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'American Idol': Down to 24

The final 40 on American Idol are going to be trimmed down to 24 semifinalists this evening. Why they didn't just do this cut last night, I'm not sure. But here we are!

Sanjaya Malakar: As you might recall, his sister got trimmed in last night's cuts. They tell him he'll need to call on her for more support because he is in.

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Anna Kearns: She is the really tall woman who auditioned in Seattle. She is out, and she can't believe it because she thinks she is unique.

Bernard Williams: He auditioned in Birmingham, and he is cut. The other contestants are shocked.

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Eric Davis and Tammy Gosnell are out. Don't remember him, but I liked her.

Melinda Doolittle: She is the background singer who is trying to get comfortable with the spotlight. Simon messes with her and finally tells her she is "no longer a backup singer."

Brendan Rogers: He is the L.A. backup singer, and he also makes it in.

Gina Glocksen: She got cut in Hollywood in season five and had to work with Perla the Superstah last night. She cries. But she is in!

Jimmy McNeal and Errick Johnson get cut. Paula even tells Errick he "almost made it." Well, that's comforting.

Haley Scarnato gets through even after getting the "you're pretty" comment from Paula, which is usually a no.

Philip Stacy: The guy who missed the birth of his daughter for auditions is very nervous. He makes it.

Chris Sligh: The curly-haired jokester impressed during Hollywood. Simon says he was among the most popular, but not the best singer. He's through anyway.

Blake Lewis: The beatboxer makes the cut.

Thomas Lowe: He was in Chris and Blake's group, but doesn't make it.

Rudy Cardenas: He was the last member of this foursome, and he makes it, too.

Paul Kim: He shares that he will always be barefoot -- and he has lucky drawers. That's TMI on the latter. Paula says it's a split decision, and she's "really sorry" because, hardy-har-har, he's going to be seeing a lot more of the judges. (This is about the sixth time someone has busted out this line in the first half-hour.)

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Jordin Sparks: Randy says she was a bright spot in Seattle and kind of fell apart in Hollywood. But she makes it.

Olivia Quiba-Hurst, Tatiana McConnico, Monique Vieras are all cut.

Tommy Daniels: He is distracting himself by hanging out with Antonella Barba, but it's not his time yet.

A.J. Tabaldo: This was his fifth time auditioning, and he makes it this time.

Stephanie Edwards: Simon says, "You haven't ... failed. You've made it." Mean!

Leslie Hunt: She looks SO nervous (including in her audition footage), but she makes it.

Nicholas/Nick Pedro: He bowed out in a previous season and was hoping this was his chance. It is.

Alaina Alexander: Randy asks her about her Hollywood week and how she thinks it went. She is wavery-voiced and so nervous and she is through.

Chris Richardson: He is through, and that's all we see of him.

Sabrina Sloan: "We have decided not to exclude you," says Simon.

Jerome Chism: He is out.

Joelle James: She is out.

Matthew Buckstein: The singing cowboy is out (again). (I'd lose the hat.)

Princess Johnson: Cut.

Lakisha Jones: Our Fort Meade girl is up next. She says she is nervous. Simon asks if she has done well. She says she hopes she has made them proud and that if she doesn't make it through, she will take care of her daughter and go back to the bank. "I am sorry to tell you, sweetheart, you are going to be seeing a lot of us," says Simon. He calls her back to tell her she is a great singer. Ryan hugs her on her way out of the elevator. And hurrah! We still have our local contestant!

Nicole Tranquillo: She makes the cut.

Jared Cotter: He also makes the cut.

Amy Krebs: She says, "That last day was the funnest day." Despite the grammar, she is in.

Marisa Rhodes and Antonella Barba head upstairs to see who is making the cut. They wish each other luck on the way up the elevator. Antonella makes it, but Marisa does not. Paula says Marisa is very talented. She cries. She says she wasn't expecting it and "nobody was."

Sundance Head and Tommy Daniels are the last two to find out the results. Sundance is in, Tommy is out. In the elevator, Tommy congratulates Sundance and Sundance says he's the best one to be in the final two with. Tommy leaves.

The show us the final 24 one at a time, and as usual, they make them dance. WHY MUST THEY MAKE THEM DANCE?

Next week, the voting begins.

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