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article imageAmerican Idol announces Lucky 13 includes judges' wildcard picks

By Kim I. Hartman     Mar 3, 2011 in Entertainment
Los Angeles - American Idol surprised fans and contestants tonight with the introduction of wildcard spots that would be chosen solely by the judges after the Top 10, as voted by fans, were announced.
The format for the night was billed as an elimination of more then half of the contestants who had moved on to the Top 24 but that quickly changed in a surprising twist.
The twenty-four guys and girls performed this week on Tuesday and Wednesday, after which the voting was opened by phone, text and on the newly introduced Facebook voting system, explained here.
Ryan Seacrest, host of the popular show, announced the American Idol judges were going to mix things up a bit this year with the addition of 'Wild Card' spots and with very little explanation on how they would determine those slots the two-hour program began.
The American Idol Top 10 was announced and they included Scotty McCreery, Pia Toscano, Lauren Alaina, Karen Rodriguez, Jacob Lusk, Casey Abrams, Thia Megia, Paul McDonald, Haley Reinhart and James Durbin.
With 14 people in danger of leaving the competition, it was explained that the judges would choose three males and three female contestants, that had not received enough votes from fans to make the top 10, who were worthy of a second chance in the form of the mysterious wildcard spots. They would then be given an opportunity to sing again on the night's broadcast.
After a word from Ryan reminding them they were singing for 'their life,' at least as far as the American Idol stage goes, the six performed. With one last chance to impress the judges judges Ashthon Jones, Stefano Langone, Kendra Chantelle, Jovany Barreto, Naima Adedapo and Robbie Rosen were now at the mercy of Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler.
When they returned from a commercial break and in what appeared to be a very confusing moment for host Ryan and the trio of judges the premiere of the Jennifer Lopez 'On the Floor' video was aired, to 'give them a little more time' to make a decision.
A teaser version of that video can be seen here.
The judges wildcard spots were announced and Ashthon Jones, Stefano Langone and Naima Adedapo were selected to join the top 10, based on fan vote, turning the top 10 into the Top 13.
Eliminated from the contest were Robbie Rosen, Clint Jun Gamboa, Jordan Dorsey, Jovany Barreto, Ta-Tynisa Wilson, Julie Zorrilla, Kendra Chantelle, Tim Halperin, Lauren Turner, Brett Loewenstern and Rachel Zevita.
American Idol fans will have to wait and see what happens next week on the hit show. After the shake-up tonight anything is possible when the lucky thirteen take the stage again.
American Idol Top 24 pictures and videos can be found here.
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