Tears of joy and grief gush as 12 men and 12 women are picked for the semifinals

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated February 17, 2005 08:00 AM

There was high drama Wednesday night on American Idol, as the “talent” pool of 42 hopefuls was whittled down to 12 men and 12 women in do-or-die decisions by judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson.

If there was a dramatic highpoint for a wannbe’s lowpoint, it was provided by Faith Gatewood, who did not take kindly to her rejection. Wailing that she had nothing to fall back on, Faith wiped away tears as she turned her back on the trio of judges and entered the elevator – only to end up on the wrong floor.

Upset over all that had transpired, she then bid farewell to fellow aspirants with accusations, saying that she didn’t understand why this had happened, because, she complained, she had been so nice to everybody.

So distraught was Faith that, once she left the building, show host Ryan Seacrest chased her down in the street to calm her down.

Next week, Idol – which was last week’s No. 1 rated show, even bettering the viewership of CSI, according to the Nielsens – will be stretched out to three episodes, with the men competing on Monday, the women on Tuesday, and the results revealed on Wednesday.

And the male semifinalists are: Bo Bice, 29, Helena, Ala; David Brown, 20, New Orleans; Anthony Fedoroz, 19, Trevose, Pa.; Judd Harris, 27, New York; Constantine Maroulis, 29, New York; Joseph Murena, 26, Smithtown, N.Y.; Anwar Robinson, 25, Elizabeth, N.J.; Scott Savol, 28, Shaker Heights, Ohio; Nikko Smith, 22, Town & Country, Mo.; Travis Tucker, 21, Manassas, Va.; Mario Vazquez, 27, New York; Jared Yates, 18, Danville, Ill.

The women: Amanda Avila, 23, Las Vegas; Celena Rae, 29, Fort Worth; Lindsey Cardinale, Ponchatoula, La.; Janay Castine, Lawrenceville, Ga.; Mikalah Gordon, 17, Las Vegas; Melinda Lira, 19, Hanford, Calif.; Sarah Mather, 22, Wilmington, N.C.; Aloha Mischeaux, 18, St. Louis; Jessica Sierra, 19, Tampa; Vonzell Solomon, 20, Fort Myers, Fla.; Nadia Turner, 28, Miami; Carrie Underwood, 21, Checotah, Okla.