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American Idol Finalists to Perform Whitney Houston Tribute

Phillip Phillips, Jessica Sanchez and the newest crop of “American Idol” finalists will get down to business on Wednesday (Mar 7). They group will pay tribute to the late Whitney Houston, whose songs are soaring up the charts since her death.

More than 33 million votes were cast, according to host Ryan Seacrest to whittle the 25 semi-finalists down to the latest round of contenders.

Twelve women and 13 men went into the round and performed over two nights. Five guys and five girls who pulled the most votes were declared safe. The next six singers vied for three wildcard spots that were left up to the discretion of judges Jennifer Lopez, Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler.

The Top 10 American Idol Finalists

1. Phillip Phillips
2. Jessica Sanchez
3. Hollie Cavanagh
4. Joshua Ledet
5. Heejun Han
6. Shannon Magrane
7. Skylar Laine
8. Elise Testone
9. Colton Dixon
10. Jermaine Jones

Phillips, Han, Ledet, Dixon, and Jones received the most home viewer votes following Tuesday night’s broadcast. Sanchez, Cavanagh, Laine, Magrane, and Testone advanced after they finished as the top five vote-getters after Wednesday night’s broadcast.

Among the wild card contenders, Erika Van Pelt seemed to wow the judges the most. She sang Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory,” and really turned on the crowd, which excited the judges. “Out of the park, baby, out of the park!” Steven said.

Brielle Von Hugel seemed to stumble the worst. She sang Adele’s “Someone Like You,” but the choice probably wasn’t the best. Adele has such a signature voice, it’s always going to be hard to impress with one of her songs. And that’s how the judges saw it.

“Brielle may be in a little bit of trouble,” Randy said. “That wasn’t great.”

“I heard you nail it [before]. You were a little pitchy in some spots in the turn-arounds, and I just didn’t hear it this time. I’m really sorry baby,” Tyler added.

Jennifer Hirsh, who was first up and sang “Oh! Darlin’.” She got some props from Randy. “You went for the gusto,” he said, calling it a “good performance.” But would that be good enough?

Jeremy Rosado was next and appeared to have Lopez in his corner. After singing a Carrie Underwood tune, “I Know You Won’t,” Lopez was effusive. “I believe in this kid. I believe in ‘Jer Bear’,” she said.

Deandre Brackensick sang “Georgia On My Mind,” and Jennifer felt it. “I’m feeling the fire from you,” she said. “You should sing like that every single time you get up there.”

Reed Grimm, performed the classic Bill Withers tune “Use Me” Randy seemed to appreciate his style, but in the end it was not to be.

Erika, Deandre and Jeremy made the cut.

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