"American Idol" is down to 13 singers.
Ten contestants -- five men, five women -- advanced Thursday night based on viewers' votes. Then, each judge picked one singer to complete the top 13. Here are the results. I also made this handy photo gallery to introduce you to the top 13.
Phillip Phillips (Leesburg, Ga.)
Erika Van Pelt (wild card)
Jeremy Rosado (wild card)
Deandre Brackensick (wild card)
The judges chose these singers to compete for wild cards:
Jen Hirsh: She sings a decent version of "Oh! Darling," though it gets a bit screechy at times. Jen's biggest weakness is her frequent lack of emotion. Like Jimmy Iovine suggested, I think she sometimes favors vocal gymnastics over genuine feeling. "That was good," Randy Jackson says. Overall, the performance is just good. Not incredibly memorable. OUT
Jeremy Rosado: He sings "I Know You Won't" by Carrie Underwood. Immediately, I'm skeptical of the song choice. It starts off a little rough, but Jeremy really delivers toward the end. He gets very emotional in the song's final moments. In about 48 hours, I went from despising Jeremy to loving him. Jennifer Lopez is crying. "I believe in this kid," she says. IN
Brielle Von Hugel: Huh? Really?!? I did not expect this at all. Well, she makes for good TV so I guess I understand. She sings Adele's "Someone Like You." Another questionable song choice. Brielle has potential...she's just trying too hard right now. It's like she's a kid trying to fit into adult clothing. "I just didn't hear it this time, I'm really sorry, baby," Steven says. OUT
Deandre Brackensick: He sings "Georgia On My Mind," which is on my list of songs that should be retired from "Idol." But whatever. It's pretty good...not my favorite performance from Deandre, but the judges seem to love him. "That's exactly what you have to do," Jennifer says. IN
Erika Van Pelt: Whoa! A current song? What's up with this? She sings Lady Gaga's "The Edge of Glory." If Erika performed this song Wednesday night, she might have actually advanced without needing a wild card. Erika's performance style still seems a bit old-fashioned at times, but this is by far my favorite effort from her so far. She surprised me. "I love somebody who can fight through the tears and still deliver," Jennifer says. IN
Reed Grimm: He sings "Use Me" by Bill Withers. Weird song choice and even weirder performance. He spends most of the performance kind of rolling around on stage and making incoherent sounds. The performance has good moments, but I'm not going crazy about it. "You're probably one of the most different artists we've ever had try out for the show," Randy says. OUT
A few thoughts:
Overall, I'm satisfied with the Top 13...but they all need a little work. Yes, even you, Jessica Sanchez.
Next week, the guys will sing Stevie Wonder songs and the women will sing Whitney Houston songs.
For the record, I accurately predicted nine of the top 10 singers and one of the three wild cards. Not bad.