'American Idol': Top 12 are revealed

Four more will go home this evening on American Idol, leaving us with the 12 finalists.

But first up, last year's runner-up comes out to perform his new single live. Ryan Seacrest asks him for his advice, and he tells the contestants to be true to themselves and listen to the good comments from the judges. OK, then.

Before he starts revealing the Top 12, Ryan says more than 36 million votes were cast on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Ryan also congratulates Paula Abdul for having the No. 1 downloaded video on iTunes. OK, then. Let's get to the results.

First, a montage of the guys' performances from Tuesday (with Randy's references to INXS when Michael Johns was singing a Simple Minds song carefully excised). David Cook is first up, and Ryan tells him 1) that Lionel Richie loved his version of the song, and 2) that he is in the Top 12. David Archuleta is also in. Shall we make it a David trifecta? Not yet. Jason Castro is also through to the finals.

Time to switch it up and make the women nervous. First, montage from Wednesday. Brooke White is in the Top 12. Syesha Mercado is next -- Ryan asks the judges if they think she is through, and they all say yes. They are right. Kady Malloy finds out that she is out. That's not a big surprise. Her exit footage pretty much proves Simon right -- she is funny and engaging on film, but boring live. She reprises "Who Wants to Live Forever," and it's about as off as last night.

After the break Ryan says that during next week's results show, viewers can call in live to ask questions. Huh. That should go well.

David Hernandez is through, so there's our trifecta. Michael Johns stands up next, and he's through to the Top 12, too. Luke Menard, on the other hand, is out. Being and Orlando Bloom lookalike isn't carrying him any further. He unfortunately has to sing "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" again. Danny Noriega and Chikezie look miserable while they continue to wait.

Ramiele Malubay discovers she is safe after Ryan strings her along a little. Carly Smithson? Also in the Top 12. And she also totally ignores Chikezie who is trying to give her a high five as she goes by. Amanda Overmyer is also in the Top 12 (wha?), leaving Asia'h Epperson and Kristy Lee Cook to keep on waiting.

After the break, Asia'h Epperson is out, and Kristy Lee Cook is safe. Aww, shucks, I like Asia'h. In her footage, they replay her singing "How Do I Live" at her audition two days after her father's sudden passing, and seriously, she has to sing after watching that again? That is mean and not very fair. She decides to go for it, and actually, I think she did a better job with it through the tears than she did last night. Paula shouts out: "That was the best vocal you ever did."

Back to the guys. Danny is already crying because his friends are getting sent home. Chikezie is in the Top 12, Danny Noriega is out, and Ramiele is losing it (again).

So, to recap (the recap), Kady Malloy, Asia'h Epperson, Luke Menard and Danny Noriega have been cut, and now it's time for the finals. I'm surprised to see Asia'h out, but otherwise not too shocked. How about you?