillip makes the Top 10.

Jessica Sanchez, Hollie Cavanagh, Brielle Von Huegel and Hallie Day take center stage.

Brielle stands by her song choice! She talks about herself in the 3rd person. EEP. Brielle and Hallie are eliminated. Hollie and Jessica advance to the Top 10.

Joshua Ledet, Heejun Han and Adam Brock take center stage.  On Tuesday night, Heejun said his Dad, who “owned 20 cell phones”, was his only hope at that point. “He knows how to dial. Hopefully”  After Jimmy says Heejun confuses him, and its not American Comedian,  Ryan asks Heejun what he thinks about Jimmy’s remarks. “Who’s that?” says Heejun. BURN. Joshua and Heejun advance to the Top 24. Adam was left standing with Heejun on stage. He knew he was eliminated.

Baylie Brown, Chelsea Sorrell, Skyler Laine and Shannon Magrane take center stage.  Shannon breaks down in tears. “Right now I’m just so happy and so excited to be here right now. I can’t help myself because I’ve gone through so much…I don’t want it to end.”  Shannon advances to the Top 10.  Three country girls are left. Randy says one of the girls really stood out last night. Skyler advances to the Top 10. Baylie and Chelsea are eliminated.

Aaron Marcellus, Creighton Fraker and Reed Grimm take center stage. After Jimmy basically says the judges opinions on all three were crap, the panel responds.   Jennifer says, “Maybe Jimmy should come to the show.” I respect Jimmy, and I respect what he says. And I see a lot of the things that he’s saying, but I think what we hear in here can be a little different than what people hear at home, or even what he’s hearing on a monitor in that little room that he’s in.  There’s some things I just want to punch him.”  Randy mentions the thing again about watching the show later and realizing they’d been too easy on the boys. Steven says, “Jimmy Iovine. Holy Shit”. Bleeped, of course.  Jennifer says Jimmy isn’t too critical, but the way he says things, she wouldn’t choose to say them that way. All three are eliminated!

Elise Testone, Erika Van Pelt, Haley Johnsen and Jen Hirsh take the stage. There’s one spot left, and Elise takes it. Erika, Haley and Jen are eliminated.

Deandre Brackensick, Eben Franckewitz, Colton Dixon and Jermaine Jones takes center stage. Deandre is eliminated. Ryan attempts to fake Colton out, “Colton…you are not…going to be disappointed tonight because you’ve made the Top 10!”  Jermaine and Eben are left. An odd pair!  Eben is so little by comparison.  Jermaine advances to the Top 10. Eben is eliminated.

Ryan explains that the judges will pick six contestants who will sing again for their lives.  After, each judge will choose one contestant to advance to the Top 13.

Six contestants sing for a wildcard spot:

  • Jen Hirsh – “Oh Darling” by the Beatles –  She’s over singing–desperation has creeped into her performance.  Jimmy said Jen has “pyrotechnics in the place of soul” and I think that just about sums it up for Jen.  She’s got a great instrument, but is misusing it.

  • Jeremy Rosado– “I Know You Won’t” by Carrie Underwood –  Jeremy is so earnest and sweet. He pours himself into a performance, but his vocals are only so-so.  He can’t get through the performance without breaking down in the end–I find it unprofessional, but Jennifer is clearly moved.   Jeremy’s vocal limitations would be revealed if he had to sing anything other than an emotional ballad.

  • Brielle Von Hugel – “Someone Like You” by Adele – OH DEAR GOD. Is she kidding? First of all, it’s hilarious that this performance comes on the heels of Jimmy telling the contestants to STOP SINGING ADELE.  Loud annoying caterwauling does not = #WINNING.  Oh look. There’s her annoying mom in the audience.  Brielle just killed Adele DEAD. RIP Adele.  I wish the singer would just NOT clear her songs for Idol anymore.  The judges totally wasted a wild card spot on this chick.

  • Deandre Brackensick – “Georgia on My Mind” – Deandre has his moments, but he needs work. He’s got 5 different muppet voices all fighting for supremacy, and it’s really jarring when he abruptly switches between them.  He needs lots of work with a vocal coach, but I’m not sure the problems can be fixed with the course of a singing competition.  Oh. Plz stop flipping your hair. It’s totally distracting.

  • Erika Van Pelt – “Edge of Glory” –  Oh. My Gosh.  Erika shows how to sing for your life. She basically lays it all out on the floor.  That was fantastic. Lady Gaga would be proud.  Erika gets a standing ovation from the judges and the crowd.  This girl NEEDS to be in this competition. Fantastic.

  • Reed Grimm – “Use Me” – WTF Grimm.  He takes his shirt off to prepare (don’t worry, he’s got a t-shirt on underneath).  Preparing to freak us out? Because I have no idea what the hell Grimm was doing there. He was all over the place with that performance.  The shtick and the antics totally distract from any musicality he has. And that’s a shame, because the dude is talented.   It’s like he’s not even taking this seriously. Another wildcard spot wasted.

The judges choose their picks.   Jennifer, who cried when Jeremy Rosado broke down, goes with her hormones and advances him to the Top 13. Ugh.  Randy, the voice of reason for once, advances Erika Van Pelt. Thank Jeebus.  Steven sends Deandre Brackensick to the Top 13. Hm. At least it wasn’t Reed.

Emotional Wildcard Reveal


  • Chase Likens
  • Brielle Von Huegel
  • Adam Brock
  • Baylie Brown
  • Chelsea Sorrell
  • Aaron Marcellus
  • Creighton Fraker
  • Reed Grimm
  • Haley Johnsen
  • Jen Hirsh
  • Eben Franckewitz
About mj santilli 35006 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!