American Idol 7 finds its top 12

American Idol 7 eliminated four contestants last night to find its top 12. The top 12 are David Archuleta, Jason Castro, Chikezie, David Cook, Kristy Lee Cook, David Hernandez, Michael Johns, Ramiele Malubay, Syesha Mercado, Amanda Overmyer, Carly Smithson, and Brooke White.

Eliminated were Asia’h Epperson, Kady Malloy, Luke Menard, and Danny Noriega.

With that final elimination, the show took one step away from having an openly gay finalist, as Danny was the only confirmed gay contestant. “One of our most courageous performers ever, I think, on American Idol,” Ryan Seacrest said, referring to (what else?) Danny’s flamboyance.

Meanwhile, Paula Abdul did her best to try to inject a bit more drama, spending half the show standing up. “She wants to go to the bathroom,” Simon Cowell said at one point. Paula started bawling when Asia’h was eliminated, and after Asai’h sang, Paula shouted, “That was the best vocal you ever did!” But Paula, that was not the best crazy you ever brought, so you’d better step it up for the finals, or we’re going to vote you out.

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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, 37, 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.