When is 12 really 13? When Simon Cowell, the mayor of reality television, says so. American Idol pulled a fast one on the fans last night, changing its formula ever-so-slightly by plumping up its final cast of characters by one--much like they did with the number of judges this year--in the Wild Card round.
The producers ramped up the tension and excitement with a dramatic finish when Matt Giraud (Kalamazoo, Michigan) and Anoop Desai (Chapel Hill, North Carolina) were brought up--seemingly to send one on and one home--and called Matt's name as a finalist. Anoop's legions of fans were distraught--momentarily. Their emotions flip-flopped when the powers-that-be announced that that 13 were actually advancing and gave the last ticket to Anoop.
Prior to all that drama, Starkville, Missisippi's Jasmine Murray and Sandy, Utah's Megan Joy Corkrey also advanced. Sadly or thankfully (depending on your tolerance), Tatiana Del Toro's dream ended last night, but not without the childish hysterics and buckets of tears we've become accustomed to.
After the show, Fox announced that next Wednesday's results show will feature two special guests. Rapper turned self-described messiah Kanye West will perform his hit single "Heartless," and season one Idol champ Kelly Clarkson is scheduled to belt out her latest track, "My Life Would Suck Without You."
American Idol returns next Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. for the first round of cut downs.
The final 13 American Idol finalists are:
Kris Allen / 23 / Conway, Arkansas
Megan Joy Corkrey / 23 / Sandy, Utah
Anoop Desai / 22 / Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Matt Giraud / 23 / Kalamazoo, Michigan
Danny Gokey / 28 / Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Alexis Grace / 21 / Memphis, Tennessee
Allison Iraheta / 16 / Los Angeles, California
Adam Lambert / 27 / Los Angeles, California
Scott MacIntyre / 23 / Scottsdale, Arizona
Jasmine Murray / 17 / Starksville, Mississippi
Jorge Nuñez / 21 / Carolina, Puerto Rico
Lil Rounds / 24 / Memphis, Tennessee
Michael Sarver / 27 / Jasper, Texas
Place your bets, people!