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[03/05/09 - 09:01 PM]
American Idol Announces First-Ever Top 13
FOX details the latest "American Idol" elimination.

[via press release from FOX]

"AMERICAN IDOL" ANNOUNCES FIRST-EVER TOP 13

WILD CARD CONTESTANTS JASMINE MURRAY, MEGAN JOY CORKREY, MATT GIRAUD AND ANOOP DESAI ADVANCE

TOP 13 FINALISTS PERFORM LIVE TUESDAY, MARCH 10, ON FOX

KELLY CLARKSON AND KANYE WEST TO PERFORM DURING LIVE RESULTS SHOW WEDNESDAY, MARCH 11

Tonight, in a surprising "Wild Card" episode, it was revealed that Jasmine Murray from Starkville, MS; Megan Joy Corkrey from Sandy, UT; Matt Giraud from Kalamazoo, MI; and Anoop Desai from Chapel Hill, NC, were chosen by the AMERICAN IDOL judges to advance in the competition and join Kris Allen, Danny Gokey, Alexis Grace, Allison Iraheta, Adam Lambert, Scott MacIntyre, Jorge Nu�ez, Lil Rounds and Michael Sarver in the AMERICAN IDOL Top 13. This is the first time in IDOL history that 13 finalists have been chosen to compete for the title of the next American Idol.

Next week America's Top 13 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 13 finalists perform live Tuesday, March 10 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) on FOX. Tune in the following night Wednesday, March 11 (9:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) to the live results show to see Kelly Clarkson perform her smash single "My Life Would Suck Without You," watch Kanye West entertain the audience with his hit "Heartless" and find out who receives enough votes to stay in the competition and who is sent home.

The AMERICAN IDOL Top 13 finalists are:

Kris Allen (23) � Currently lives in Conway, AR, but grew up in Jacksonville, AR. Allen is a student at the University of Central Arkansas. He has been singing and playing the guitar since he was 13 years old.

Megan Joy Corkrey (23) � Corkrey lives in Sandy, UT, with her 2-year-old son, Ryder. She has been singing since age 3, and is a self-professed "foodie."

Anoop Desai (22) � Born and raised in Chapel Hill, NC. Desai is working on his master's degree at the University of North Carolina. During his undergraduate years, he was a member of the UNC Clef Hangers, an a cappella group.

Matt Giraud (23) � Currently lives in Kalamazoo, MI, but grew up in Ypsilanti, MI. Giraud is a life-long resident of Michigan who graduated from Western Michigan University in 2007. He sings and plays piano in local clubs and hotels.

Danny Gokey (28) � Raised and currently lives in Milwaukee, WI. Gokey is the president and founder of a non-profit organization. In addition to singing, he plays the piano and loves salsa dancing.

Alexis Grace (21) � Born and raised in Memphis, TN. Grace has been singing since she was 7 years old. She was a member of the Concert Choir at the University of Memphis, and enjoys dancing, playing the guitar and taking care of her daughter.

Allison Iraheta (16) � Currently lives in Downey, CA, but originally from Los Angeles, CA. Iraheta is a junior in high school who began singing at age 5. She also enjoys playing the guitar.

Adam Lambert (27) � Lambert grew up in San Diego but currently lives in Hollywood. He began singing at age 10, and has been involved with musical theater for the past eight years.

Scott MacIntyre (23) � Born and raised in Scottsdale, AZ. MacIntyre earned his bachelor's degree from Arizona State University at age 19, and attended graduate school in London, England. He also plays piano, guitar and drums.

Jasmine Murray (17) � Murray lives in Starkville, MS, and attends The Mississippi School of the Arts. She loves being on stage and has been singing since she was 3 years old.

Jorge Nu�ez (21) � Currently resides in Carolina, Puerto Rico, but originally from Cidra, Puerto Rico. Nu�ez is in his fourth year at the University of Puerto Rico, R�o Piedras. In addition to English and Spanish, Nu�ez is also fluent in French.

Lil Rounds (24) � Rounds was raised and currently lives in Memphis, TN, with her husband and three children. Music has always been a part of her life, and she began singing when she was 3 years old.

Michael Sarver (27) � Raised and currently lives in Jasper, TX. Sarver is married with two children and works on an oil rig. He has always dreamed of being a singer/songwriter. Sarver also plays the piano, drums and guitar.

AMERICAN IDOL is created and executive-produced by Simon Fuller, founder of 19 Entertainment; and executive-produced by Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO, FremantleMedia North America; and Ken Warwick, executive producer, FremantleMedia North America.

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 foxflash.com.





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· AMERICAN IDOL (ABC)





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