The drama is over for Nathaniel Marshall and Kristen McNamara on "American Idol."
The pair of singers who sparred with their group during Hollywood Week were two of nine semifinalists sent packing Wednesday on the popular Fox singing competition _ and they weren't selected to return for the special wild card round, either.
The third group of three finalists headed to the top 12: Lil Rounds, the smooth 23-year-old mother of three from Memphis, Tenn.; Scott MacIntyre, the soulful 23-year-old piano player from Scottsdale, Ariz., and Jorge Nunez, the charming 20-year-old college student from Carolina, Puerto Rico. The trio received the most viewer votes Tuesday.
The show's four judges seemed in agreement with the viewer votes this week. They apparently didn't want to be without Rounds, who received the biggest endorsement after singing Mary J. Blige's "Be Without You." The panel also lauded MacIntyre and Nunez, who broke into tears Tuesday after his rendition of Elton John's "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me."
"You're born to sing," said Kara DioGuardi. "What you have comes from the heart."
At the end of the show, the judges also announced the semifinalists who will get a second shot at the top 12.
Von Smith, Jasmine Murray, Ricky Braddy, Megan Corkrey, Tatiana Del Toro, Matt Giraud, Jesse Langseth and Anoop Desai will return to the stage for the wild card round Thursday. The judges will pick the final three finalists from that group.
"Thank you so much. Thank you so much," said a weeping Del Toro. "I want this so much. This means so much to me."
Nunez, MacIntyre and Rounds join previously picked finalists Kris Allen, Adam Lambert, Allison Iraheta, Danny Gokey, Alexis Grace and Michael Sarver. The show's dozen finalists will be known Thursday after the wild card round.
Beginning next week, the finalists start competing _ with one singer sent packing each Wednesday.
On the Net:
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.