Friday, January 22, 2010

Tampa Bay Represented in Top 24 American Idol Semifinal List! **SPOILERS**

With 3 city callback audition broadcasts remaining, the list of top 24 semifinalists that will be officially announced in American Idol's February 17th episode has been all but finalized. Hailing from Plant City, Florida myself, I was excited to see several Tampa Bay natives among them!
One of the area semifinalists, Tampa's Janell Wheeler, was featured during a montage of three female singers in the January 20th broadcast with her rendition of "House of the Rising Sun," originally made popular in 1964 by The Animals. With a background in classical music study, Wheeler now describes her style as a fusion of pop, soul and country music.
St. Petersburg native Michael Lynche was not shown in the broadcast at all. A graduate of Gibbs High School, Lynche went on to earn a full academic and athletic scholarship to the University of Central Florida, where he played defensive lineman. He now resides in New York City to further his music career. Lynche's website describes his music as a cross between Gnarls Barkley, Outcast and R. Kelly. His brother Marque advanced to the semi-finals in 2004, but was cut from the competition before the Finals.
Other Bay Area residents receiving golden tickets, but not continuing on to the semifinals, include 19-year-old Kasi Bedford from Seminole and 28-year-old Seth Rollins from Lakeland, who brought along his autistic son. Shelby Dressel, an 18 year old Avon Park resident, another golden ticket recipient featured in the broadcast, was passed through to Hollywood despite forgetting her words and letting slip with an expletive. (Simon said yes with a "small y" to Shelby, while Randy chimed in with a YES with 3 big letters)
The remaining semifinalists from the Orlando auditions include 16 year old Pennsylvania resident Aaron Kelly, winner of the American Idol Experience attraction at Hollywood Studios, and Miami native Michelle Delamor.

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