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Unknown Semi-Finalists Defy the Odds on 'American Idol'

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Usually on "American Idol," the big shocker comes when someone unexpectedly goes home.

Kris Allen may have made "Idol" history Wednesday as the first contestant to enlist that reaction by sticking around.

The 23-year-old Arkansas native joined Allison Iraheta and Adam Corkery in becoming the latest additions to Season 8’s Top 12, and no one seemed more surprised at the news than Kris himself … except maybe me.

And it’s not that Kris is bad. He did a fine job singing "Man in the Mirror" Tuesday, especially amid the blunder of bad song choices, but "fine" wasn’t enough to make me remember his name, so it’s a wonder how it is he got America to remember to vote for him.

Still, it was kind of nice to see that it is still possible for people like Kris and Allison, who had minimal exposure in earlier rounds, to beat out early favorites like Matt Giraud and Megan Corkery, who became household names before they even made it to Hollywood.

But there was nothing nice about having to say goodbye to Nick Mitchell.

VIDEO: Click here for the latest episode of 'Idol Chatter.'

Simon said he prayed all night for the singer/comedian to stay out of the top 12, so I’m guessing God has as much of an affinity for English accents as I do. But despite Simon’s pleas, I’m still pulling for Nick, and hoping he finds his way into the Wild Card round, because you can’t always guarantee that Nick (or Norman) will be the best, but you can guarantee that he will never be boring.

And there was no better reminder of the consequences of voting through a dull contestant than having last season’s finalist Brooke White return to show off her first single. You know it’s bad when all Ryan Seacrest can say is that you’re the "nicest" contestant from your season. As expected, Supernanny’s song, "Hold Up My Heart" is as bland as she is, and likely to leave even the most avid LiteFM fans dying of boredom.

"Idol," however, is committed to keeping us entertained with a new group of 12 to vote on next week. With vocal heavyweights like Lil Rounds and Kristin McNamara competing for the female spots, and Jorge Nunez and Von Smith competing for the male spots, it’s unlikely we’ll have as easy a time picking favorites this time around as we have with the others.

And of course, with the judges picking the contenders and winners for Thursday’s Wild Card round, the only shocker will be if there’s no shocker at all.

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