Michael Becker / Fox
The usual combination of yes, yes and wha-huh? ensued on American Idol tonight.
After another hit-or-(terribly)-miss performance night, the voting public lofted another three hopefuls into the upper echelons of Idoldom, aka the Top 12.
We had high hopes for Allison Iraheta, Megan Corkrey, Adam Lambert, Jesse Langseth and a couple others. But with only a few slots to fill, we were going to have to be wrong about some people.
Well, yeah, we were wrong. And yet right at the same time!
A big voice in a small package, 16-year-old Allison, singlehandedly woke up the judges, who had been sinking into their chairs under the weight of bad song choices, when she boomed out "Alone."
Her mature performance scored her tonight's first ticket into the Top 12 when Ryan Seacrest started the reaping and sowing.
Adam, with his David Cook-reminiscent hairdo and theatrical but inviting stage presence, was also a near sure thing—and sure enough, to his and our "Satisfaction," America agreed.
We had been thinking the third slot would go to one of the ladies—Megan, Jesse or Mishavonna Henson, perhaps.
But it was Kris Allen, aided by darn good looks, sheer likeability and potential—his "Man in the Mirror" was better the second time around, minus the nerves— who filled the final slot.
Minus the six slots that will be filled in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, the judges finally admitted out loud that they would be picking a few of their favorite for the upcoming Wild Card sing-off, to take place March 5.
"Maybe even a couple from tonight you're going to see again," teased Simon Cowell.
The last group of semifinalists—Arianna Afsar, the lucky Felicia Barton, Kendall Beard, Ju'Not Joyner, Nathaniel Marshall, Kristen McNamara, Lil Rounds, Scott MacIntyre, Jorge Nuñez, Von Smith, Taylor Vaifanua and Alex Wagner-Trugman—take the stage next Wednesday.
(Originally published Feb. 26, 2009, at 6:33 p.m. PT)