American Idol unveils its top 24, an older and less southern group

“Now, it’s up to you, America,” Ryan Seacrest said at the conclusion of last night’s abbreviated Hollywood round. Almost a month after the show debuted, the show has its 24 semi-finalists, and viewers now get to vote.

Overall, this group is much older and much less southern. Only three are under the age of 20, and eight are 27 or older. If we include Texas, Florida, and Virginia as the south (which is arguable), only seven are from the South; without those three states, just three are from the south. By contrast, 11 are from California, Washington, and Massachusetts. This may be the year that American Idol‘s winner is not a southerner.

Here are the final 24:

  • Alaina Alexander, 24, West Hollywood, Calif.
  • Amy Krebs, 22, Federal Way, Wash.
  • Antonella Barba, 20, Point Pleasant, N.J.
  • Gina Glocksen, 22, Naperville, Ill.
  • Haley Scarnato, 24, San Antonio, Texas
  • Jordin Sparks, 17, Glendale, Ariz.
  • LaKisha Jones, 27, Fort Meade, Md.
  • Leslie Hunt, 24, Chicago, Ill.
  • Melinda Doolittle, 29, Brentwood, Tenn.
  • Nicole Tranquillo, 20, Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Sabrina Sloan, 27, Studio City, Calif.
  • Stephanie Edwards, 19, Savannah, Ga.
  • AJ Tabaldo, 22, Santa Maria, Calif.
  • Blake Lewis, 25, Bothell, Wash.
  • Brandon Rogers, 28, North Hollywood, Calif.
  • Chris Richardson, 22, Chesapeake, Va.
  • Chris Sligh, 28, Greenville, S.C.
  • Jared Cotter, 25, Kew Gardens, N.Y.
  • Nicholas Pedro, 25, Taunton, Mass.
  • Paul Kim, 25, Saratoga, Calif.
  • Phil Stacey, 29, Jacksonville, Fla.
  • Rudy Cardenas, 28, North Hollywood, Calif.
  • Sanjaya Malakar, 17, Federal Way, Wash.
  • Sundance Head, 28, Porter, Texas.
Top 24 Contestants [FOX]

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.