It was a big night for Tampa Bay on American Idol.
Shannon Magrane, the Tampa 16-year-old, and Jeremy Rosado, the 19-year-old from Valrico, each found a home in Idol’s Top 13 Thursday night in a dramatic results show.
Standing alongside three other female contests, Magrane wept as she talked about her journey on the show and how much she wanted to continue. Moments later, host Ryan Seacrest gave her the news she so badly wanted to hear – that she was one of the Top 10 finishers in the nationwide vote and thus safe.
Rosado had a tougher road, falling short of the Top 10 in the voting. But he was one of six wild cards selected to get another shot at singing for their Idol lives.
And the judges – especially Jennifer Lopez – raved about his emotional performance of Cary Underwood’s I Know You Won’t.
Rosado was so choked up he couldn’t get the final lyrics of the song out, but his vulnerability and powerful vocals played in his favor. He was one of three wild cards selected for the Final 13, along with falsetto master Deandre Brackensick, who gave an electrifying rendition of Georgia on My Mind, and Erika Van Pelt, who delivered an absolute knockout with her version of Lady Gaga’s Edge of Glory.
The rest of the Top 13: Hollie Cavanaugh, Colton Dixon, Heejun Han, Jermaine Jones, Skylar Laine, Joshua Ledet, Phillip Phillips, Jessica Sanchez and Elise Testone.
As with last year, record producer Jimmy Iovine played a featured role on the show – offering blunt, Simon Cowell-like critiques of each contestant after they were introduced. He called Sanchez the singer to beat in the competition, but was also highly complimentary of Magrane. However, Iovine’s mostly critical remarks seemed to irritate Lopez, Randy Jackson and Steve Tyler, who was bleeped when asked about Iovine’s comments (appearing to blurt out “Holy s— Jimmy Iovine!”)
Rosado provided the emotional highlight of Thursday’s show, breaking down and falling to his knees when Lopez named him as her wild card choice – no surprise given how his performance brought her to tears. When Seacrest asked if Rosado would like to hug her, the big teddy-bear of a teen instantly took him up on the offer and wound up embracing Jackson and Tyler, too.
The show resumes Wednesday with the males pulling from Stevie Wonder’s vast musical catalogue and the females singing in the tunes of the late Whitney Houston.
And Tampa Bay will boast nearly one-sixth of the talented Idol field.