And this is American Idol. And this is also why I don't pay attention to rumors. We had heard for several weeks now that Michael Lynche had made the top 24, but was disqualified because his dad had told the press about it. We kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. It never did, at least not for him, but we had to wait until we only counted 23 people making it through, then saw different people at the end, to find out what happened.
Here's a list of our now confirmed American Idol Top 24 semi-finalists, and what we know about them to date.
Todrick Hall, 24, an actor/playwright, Arlington, TX: He performed with Fantasia in The Color Purple and for his original audition, sang a song he composed for the judges, asking Randy to be a Dawg and mentioning Simon looking unimpressed. Randy thought he was one of the best of the season, and just as he figured, Simon was unimpressed. He was part of the group Destiny's Wild. He sang Man In the Mirror for his final performance in Hollywood, and tried to get engaged by the pool while waiting to hear his fate.
Casey James, 27, a musician, Fort Worth: He was in a terrible motorcycle accident with multiple compound fractures in his arm and was told he wouldn't play guitar again, but does. Simon thought it was a bad audition, but Kara and Victoria liked his look and asked him to unbutton his shirt, as he eventually took it off and let down his hair. Randy told him on day two of Hollywood that he was a real singer/songwriter. He sang with the group Middle C. Casey sang Bubbly on the final day in Hollywood. Kara seems to be flirting big time with him.
Michael Lynche, 26, a personal trainer, Astoria, NY: He and his baby mama just found out before his first audition that their baby will be a little girl. He sang Unchained Melody at his original audition and was compared to a singing teddy bear. His wife went into labor as he was going on stage on day two of Hollywood. He sang Waiting On the World to Change, and Simon thought it was good with a different arrangement. He was part of the group Team Awesome. He sang I'm Yours on the final night of Hollywood. He nearly broke Ellen's back when he picked her up to celebrate when he made it.
Katelyn Epperly, 19, a student, West Des Moines, IA: Her father left the family recently, and it made her audition hard, as her parents always attended her performances and auditions together. She sang Syrup and Honey at her original audition, and Randy liked that she didn't sound like Duffy, while Shania Twain thought her voice had interesting character and sounded unique. She sang Bubbly on her last day in Holywood.
Didi Benami, 22, a waitress, Hollywood, CA: She auditioned in memory of her best friend, Rebecca. She knew it would be an emotional audition, and sang Hey Jude. Simon said yes with a small Y. She sang Terrified on day two of Hollywood, and Simon said he liked the idea that waitress would come on and do well. She sang In the Arms of an Angel, again dedicating it to her friend, on the last night of Hollywood.
Lee Dewyze, 23, a paint sales clerk, Mount Prospect, IL: He had to sing a capella, without his guitar, and sang Ain't No Sunshine. He sang You Found Me for his last performance in Hollywood.
Aaron Kelly, 16, Sonestown, PA: His family moved around a lot because his dad couldn't hold down a job, and his aunt and uncle adopted him before social services stepped in. He sang The Climb and said he wanted to be a role model to kids everywhere. In Group Round he was told he souded like community theater and for his lyrics. He forgot his lyrics again to In the Arms of an Angel on the last night in Hollywood, but sounded really good.
Janell Wheeler, 24, a sales representative, of Tampa. She sang American Boy on day one in Hollywood, and Ellen told her it was amazing. She sang with the group Middle C. She's been fighting her voice all during Hollywood and was coughing continuously while waiting results on the last day. She sang Love Story, which Kara said was the wrong song. She told Ryan after she made it that if she was Bikini Girl, she would kiss him.
Tyler Grady, 19, a college student, of Nazareth, PA: He had splints on both arms and said he fell out of a tree. He is also a drummer, but dreams of being a frontman. He sang Let's Get It On at his original audition, and Randy Jackson liked his whole Van Morrison stance thing. Simon thought he'd be one they remembered. On hi slast night in Hollywood he sang Home, then told the judges to not take it too literally. Kara talked to him about his 70s vibe when he made it through.
Lacey Brown, 23, a church event director, Amarillo, TX: She was top 50 last year and lost out to Megan Joy. She sang Somewhere Over the Rainbow this year. On her final night in Hollywood, she sang What a Wonderful World.
