We're down to 40.
"American Idol" revealed its top 40 singers Feb. 14, when the Hollywood round wrapped up. Most of the episode focused on female solo performances. Among the noteworthy eliminations? Kez Ban, the quirky singer who got lots of airtime earlier this week.
But don't worry: The top 40 isn't entirely devoid of quirkiness. After a bizarre solo performance that involved playing the drums and singing about the judges, Zoanette Johnson somehow still advanced.
The episode ended with the judges eliminating eight male singers. I'll try to post a full list of the top 40, along with bios, on Friday. In the meantime, here's a recap of Thursday's show.
The night kicks off with a very promising singer. Angela Miller takes a risk and sings an original song, "You Set Me Free." It pays off. The song isn't exactly catchy, but she has tons of emotion and some very compelling vocals. The judges love it.
They're just as impressed with two returning contestants. Candace Glover delivers an impressive rendition of "Girl on Fire" and country singer Janelle Arthur wows the panel when she sings "I Told You So."
Zoanette Johnson is playing the drums. And singing a song she made up on stage. Hmm. This should turn out well. She sings incoherently about the judges and loses her drumstick. Oh yeah...she's wearing a pleather corset. Sorry, folks, I don't get her. "I am bowing down at your feet today," Nicki says. WHAT?!?
They all advance.
Shubha Vedula delivers a great performance of a Mariah Carey/Whitney Houston tune, "When You Believe." Juliana Chahayed is also strong on her rendition of "Landslide." Presumably, they both advance.
Rough news for quirky Kez Ban. She performs an original tune and gets eliminated. She prefaced her performance with, "I will be watching my child take its first step today." Now, she wants to work on the "Idol" stage crew.
Ashlee Feliciano makes a mistake of singing a "Twilight" song: "A Thousand Years." She gets eliminated.
On a more positive note, Melinda Ademi gets the crowd moving with her rendition of "Price Tag." She advances.
We hadn't heard much about Kree Harrison until tonight. We learn both of her parents are deceased. She lost her dad when she was 12 and she lost her mom when she was 19. She offers one of the best performances of the night: an awesome rendition of "Stars" by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. She advances.
A few more random people get eliminated. The judges request a sing-off between some of the remaining contestants. Is this really necessary?
Stephanie Schimel covers "Home" by Phillip Phillips. I'm just sort of lukewarm on this girl. Rachel Hale performs a really great rendition of "Undone" by Haley Reinhart. Stephanie gets eliminated, Rachel advances.
With that...we have our top 20 women!
Let's eliminate a few more guys. Surprise, surprise. The judges want a sing-off. Adam Sanders sings "Taking Chances" by Celine Dion. It's a little rough. Josh Holiday performs a good rendition of "Georgia On My Mind." He splits his pants in the process.
Decision time. Among the noteworthy eliminations: Adam Sanders and David Leathers Jr., who auditioned last year.
With that, we have our top 40 singers for season 12. Next week, they perform in Las Vegas!