The American Idol judges repeatedly said how difficult it was, how this was their hardest day, how much it “sucked” to make the tough decisions.
But just imagine how the 42 remaining contestants felt as they waited to hear whether they’d be performing in the live shows next week as part of season 11’s top 24.
Well, there was good news and bad news. Keep reading to find out the results revealed on Wednesday’s episode.
While some – like Lauren Gray, Neco Starr and Richie Law – were eliminated from the competition, these 14 lucky singers advanced, leaving 10 spots to fill on Thursday’s show:
1. Jen Hirsh: Randy Jackson called the winery worker “one of the best singers this year.”
2. Creighton Fraker: The “starving artist,” who grew up a preacher’s son, was inspired to audition by his birth father, the lead singer of a heavy metal band.
3. Joshua Ledet: Being send home “would crush me,” he said before hearing the good news. He praised Jesus and shouted, “Hallelujah.”
4. Haley Johnsen: “My biggest goal in this whole competition was being able break out of my shyness and gain confidence,” she said.
5. Elise Testone: “You’re one of the best singers we’ve seen,” Randy told her. “This is my time,” she said, “I just feel it in my heart.”
6. Reed Grimm: “My whole life has been a dream to perform for the world,” the lifelong performer, who played the drums in his final performance, said.
7. Erika van Pelt: “We had a lot of people who didn’t do as amazing as we thought they were going to do. Unfortunately, you were one of those people,” Jennifer Lopez said, before telling her, “We’re going to take one more chance on you.”
8. Chelsea Sorrell: “It will mean everything to me if they tell me I made top 24,” said the Carrie Underwood fan, who always wanted to be a mom and a country singer.
9. Baylie Brown: “With my music I feel like I’ve matured a lot,” said Brown, who first auditioned for Idol five years ago. “Baylie is back,” Randy told her.
10. Heejun Han: “Whenever I’m on stage I’m so nervous but whenever I’m singing I feel like I know someone else is coming into my body,” he told the judges.
11. Jessica Sanchez: “My mom is unemployed because of my music career,” the 16-year-old said. “I’m tired of seeing my family struggle.”
12. Phil Phillips: The judges praised the pawnshop worker’s unique style but Randy said, “you never know how that’s going to play in front of everyone else.”
13. Colton Dixon: He only showed up for auditions to support his sister Skylar, but she was eliminated in Las Vegas and he’ll be moving on to the live shows. “I’ve got an amazing big brother,” Skylar said.
14. Brielle von Hugel: “This just proved to me that this is my life and I’m doing it,” she said with confidence.
And finally, Adam Brock broke down in tears, telling the judges, “I have to sing. It’s where my joy comes from. It’s how I know God blessed me.” Randy said the decision about him was not unanimous … but we’ll have to wait to find out about him until Thursday, when the remaining 10 spots in the top 24 are revealed.