Thursday, March 8, 2007

The Finalists

Last night Ryan Seacrest announced that after casting almost 37 million votes, America had chosen the 12 finalists for season six of "American Idol." And that was at least two more contestants than judges Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell said, earlier this week, deserved to be in the group.

Although the show has achieved some of its highest ratings ever recently, many have derisively called this year’s edition "American Idull" because of the boring lot of male contestants.

The four eliminated semi-finalists were Coram native Jared Cotter, 25; Antonella Barba, 20, who has been embroiled in controversy since risque pictures of her were leaked on the Internet in February; Sabrina Sloane, 27; and Sundance Head, 28, who made a humorous appeal, “Somebody give me a job; I need a job.”

Vying for the 2007 title are: Blake Lewis, 25; LaKisha Jones, 27; Chris Sligh, 28; Jordin Sparks, 17; Phil Stacey, 29; Brandon Rogers, 28; Melinda Doolittle, 29; Gina Glocksen, 22; Chris Richardson, 22; Stephanie Edwards, 19; Haley Scarnato, 24; and Sanjaya Malakar, 17, whose selection shocked the judges because of his weak vocals.

Next week, the 12 finalists will be mentored by Diana Ross. Carrie Underwood performed “Wasted” on last night’s show and it was announced that Fox, “American Idol” and the Charity Projects Entertainment Fund have partnered on “Idol Gives Back,” a two-night special to raise awareness and funds for relief programs that help impoverished children in America and Africa.

On Part 1, April 24, the six remaining finalists will perform inspirational songs, with “American Idol” and a range of partners donating money to the charity for each viewer vote cast that night. The following evening, Gwen Stefani, Josh Groban, Pink, Michael Bublé, Annie Lennox, Il Divo and Sacha Baron Cohen, among others, will appear on a two-hour results show.

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© 2007

More in the morning ...

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