'American Idol' has its Top 13 for the season
March 4th, 2011
12:03 PM ET

'American Idol' has its Top 13 for the season

While the Top 13 was announced on "American Idol" Thursday night, the evening really belonged to Stefano Langone.

Although the 21-year-old, who battled back from a debilitating accident to be able to walk again, didn't make the initial Top 10 cut, he poured his heart out in the wild card round and snagged a spot.

His version of the gospel hit "I Need You Now" by Smokie Norful brought the audience to their feet and visibly moved the judges. A performance became a prayer as Stefano crooned "Lord I need you, right away."

Naima Adedapo and Ashthon Jones also grabbed wild card spots and joined Casey Abrams, Lauren Alaina, James Durbin, Jacob Lusk, Scotty McCreery, Paul McDonald, Thia Megia, Haley Reinhart, Karen Rodriguez and Pia Toscano.

There were a few surprises, though - both the always positive gingersnap Brett Loewenstern and smoky-voiced contestant Kendra Chantelle got the boot.

This year's Top 13 is a departure from the usual Top 12, and so far is living up to an assertion from the show's producers and judges that this season features some of the best talent the series has ever seen.

Your thoughts on the Top 13? And be sure to join us starting next week as we live blog the performance and results shows.

soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Denisha Parker

    I can sing too but nobody wants to hear me out its not fair i am 14 years old and when i see american idol agian in baton rouge iam going to try out someone jus please make me famous or something it has been my dream to be famous singing in front of millions and or thousands some of these famous ppl hate theyre careerthey need to give me a chance now ill take theyre place theyre jus wasting time....

    March 8, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
  2. osullivano

    Stefano is amazing!!!!! I hope he wins. Super special!

    March 5, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  3. heidi-ho

    First of all..Ashton? Shes so full of herself that it makes me full of puke! And she really needs to comb that knappy bush of hair. Second...Naima cant sing at all. surprized she made it this far. She should be the first to go. Plus she looks like a clown with all that paint on. And who thinks dreadlocks pulled back in a ponytail is good on tv? Naima would be lucky to even be a cheap sleazy lounge act. Itll com.e down to James Durbin and Pia Tascano. They blow everyone else out of the water.

    March 4, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  4. heidi-ho

    First of all..Ashton? Shes so full of herself that it makes me full of puke! And she really needs to comb that knappy bush of hair. Second...Naima cant sing at all. surprized she made it this far. She should be the first to go. Plus she looks like a clown with all that paint on

    March 4, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  5. JEAN


    March 4, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  6. wesflash

    It doesn't matter if you think America can't figure it out, or the judges picks are wrong. The record label talent folks already know who they would sign right now to a contract. They are waiting for them to be cut or to win. The right people will be recording music soon enough.

    March 4, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  7. wesflash

    JARED, AI needs Charlie Sheen? AI is Racist? Huh?
    Go ahead and explain it if you would like to, I would like to know how you can make those two ideas make any sense at all

    March 4, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  8. wildcardbad

    The whole thing was so phony. They totally had it picked before they even let them sing for the wild card. Ashton was so mediocre, the judges even looked disappointed while she was singing and yet they pick her, first no less!, probably to cover how phony the pick was. An utter disgrace and unfair to everyone.

    Kendra knocks it out of the parks and even the judges look excited and they boot her? Wow, what a joke!! Ashton over Kendra after those performances?? Right.

    Julie Zorilla does great for all but one night but then they give diva Ashton a chance, despite also doing poorly, instead of her? Well this one you can argue since Julie did have a bad night there but still based on all her past performances....

    But Ashton was mediocre two nights in a row and has a touch of harshness when she belts and the same exact tone up and down her entire range and then Kendra's tone changes across her range and she knocks it out of the park at the end and does better and way better over the two nights, respectively, than Ashton and you see she even lights up the judges more and yet.... she is the one who gets the boot. are you for real?

    They made it way to clear they were just trying to fill it out a certain way which is sad and unfair to both those who made it and did not make it.

    They made it clear that the six sing off was pretty much meaningless since it was pretty much pre-planned too. Total joke.

    Disgusting. The whole giant cut a ton at once thing and sing off was a disaster.

    At least the viewer top ten was a pretty decent set of picks. But the judges made a mockery of it with the wild card and having to fill out the top set a certain way regardless of actual vocal talent/performances. And it's also a shame that one night knocks out so many, a few of whom maybe would've lasted much longer and we didn't get a chance to get enough of a sense of everyone or to see some of them enough. Boom half the field is gone.


    March 4, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jackie

    Ashthon? Really? That's a complete joke.

    March 4, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Momma G

      I totally agree....I can NOT understand why she was given the wild card. She is obnoxious and Pia can out sing her anyday of the week

      March 4, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • wildcardbad

      totally agreed.

      Ashton was mediocre, clearly so, for two nights in a row and they pick her (first!)? In this talented of a field? When others who didn't make it blew her away both nights? After Kendra blew her to pieces last night and had the crowd going? After others blew here away the night before?? And other blew her away in the early stages??

      They couldn't even come up with anything good to say about her other than ooh such diva confidence.

      Shameful and embarrassing. Doesn't look right at all.

      March 4, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Whitney

    I absolutley love Scotty McCreery! Anyone with a voice like thar will not even have to win to become a big recording artist!! Lauren Alania is awsome as well! My facs are Scotty, Lauren, Karen, Pia & Hailey & James. They are all very talented, but :aren and Scotty are the best out of them all, in my opinion. I am definatley not a fan of Naima, she cant really sing and I dont think Robbie can either. This year should be exciting, I love the judges as well!

