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[03/10/05 - 12:00 AM]
America Has ChoseN. Top 12 Finalists Revealed as Amanda Avila, Janay Castine, Nikko Smith and Travis Tucker Are Eliminated from the 'American Idol' Competition

[via press release from FOX]

AMERICA HAS CHOSEN� TOP 12 FINALISTS REVEALED AS AMANDA AVILA, JANAY CASTINE, NIKKO SMITH AND TRAVIS TUCKER ARE ELIMINATED FROM THE "AMERICAN IDOL" COMPETITION

THE COUNTDOWN TO THE NEXT AMERICAN IDOL CONTINUES; NEXT WEEK GUYS AND GIRLS COMPETE TOGETHER ON "AMERICAN IDOL" TUESDAY, MARCH 15, ON FOX One Finalist Will Be Sent Home on Wednesday, March 16

The No. 1 show on television continued its phenomenal season last night, when the Top 12 finalists were revealed on AMERICAN IDOL. A record number of votes were cast this week, as America made its decision on who should go and who should remain in the quest to join past winners Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard and Fantasia Barrino. It was revealed that the journey ended for four semifinalists, including Amanda Avila, Janay Castine, Nikko Smith and Travis Tucker, after they received the lowest number of votes. Avila, from Las Vegas, NV, sang "River Deep, Mountain High," while Castine, of Lawrenceville, GA, performed "Dreaming of You." Smith, who currently lives in Town & Country, MO, entertained the audience with "Georgia on My Mind," and Tucker, from Manassas, VA, sang "Every Little Step."

Next week, the competition heats up when the guys (Bo Bice, Anthony Fedorov, Constantine Maroulis, Anwar Robinson, Scott Savol, Mario Vazquez) and the girls (Lindsey Cardinale, Mikalah Gordon, Jessica Sierra, Vonzell Solomon, Nadia Turner, Carrie Underwood) compete head-to-head for the first time for the AMERICAN IDOL crown. They will take the stage together, singing for America, on Monday, March 15 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT). Tune in the following night to see who America has chosen to stay and who is sent home on the live results show Wednesday, March 16 (9:00-9:30 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) on FOX.

Meet Your 12 Finalists:

ANTHONY FEDOROV - (19) From Trevose, PA (Auditioned in Cleveland) - Born in the Ukraine, Anthony Fedorov is in his third semester at Bucks County Community College near Trevose, PA, and is pursuing his singing career in New York City. On weekends, you can find Anthony performing in Brooklyn at Tatiana's. Anthony is a ballad singer who loves to be active and enjoys playing various sports.

ANWAR F. ROBINSON - (25) From Elizabeth, NJ (Auditioned in DC) - Anwar F. Robinson has been singing from a young age and was a member of the Newark Boys' Chorus, which traveled to Prague to perform and also performed at the second inauguration of President Bill Clinton. After high school, he attended Westminster Choir College of Ryder University, where he earned a degree in music education. He currently teaches vocal music at Thomas Edison Middle School in West Orange, NJ. Anwar is a member of a group called The Perfect Combination, which performs at weddings and office events in the tri-state area. Other accomplishments include an appearance on the "Emeril Live Christmas Special" and providing piano accompaniment for Patti La Belle on her cooking show pilot.

BO BICE - (29) From Helena, AL (Auditioned in Orlando) - Bo Bice is a native of Alabama and currently lives in Birmingham, AL. He has performed in shows all across the USA, UK and Ireland after starting his career at the age of 9 in a local school competition. Bo has performed with many bands, which helped mold him into the singer he is today. He has opened for Blackfoot and Warrant, and has performed live and recorded with Jonny Neal of the Allman Brothers.

CARRIE UNDERWOOD - (21) From Checotah, OK (Auditioned in St. Louis) - Carrie Underwood, who was born and raised in Checotah, OK, has spent her entire life on a farm. Currently, Carrie is a senior at Northeastern State University, studying mass communications. Carrie is the youngest of three sisters and plays guitar and piano. She loves animals and rescues strays.