Ashley Rodriguez, 21, a college student, Boston: She sang some Alicia Keyes in her original audition. Victoria Beckham thought she was naturally beautiful, and Kara thought her voice was commercial. She was part of the group Faith in the Group Round. On the final night of Hollywood she sang Battlefield.
Joe Munoz, 20, Huntington Park, CA: We never got to meet him during the earlier rounds, but he's been singing since he was 12 and also plays the guitar. He is fluent in both Spanish and English.
Alex Lambert, 18, singer, North RIchland Hills, TX: He sang in the group The Dreamers and was told by Mary Powers he was the weak link. He played the ukulele to I'm Yours on the last day of Hollywood.
Crystal Bowersox, 23, a musician/mom, Elliston, OH: She also gave up her guitar and sang Piece of My Heart at her original audition. She sang Natural Woman on the second day in Hollywood, and Simon told her she was infectious and real. On the last day in Hollywood, she sang If It Makes You Happy and played the guitar and harmonica to it as well. She thought only three million people watched the show and was surprised it was ten times that amount.
Katie Stevens, 16, Middlebury, CT: She grew up in a big Portugese family and was close to her grandmother who had Alzheimer's. She sang At Last in her original audition, and Kara thought to sing like that was pretty amazing. She called her grandmother afterwards and told her in Portugese that she made it to Hollywood. She sang For Once In My Life the first day in Hollywood. She sang with the Group Three Men and a Baby.
Lilly Scott, 20, a musician/sanwich maker, Littleton, CO: She sang Lullaby of Birdland on the first day of Hollywood, and Kara told her everything about her was refreshing. She sang Rich Girl on the last day in Hollywood. She wears the huge peacock earrings a lot.
Paige Miles, 24, Naples, FL: She was one of the members of Neopolitan. In high school she was a competitive cheerleader and an after school tutor.
Siobhan Magnus, 19, glassblowing apprentice, Cape Cod: She was part of the group Destiny's Wild, and was the one whose voice was so bold she was chasing the other groups away. For her last performance in Hollywood, she sang Living for the City.
Michelle Delamor, Miami FL, 22 a clothing store associate, Miami: She sang in the group Faith. She conducts a children's choir.
Jermaine Sellers, 26, Joliet, IL: He's a church singer and has been taking care of his mom with spina bifida since he was 17. He sang What If God Was One of Us at his original audition, and Randy thought it was the best vocal they'd heard so far in the auditions. He sang with the group Phoenix. He sang Man In the Mirror on the last day in Hollywood,then called the and out for messing up, even though the judges looked thrilled.
John Park, 20, a college student, Northbrook, IL: His parents were against him applying for voice programs in college, but he felt it was his only way to express himself. Shania had said he had a beautiful bottom end, nice lips, and a good head. A favorite of many from his audition, he wasn't featured at all in Hollywood.
Haeley Vaughn, 16, Fort Collins, CO: She was a preemie baby, and her dad passed away when she was 10. She wants to be be the first black pop country/kind of mainstream singer. The judges really liked the uniqueness of this at her original audition, and Kara thought she was singing too high in her register. She brought her mom and sister in to meet Simon. She sang Change on day one in Hollywood. She sang I'm Yours on the last day.
Andrew Garcia, 23, a musician, Moreno Valley, CA: He thought being a dad was the greatest thing in the world and wants his son toÂ have more than he did. His parents were both into gangs when they were young. He sang Sunday Morning in his original audition, and Simon thought he was the only one to walk through that day that was a genuinely good singer. Katy Perry said he gave her chills. He sang Straight Up on day one in Hollywood and Kara told him it was genius. He sang with the group Three Men and a Baby. He sang Chasing Pavements on the last day of Hollywood.
Those were the only people we saw getting through. Eagle-eyed viewers saw that in the group of twelve guys, Chris Golightly was among them. He was the guy who had lived in all the different foster homes since he was 18. By the time they showed everyone individually, Tim Urban, 20, a college student/musican, Duncanville, TX, was in there and Chris was gone. Tim sang Come Back to Me on day two in Hollywood. He was part of the group Team Awesome. It turns out Chris was disqualified, and was replaced by Tim, that was the official word from Fox late last night. Apparently it was an unfounded rumor that made the rounds about Big Mike, which is very unfair to him and his family.