'American Idol' Reveals the Rest of the Top 24 -- Did the Judges Get It Right?

With the final ten hopefuls announced on Thursday -- as well as a shocking twist! -- the fierce competition is officially on

Well, America, it's your turn now. On Thursday's episode of American Idol (Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET, on FOX), the judges whittled the contestant pool from 42 down to 24 hopefuls, plus one, yet-to-be-named male for good measure. Next week, the show will commit their pop dream destinies into your hands. The guys will sing live on Tuesday, followed by the girls on Wednesday, and your preliminary verdicts will be read on Thursday.

Who will you be judging?
Here's the list:

The girls are Jen Hirsh, Haley Johnsen, Elise Testone, Erika Van Pelt, Chelsea Sorrell, Baylie Brown, Jessica Sanchez, Brielle Von Hugel, Hallie Day, Shannon Magrane, Hollie Cavanagh and Skylar Laine.

The guys are Creighton Fraker, Joshua Ledet, Reed Grimm, Heejun Han, Phillip Phillips, Colton Dixon, Adam Brock, Aaron Marcellus, Eben Franckewitz, Chase Likens, Jeremy Rosado and Deandre Brackensick.

And because it just wouldn't be American Idol without a "shocking" twist here and there, viewers will learn the identity of the 13th contestant upon tuning in on Tuesday. The judges will decide among four guys: Jermaine Jones, Richie Law, Johnny Keyser and David Leathers, Jr. We're rooting for Leathers, Jr., of Fayetteville, N.C., the baby-faced 17-year-old who told Idol cameras that his friends call him "Mr. Steal Your Girl." (Then the cameras showed a girl rolling her eyes at him.) While he may not be the ladies man he purports to be -- and Steven Tyler rightly called him "overconfident" -- he sure is entertaining!

Did the judges get it right? Brown, the beautiful blonde country singer, and Dixon, the rocker whose sister didn't make the cut, are both standouts that clearly deserved their place in the live rounds. And we were glad to see Han make it through, since this 22-year-old Queens native has managed to surprise us at every turn, with an unexpectedly buttery voice that's in direct contrast to his dry sense of humor.  

And of course, we were glad to see that all of our suggestions made Thursday's final cut.

But it was hard to watch that other Fayetteville, N.C. native, Ariel Sprague, go home. Jennifer Hudson had urged this down-to-earth teen to audition (they met after an Idol concert), and her voice has a lot of promise. But then, she can always try again; Brackensick, Dixon, Brown and Marcellus are all returning contestants who made the cut this time.

As Jennifer Lopez graciously put it when all 24 had been selected, "Glad that sh*t is over."

Who will be the next American Idol? We can't wait to see -- and we're sure it'll be a long and bumpy road to the finale!

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