Live Blog: American Idol's Top Twelve Announced (UPDATED!)

This week we saw the remaining sixteen American Idol semi-finalists perform and after tonight, they’ll be narrowed down to twelve. Within the hour, we’ll know which four contestants didn’t make the cut and which twelve will be sticking around. We’ll be posting the names of the eliminated contestants here!

The live episode begins with a performance by last year’s runner-up, Blake Lewis. Where has he been, anyway? His voice sounds good and he’s still doing the beat-boxing thing. After the performance, Blake offers some advice to the contestants about taking the criticism from the judges or something. Since we had to listen to Lewis perform, does this mean there’s no group performance tonight? Guess we’ll find out after the commercials.

No group performance! After we get back from commercials, Ryan introduces the judges. They exchange some useless banter and then it’s on to the guys night recap. After listening to the snippets of the guys singing, I’m going to predicting Luke Menard and Danny Noriega are going tonight. The recap is over, the lights are dimmed and Ryan asks David Cook to stand up. He tells David that he spoke to Lyonel Richie, who said he loved his cover of the song. David Cook is safe. David Archuleta is asked to stand up. He’s safe (no surprise there). Jason Castro is next. Ryan goes through the “you sang this, the judges said that” thing. Jason makes the top 12.

It has to feel like an eternity for these guys, waiting to find out their fate while Ryan prattles on about what they sang (like they don’t already know) and what the judges said (as though they could forget). After giving these guys the news they want to hear, we go to commercial. When we come back, Ryan will tell some of the girls whether or not they’re on to the top 12.

Back from commercial and now we get the recap of the girls’ night. I’m predicting Kristy Lee Cook and Amanda Overmyer to be the ones cut, based on last night’s performances. Brooke White is called up first and of course, she’s made it into the top twelve. Syesha Mercado is next and all the judges agree that she’s going next. America agrees with the judges – she’s in the top 12. Kady Malloy goes next and Ryan tells her that she’s been eliminated from the competition. Kady gets to belt out a wobbly off-key version of “Who Wants To Live Forever.” And we’re off to another commercial.

When we return, Ryan says something about them opening up their phonelines to talk to you live on the air next week and to check out the Idol website for more info. Now David Hernandez is asked to stand up. Ryan tells him that he’s safe. Three David’s in the top 12. Michael Johns also makes it through. Luke Menard gets called up next and Ryan tells him that he’s been eliminated. Luke sings “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go” one last time and Ryan points out that Danny Noriega and Chikeze are still sitting on the couch waiting. One of them will make it through and one will be going home. We’ll find out which is which later. Off to yet another set of commercials.

Back again. Ramiele Malubay is asked to stand and Ryan tells her that America disagreed with Simon. She’s in the top 12. Carly is asked to stand up. She looks like she’s going to cry and stares at the floor. Ryan tells her that she’s also in the top 12. Amanda Overmyer makes it into the top 12 as well. It’s down to Asia’h Epperson and Kristy Lee Cook for the girls but we won’t find out until after the commercials.

Asia’h and Kristy are still standing on the stage and both look absolutely miserable. Paula is taking forever talking about how she believes in them and it’s just the start of their careers. Just get on with it already! You sang this, you sang that, the judges said this, blah blah blah. America has decided and Asia’h is going home tonight. Kristy Lee Cook makes it into the top 12 and I was totally wrong with my girl predictions. We get to see her montage, which reminds us that Asia’h’s the one who auditioned two days after her father passed away. It’s actually one of the sadder montages. She sings “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and manages to hold it together, although there’s obviously not as much pep in the song as there was last night.

Finally, Danny Noriega and Chikeze no-last-name take the stage after having to sit through the whole episode waiting to learn their fate. Danny’s teary-eyed and playing with his fingers while Ryan goes through the spiel. America voted and Chikeze makes it into the top 12. Danny Noriega is going home.

Ok, so I got the girls wrong but I did manage to accurately predict which two guys would go. That’s something, right? Danny gets one last performance on the Idol stage. He pulls it together and sings his sassy version of “Tainted Love”. The top 12 Idols dance, though some of them are crying.

And that’s that. Next week the top 12 will perform in a two-hour episode on Tuesday at 8:00 p.m.. Then one will be eliminated during the results show on Wednesday at 9 p.m.

The Top 12
David Cook
David Archuleta
Jason Castro
Brooke White
Syesha Mercado
David Hernandez
Michael Johns
Ramiele Malubay
Carly Smithson
Amanda Overmyer
Kristy Lee Cook
Chikeze

Eliminated
Kady Malloy
Luke Menard
Asia’h Epperson
Danny Noriega