After weeks of audition rounds and an always grueling and drama-filled Hollywood Week, the field of 327 "American Idol" contestants was narrowed to 24 on Wednesday and Thursday (February 24). Although many fans are still reeling from the unexpected ouster of presumed front-runner Chris Medina, many of the early fan favorites received the happy news that they made it through to the coveted top 24.
One of the lucky 2 dozen is "Idol" repeat hopeful Rachel Zevita, a 21-year-old New Yorker who first made her mark in the show's colorful history books back in season six. Zevita started her season 10 journey during the audition rounds with a performance of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," which didn't exactly wow the judges, but with support from Jennifer Lopez -- who told Zevita that she believed she could do better -- the young opera singer made it through to Hollywood once again and fought her way into the top 24 with impressive performances during Hollywood Week, including her version of the Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby."
Joining Zevita to receive her big news were her mother and 83-year-old grandmother, who flew in all the way from New York. Naturally, Ryan Seacrest couldn't resist flirting a bit with dear old grandma, possibly trying to ease the tension surrounding her granddaughter's big will-she-or-won't-she-make-it moment.
Zevita met the judges dressed in a slightly quirky ensemble of almost all black, complete with a tiny silver tie and feathers on her shoes, which prompted Steven Tyler to ask if she could fly.
"I hope so," Zevita answered nervously.
The judges then spent a few nerve-racking minutes addressing a few things Zevita needs to work on, including finding herself, wanting to see her true spark, etc. Finally, Zevita heard the good news that she was in. Her reaction was total disbelief.
"I can't thank you enough. I can't believe it!" she said, with tears starting to pool in her eyes. "I did it!" she exclaimed as she walked out of the room to greet her family.
"They want all of me!" she told them, and everyone enjoyed a warm group hug.
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