Next week, the 24 contestants will be split into two groups – 12 males and 12 females – who will each perform a song of his or her choice for America. The fate of these 24 semifinalists – one of whom will be the next American Idol – now rests in the viewers’ hands. See what happens when the competition heats up, nerves rattle and contestants shine or fizzle out on the season’s first performance shows. The Top 12 male singers will perform Tuesday, Feb. 19 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and the Top 12 female singers will perform Wednesday, Feb. 20 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.
At the end of the show, the phone lines will open for at least two hours and AMERICAN IDOL viewers will vote for their favorite contestant(s). Fans can use the branded toll-free telephone numbers (1-866-IDOLS-01, -02, etc.) until 12:00 AM ET/PT (11:00 PM CT/MT), subject to time zone restrictions, or AT&T wireless subscribers can use their cell phones to text vote by texting the word “vote” to the four-digit short number (5701, 5702, etc.) representing the contestant of their choice for two hours at the end of the show in their region. Then tune in to see who America picks to continue in the competition when two guys and two girls are eliminated on the first results show of Season Seven Thursday, Feb. 21 (8:00-9:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) on FOX.
Meet AMERICAN IDOL Top Semifinalists:
Male singers scheduled to perform Tuesday, Feb. 19 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) include:
David Archuleta (17) – Born in Miami, FL, but grew up in Murray, UT. Archuleta began singing at age 7. Currently a junior at Murray High School, he has performed with an a cappella choir group and plays the piano.
Colton Berry (18) – Currently lives in Staunton, VA. Berry is a senior at Wilson Memorial High School. He began singing in church when he was 5 years old. Active in community theatre, he also mentors children in a music class at a local elementary school.
Robbie Carrico (26) – Currently lives in Melbourne, FL. Carrico began singing at age 16. He has been a member of two groups, Boyz IV Girlz and Missing Picket. Before auditioning for AMERICAN IDOL, he was working as a painter with his father. In his spare time, Carrico enjoys racing cars.
Jason Castro (20) – Currently lives in Rockwall, TX, but was born in Dallas and raised in Rowlett, TX. Castro grew up playing drums and played in a band called Keeping Lions. Before auditioning for AMERICAN IDOL, Castro was majoring in Construction Science at Texas A&M University.
David Cook (25) – Currently lives in Tulsa, OK, but grew up in Blue Springs, MO. Cook was born in Houston and graduated from Central Missouri State University in 2006. He has been singing since he was in the 2nd grade and also plays the guitar. Cook was a member of two bands, Axium and MWK.
Chikezie Eze (22) – Currently lives in Inglewood, CA. Eze began singing when he was 13 years old. Before auditioning for AMERICAN IDOL, he was a T.S.A. (Transportation Security Administration) screener and a cashier. He also studied singing at Santa Monica College.
Garrett Haley (17) – Currently lives in Elida, OH, but spent his early years in Alamosa, CO. Haley is a junior at Elida High School. He began singing in elementary school and has performed in local talent shows and high school musicals.
David Hernandez (24) – Born and raised in Glendale, AZ. Hernandez began singing at age 6. He has performed at Urban Network Events, “Arizona Idol” and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Parade. He has been a member of the bands Tribét and Straight Up.
Michael Johns (29) – Currently lives in Los Angeles, but was born in Perth, Australia. Johns moved to the U.S. in 1998 to attend Abraham Baldwin Agriculture College in Tifton, GA, then moved to Buckhead, GA outside of Atlanta to pursue singing. Johns began singing at the age of 5 and also plays the guitar. He was a member of a band called The Rising.
Luke Menard (29) – Born and raised in Crawfordsville, IN. Menard began singing when he was a freshman in high school. He earned a B.A. in Communications from Millikin University in Decatur, IL, and worked for a finance company in Chicago. After realizing that was not the job for him, Menard began touring with an a cappella group called Chapter 6.
Danny Noriega (18) – Currently lives in Azusa, CA. Noriega has been singing his entire life. Prior to auditioning for AMERICAN IDOL, Noriega had recently graduated from high school. In his spare time he likes to dance and make people laugh. He also loves animals.
Jason Yeager (28) – Currently resides in Branson, MO, although his hometown is Grand Prairie, TX. Yeager began singing when he was 2 years old. He was a member of a boy band called True This. He also plays guitar, piano and drums.
Female singers scheduled to perform Wednesday, Feb. 20 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) include:
Joanne Borgella (25) – Currently lives in Hoboken, NJ, although born and raised in NY. Borgella has been singing since she was 3 years old. Before auditioning for IDOL, she was a plus size model. In her spare time she makes jewelry and designs clothes.
Kristy Lee Cook (24) – Currently lives in Selma, OR, but was born in Seattle, WA. Cook has sung for crowds since she was 13 years old. Prior to auditioning for AMERICAN IDOL, Cook raised and trained horses. She plays the piano and was a member of the band Sixshooter.
Amy Davis (25) – Currently lives in Cedar Lake, IN, but was raised in Lowell, IN. Davis is a graduate student at Purdue University where she previously earned a B.S. in Horticulture. She began singing for her family at age 5 and has since performed with numerous groups, including the Amy Davis Trio and Echoes of Pompeii, a Pink Floyd tribute band.
Asia’h Epperson (19) – Born and raised in Joplin, MO. Epperson has been singing since she was 3 years old. Before IDOL, she was a waitress at two restaurants in Joplin. In her spare time, Epperson enjoys dancing and acting and also has a passion for makeup and fashion.
Alexandréa Lushington (17) – Currently lives in Douglasville, GA. Lushington began singing in her grandfather’s church when she was just 2 years old. She is currently a junior at Douglas County High School, where she sings in the school choir and is a member of the drama club. Lushington also plays the piano.
Kady Malloy (18) – Born and raised in Houston, TX. Malloy started singing as soon as she could talk. Before auditioning for AMERICAN IDOL, she was singing in local restaurants and attending community college. Malloy has a knack for vocal impressions and also plays the tambourine.
Ramiele Malubay (20) – Currently lives in Miramar, FL. Malubay was born in Saudi Arabia and spent her early years in the Philippines. She has been singing since she was 12 years old. Before IDOL, she was attending school and was a hostess at a local sushi restaurant. She also plays the piano and guitar.
Syesha Mercado (21) – Currently lives in Miami, although she grew up in Sarasota, FL. Mercado was a member of The Drum Studio All-Stars band and has a strong background in theatre and dancing. She began singing when she was 3 years old.
Amanda Overmyer (23) – Raised and currently lives in Mulberry, IN. Overmyer is a health-care specialist and is earning a bachelor’s degree in business management. She was lead singer for the band Steeleto. In her spare time, Overmyer loves riding her motorcycle.
Carly Smithson (24) – Currently lives in San Diego, CA, but was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland. Smithson made her singing debut in “Les Misérables” at the Olympic Theatre in Dublin. Smithson moved to Los Angeles at age 13 to pursue her singing career. Before auditioning for AMERICAN IDOL, she was working in a bar and running a tattoo shop with her husband.
Alaina Whitaker (16) – Born and raised in Tulsa, OK. Whitaker began singing at age 4. Currently a junior at Metro Christian Academy, she has performed at festivals throughout Oklahoma and at school functions.
Brooke White (24) – Currently lives in Van Nuys, CA, but grew up in Mesa, AZ. Before auditioning for IDOL, White was a nanny. She has performed as a solo artist with a backup band. White began singing at age 15 and also plays the piano and guitar.