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Published: Friday, 2/15/2008

Semifinal list of 'American Idol' 24 revealed, including northwest Ohio teen

BY ERIN CARLSON
ASSOCIATED PRESS
BLADE STAFF
Garrett Haley, 17, is a junior at Elida High School, near Lima. Garrett Haley, 17, is a junior at Elida High School, near Lima.
AP Enlarge

NEW YORK - The tears flowed on American Idol Wednesday night as the show trimmed the competition to 24 semifinalists.

They were mostly happy tears for the 12 guys and 12 gals who made the cut on the final night of Hollywood week. The winners included teen singing prodigy David Archuleta and Janis Joplin soundalike/respiratory nurse Amanda Overmyer.

Brooke White, who claimed in her audition to have never seen a rated-R movie, was beside herself with emotion before learning her fate from Simon Cowell and company. The verdict: Yes! Cue more crying.

One of the biggest upsets of the night was the elimination of 18-year-old Josiah Leming, who seemed to be a judge favorite until his shaky rendition of "Stand By Me." Cowell said Tuesday that Leming - who lives in his car and sings with a faux British accent - was too confident for his own good. Leming said he thought he was a shoo-in to make it to the finalists' ranks; in keeping with the night's theme, he too cried after the judges delivered the bad news.

The men who did win are Archuleta, 17, of Murray, Utah; Colton Berry, 18, of Staunton, Va.; Robbie Carrico, 26, of Melbourne, Fla.; Jason Castro, 20, of Rockwall, Texas; David Cook, 25, of Tulsa, Okla.; Chikezie Eze, 22, of Inglewood, Calif.; Garrett Haley, 17, of Elida, Ohio; David Hernandez, 24, of Glendale, Ariz.; Luke Menard, 29, of Crawfordsville, Ind.; Danny Noriega, 18, of Azusa, Calif.; Jason Yeager, 28, of Branson, Mo., and Michael Johns, 29, of Los Angeles by way of Australia.

The ladies are Overmyer, 23, of Mulberry, Ind.; White, 24, of Van Nuys, Calif.; Joanne Borgella, 25, of Hoboken, N.J.; Kristy Lee Cook, 24, of Selma, Ore.; Amy Davis, 25, of Cedar Lake, Ind.; Asia'h Epperson, 19, of Joplin, Mo.; Alexandrea Lushington, 17, of Douglasville, Ga.; Kady Malloy, 18, of Houston; Ramiele Malubay, 20, of Miramar, Fla.; Syesha Mercado, 21, of Miami; Alaina Whitaker, 16, of Tulsa, Okla., and Carly Smithson of San Diego by way of Dublin.

A northwest Ohio teen is among those who have made the cut.

Garrett Haley, 17, is a junior at Elida High School, about seven miles northwest of Lima.

In a video interview on the American Idol web site, www.americanidol.com, the teen with shoulder-length hair said he wants to win the contest because he hopes to be a positive influence for future generations of young people.

His musical influences include former Journey lead singer Steve Perry and the Backstreet Boys, and his favorite female pop star is Christina Aguilera, according to the Web site.

Haley auditioned for the show in San Diego. In addition to singing, he also enjoys playing soccer and video games.

The Ohio teen and the rest of the top 12 men will compete on the show Tuesday. The top 12 women sing on Wednesday.



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