‘American Idol’ Unveils Top 13

Shannon MaGrane and Phillip Phillips are in, while nine singers get the ax.

Heejun’s in. So are Phillip Phillips, Skylar Laine and Shannon MaGrane. Adam Brock? Not so fast …

“American Idol” revealed its top 13 finalists on Wednesday (March 1), swiftly dismissing half its field after this week’s live performance episodes. The cuts were harsh, as Ryan Seacrest delivered the news in typical no-nonsense fashion, crushing the dreams of some contestants while making others’ come true.

A reported 33 million votes were cast, down from the 40 million made at this point in the competition last year.

Phillip Phillips was the first one through to the voter-approved top 10 and got a few minutes to soak in the moment by himself before he was joined by Jessica Sanchez, whose purported vocal issues didn’t affect her performance on Wednesday one bit, and tiny Hollie Cavanagh, who “slayed the biggest dragon” when she sang Christina Aguilera’s “Reflection” on Wednesday.

Joshua Ledet followed, and next up was Heejun Han, whose dry comic presence on the show was criticized sharply by “Idol” mentor Jimmy Iovine. “This isn’t ‘American Comedian,’ this is ‘American Idol,’ ” Iovine said in a taped reaction to Han’s performance. Han responded by pretending to not know who Iovine is. Shots fired!

Shannon MaGrane — who was crying before she was even told her fate — was passed through, as was country spitfire Skylar Laine, who arguably turned in the week’s best performance with her spirited take on Faces’ “Stay With Me,” which played like “Reba mixed with Kelly Clarkson,” according to Randy Jackson.

Elise Testone, one of two singers to take on Adele’s “One and Only” on Wednesday, made the top 10, as did Colton Dixon, who took his performance of Paramore’s “Decode” to the top of his piano on Tuesday. Gentle giant Jermaine Jones — who, in a surprise move, was brought back on Tuesday after being eliminated earlier in the competition — rounded out the top 10.

Six singers then vied for three judge-selected Wild Card slots, with Erika Van Pelt’s version of Lady Gaga’s “The Edge of Glory,” Jeremy Rosado’s take on Carrie Underwood’s “I Know You Won’t” and DeAndre Brackensick’s “Georgia on My Mind” earning them spots in the top 13. Jen Hirsh, Reed Grimm and Brielle Von Hugel competed for Wild Card positions but narrowly missed advancing to the next round.

Meanwhile, nine contestants were dismissed without a chance to sing for their lives. So it’s so long, Chase Likens; see ya, Chelsea Sorrell; bye-bye, Baylie Brown; sayonara, Eben Franckewitz; hasta la vista, Haley Johnsen; peace out, Adam Brock; tootles, Aaron Marcellus; arrivederci, Hallie Day; and later, Creighton Fraker.

The top 13 contestants perform live during Wednesday’s two-hour episode, and one will be kicked off on Thursday’s one-hour results show.

What do you think of this year’s top 13? Who got cut that should have made it? Let us know in the comments!

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