CONSTANTINE MAROULIS - (29) From New York, NY (Auditioned in DC) - Born in Brooklyn, NY, Constantine graduated from the Boston Conservatory and has a hard rock band in New York City called Pray for the Soul of Betty. Constantine has studied classical acting, music, dance and voice. He also apprenticed at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. For the 2003/2004 season, Constantine toured with the international production of "Rent," playing the lead character named "Roger."

JESSICA SIERRA - (19) From Tampa, FL (Auditioned in Orlando) - Jessica Sierra began her singing career at 3 years of age by emulating her grandmother, whom she has named her American Idol. Jessica was born and raised in Tampa, FL, and has been working as a live-in nanny for the past year. She has performed at talent shows, corporate events and in church, and has been a member of Entertainment Revue.

LINDSEY CARDINALE - (20) From Ponchatoula, LA (Auditioned in New Orleans) - Lindsey Cardinale is currently a student Southeastern Louisiana University. She has been performing since she was 12 years old in school shows, benefits, fairs, festivals and weddings. Lindsey also plays the guitar, piano and drums. In her off time, Lindsey enjoys riding horses, four-wheelers, knee boarding, hunting and fishing.

MARIO VAZQUEZ - (27) From New York, NY (Auditioned in Las Vegas) - Mario Vazquez was born and raised in New York City. While attending La Guardia High School, he was a member of the City Kids Repertory Group (an urban youth empowerment group), which traveled the city to educate urban youths through the arts. Currently, he works with emerging artists within the New York music world.

MIKALAH GORDON - (17) From Las Vegas, NV (Auditioned in Las Vegas) - Mikalah Gordon started her career in the bathtub at the tender age of 18 months. She is currently a junior at Cimarron-Memorial High School and enjoys cheerleading, dancing and acting - but she's not a drama queen. In 2000, Mikalah, with the Helen Joy Young Entertainers, performed for President Clinton at the White House.

NADIA TURNER - (28) From Miami, FL (Auditioned in Orlando) - Nadia Turner recently studied advertising and psychology at Florida International University. Presently, Nadia is a bartender/waitress at Oxygen Lounge, while also performing at church functions. Nadia is a member of the Tool Box group, a rock/soul Christian band that tours churches and charity groups. In her spare time, Nadia enjoys black-and-white photography, bowling, roller skating and playing cards.

SCOTT SAVOL - (28) From Shaker Heights, OH (Auditioned in Cleveland) - Born and raised in Cleveland, Scott Savol, the second of four children, has been singing since he was 5 years old. He is the proud father of 4-year-old Brandon Scott Savol. Scott also plays the trumpet and knows his way around the piano. He has performed at city festivals and church and school functions.

VONZELL SOLOMON - (20) From Ft. Meyers, FL (Auditioned in Orlando) - Vonzell was born in Baxley, GA, and moved to Fort Myers, FL, when she was a few months old. She went to Cypress Lake Center for the Arts high school and has recorded a CD. Vonzell has one sister and two brothers. Her dad is a martial arts instructor and Vonzell is a black belt in sembact martial arts (a combination of karate, jujitsu and tae kwon do).

Eight-time Emmy-nominated AMERICAN IDOL is created and executive-produced by Simon Fuller, founder of 19 Television; and executive-produced by Cecile Frot-Coutaz, Chief Operating Officer, Production, FremantleMedia North America, Inc.; Nigel Lythgoe, President, 19 Television; and Ken Warwick, Executive Producer, FremantleMedia North America, Inc.

Go to www.idolonfox.com for all of your AMERICAN IDOL news and tickets to the show. Check out the photos from the different audition cities, along with special, behind-the-scenes information on AMERICAN IDOL.





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· AMERICAN IDOL (ABC)





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