    March 4, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Be Quiet

      Scotty stinks. That whole "good old country boy" act is so fake. His true colors came out during the group week episode. He is fake fake fake and I hope he goes first. All he can do is sing deep country randy travis songs. If I hear the intro "close them doors and turn the lights down low..." ONE more time I may puke.

      Naima, on the other hand, is awesome! I think she'll make it to the final four at least. Get it girl, your hometown is behind you!

      March 4, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • widlcardbad

      I actually didn't think Naima did too badly.

      It's a shame Julie Zorilla made such a bad song choice.

      Glad Hailey made it. I don't know what the heck is up with Randy Jackson getting all over her. Absurd. I think he has lost it.

      They need to go back to the old method. The instant cut down is too harsh and sudden and the judges did weird things with it on top of that.

      March 4, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • widlcardbad

      "If I hear the intro "close them doors and turn the lights down low..." ONE more time I may puke."

      haha, have to agree there!!!!!!

      It's hard for me to judge him in general though. I don't really like country music for the most part and his sort of thing maybe even less so but for he probably actually is quite good if you do go for that sort of music. (tha said, the somewhat country-based Kendra did blow me away a bit there last night, a crime she got sent home considering)

      March 4, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  11. AuntieMame

    I think the audience got it right. I think the best 10 were chosen, all except for maybe Scotty. I think he may be one of the first to get sent home. Agreed with Naima and Ashton for the wildcards, but it was a very hard choice between two of the three guys chosen to sing for wildcard. Glad Brett Lowenstern is gone. I had enough of him a few weeks ago. So much talent in this year's crop of singers. This is going to be an exciting season. And, as you know, they don't even have to win AI. If they make it into the top 5, they will be alright.

    March 4, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  12. MeNBe

    Love it! Love it! Love it! I thought AI was all but gone, but this season is the best yet. I absolutely love Steven Tyler and the connection between the three judges is what's making this show such a success. I'll be watching all season. My fave is Scotty, I love country music!

    March 4, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  13. JARED

    This is just the most racist show on tv today. Why havent they invited Charlie Sheen or LiLo to be judges ? I bet Charlie Sheen would be funny. They are just trying to keep us white folks down.

    March 4, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  14. WesFlash

    McCreery has a throwback country sound similar in ways to Randy Travis. There has to be some material written for him he never recorded sitting on a shelf somewhere that McCreery can whip out a record with in a hurry. His deep baritone/ bass vocals won't work in popular music, but can shine in country. It doesn't matter when he get's cut, he's got a record coming out in his future. Lauren Alaina is more versatile than just singing country, but she has enough of that twang, if you will, that at 16 she's going to have an opportunity in country too since she is likely to get better than she is now.
    Thia's voice has grown since she was on America's Got Talent, so she might be the best of the group to put several albums out and sell more albums than the eventual winner if you look 5 or 10 years in the future. She probably won't win the whole thing as others have more versatility and polish right now, but if she grows from week to week, she might end up in the final two with that chance to win it all.
    Just remember that not winning AI is not a curse. Jennifer Hudson and Chris Daughtry are doing just fine and Josh Gracin put a song or two on the country charts as well.

    March 4, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • music fan

      Agreed WesFlash
      ... if I was a Nashville producer, I'd have that cowboy McCreery on speed dial and the minute he exits AI, get him into Studio B over on Music Row.
      ... yur right, some of the late "losers" on AI have done very well, thank you very much.

      March 4, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  15. music fan

    Don't know if Scotty McCreery will be the American Idol winner, given he's a country singer.
    However, you could record some tracks today, put 'em on iTunes and have a hit.

    March 4, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Victor

    This show is still on TV?

    March 4, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • michael

      yes victor, it is still on tv. and if you saw this weeks shows, you would also realize that the contestants (as a group) are so much better. More talented than previous years. the show is actually better than the last couple of years. hopefully they keep it that way by continuing to focus more on the talented contestants, less on the judges and host (which can be annoying given their propensity for self-promotion), and cutting down on the fillers.

      March 4, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Didimark

    Pliny – Steve Tyler IS a rock star...

    March 4, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  18. dixick

    One reason I tune in is to see what Steven Tyler is wearing. Is someone missing a fushia tank?

    March 4, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Pliny

    How many people does it take to 'dress' Steve Tyler?

    I mean...does this guy have ANY clothing that doesn't look like it came off a manaquin in the Twilight Zone?

    His look is the OPPOSITE of 'effortless'. It is forced. It is contrived. It is totally show. It has no sincerity. It has no uniqueness. It is like he never stopped being a teenage-boy...posing in front of a mirror, pretending to be a rock-star.

    March 4, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Sasha

    For the first time in a while I have no big complaints about the resulting cast. I think everyone selected was dead on. Kudos for AI for skipping ahead to the logical conclusion. However its thinly veiled attempt at beating out DWTS for ratings this year. But whatever

    March 4, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  21. milwaukeefan

    Go Naima!!!

    March 4, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  22. thelepps

    Naima Adedapo so far is one of the best singers on that show and she gets a wild card.well remember what new york did a few years ago in the super bowl they came in as a wild card and won the whole thing go on naima

    March 4, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Be Quiet

      ...or what Green Bay did THIS year! Superbowl champs!

      Go Naima! Milwaukee has known what a star you are for years!

      March 4, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Superhiro

    Whoopidy Doo...

    March 4, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • b=dog

      In all fairness, the audience would stand up and clap at anything.... they could take a dump in the middle of the stage and the audience would go nuts

      March 4, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |

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