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[03/06/08 - 09:00 PM]
Top 12 American Idol Finalists Announced; Kady Malloy, Luke Menard, Asia'H Epperson and Danny Noriega Are Eliminated from Competition
FOX details the latest "American Idol" elimination.

[via press release from FOX]

TOP 12 AMERICAN IDOL FINALISTS ANNOUNCED; KADY MALLOY, LUKE MENARD, ASIA'H EPPERSON AND DANNY NORIEGA ARE ELIMINATED FROM COMPETITION

FINALISTS PERFORM LIVE TUESDAY, MARCH 11, ON FOX; RESULTS SHOW AIRS LIVE WEDNESDAY, MARCH 12

Tonight the AMERICAN IDOL results show revealed America's choice for the Top 12 finalists as four semifinalists � two guys and two girls � were eliminated from the competition. Over 36 million votes were cast this week following Tuesday and Wednesday's performance shows. The AMERICAN IDOL journey has ended for Kady Malloy, who sang "Who Wants To Live Forever," and hails from Houston, TX. Luke Menard, from Crawfordsville, IN, performed "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go." Asia'h Epperson, of Joplin, MO, sang "I Wanna Dance With Somebody;" and Danny Noriega, a resident of Azusa, CA, entertained the audience with "Tainted Love."

Next week America's Top 12 (Amanda Overmyer, Brooke White, Carly Smithson, Chikezie, David Archuleta, David Cook, David Hernandez, Jason Castro, Kristy Lee Cook, Michael Johns, Ramiele Malubay and Syesha Mercado) will take the stage for the first time and battle it out for the IDOL crown. A new IDOL stage will be revealed when the Top 12 finalists perform live Tuesday, March 11 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) on FOX. Tune in the following night to see who receives enough votes to stay in the competition and who is sent home on the live results show Wednesday, March 12 (9:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) on FOX.

TOP 12 FINALISTS:

Amanda Overmyer (23) � Raised and currently lives in Mulberry, IN. Overmyer is a health-care specialist and is earning a bachelor's degree in business management. In her spare time, Overmyer loves riding her motorcycle.

Brooke White (24) � Currently lives in Van Nuys, CA, but grew up in Mesa, AZ. Before auditioning for IDOL, White was a nanny. White began singing at age 15 and also plays the piano and guitar.

Carly Smithson (24) � Currently lives in San Diego, CA, but was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland. Smithson moved to Los Angeles at age 13 to pursue her singing career. Before auditioning for AMERICAN IDOL, she was working in a bar and running a tattoo shop with her husband.

Chikezie (22) � Currently lives in Inglewood, CA. He began singing when he was 13 years old. Before auditioning for AMERICAN IDOL, he was a T.S.A. (Transportation Security Administration) screener and a cashier. He also studied singing at Santa Monica College.

David Archuleta (17) � Born in Miami, FL, but grew up in Murray, UT. Archuleta began singing at age 7. Currently a junior at Murray High School, he has performed with an a cappella choir group and plays the piano.

David Cook (25) � Currently lives in Tulsa, OK, but grew up in Blue Springs, MO. Cook was born in Houston and graduated from Central Missouri State University in 2006. He has been singing since he was in the 2nd grade and also plays the guitar.

David Hernandez (24) � Born and raised in Glendale, AZ. Hernandez began singing at age 6. He has previously performed at various events in Arizona.

Jason Castro (20) � Currently lives in Rockwall, TX, but was born in Dallas and raised in Rowlett, TX. Castro grew up playing drums and before auditioning for AMERICAN IDOL, Castro was majoring in Construction Science at Texas A&M University.

Kristy Lee Cook (24) � Currently lives in Selma, OR, but was born in Seattle, WA. Cook has sung for crowds since she was 13 years old. Prior to auditioning for AMERICAN IDOL, Cook raised and trained horses.

Michael Johns (29) � Currently lives in Los Angeles, but was born in Perth, Australia. Johns moved to the U.S. in 1998 to attend Abraham Baldwin Agriculture College in Tifton, GA, then moved to Buckhead, GA, outside of Atlanta to pursue singing. Johns began singing at the age of 5 and also plays the guitar.

Ramiele Malubay (20) � Currently lives in Miramar, FL. Malubay was born in Saudi Arabia and spent her early years in the Philippines. She has been singing since she was 12 years old. Before IDOL, she was attending school and was a hostess at a local sushi restaurant. She also plays the piano and guitar.

Syesha Mercado (21) � Currently lives in Miami, although she grew up in Sarasota, FL. Mercado began singing when she was 3 years old and has a strong background in theatre and dancing.

AMERICAN IDOL is created and executive-produced by Simon Fuller, founder and CEO of 19 Entertainment; and executive-produced by Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO, FremantleMedia North America, Inc.; Nigel Lythgoe, President, 19 Television; and Ken Warwick, Executive Producer, FremantleMedia North America, Inc.

Visit americanidol.com for exclusive videos, interviews and photos of the top 24 as well as special behind-the-scenes information and all of your AMERICAN IDOL news. For all photo requests, please go to www.foxflash.com.





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· AMERICAN IDOL (ABC)





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