“American Idol” crowned its Top 13 on Thursday night, with 10 contestants advancing and three wild card picks from each judge.
Access Hollywood spoke to all 13 about how they were feeling about making it to the next round in the competition and what fans might see as they battle it out for votes. Here’s what the Top 13 told Access:
- Malaya Watson, 16, on how she was feeling: “I’m just blessed to experience this. A lot of people dream to be here, and I get the actual opportunity to be here. It’s amazing.”
- Ben Briley, 24, on what to expect: “Country! I love blues, I love doing gospel. My heart is in bluegrass music. I also love R&B. I love classic rock. I want to incorporate all of that.”
- Emily Piriz, 16, on picking the right songs: “Harry just made a few comments about picking more age-appropriate songs… I agree with that though… I understood where he came from, so I think definitely I’ll take that more into consideration about the lyrics and portraying the story better.”
- Alex Preston, 20, on what fans might see: “Hopefully some original music, I was gonna do a banjo.”
- Jessica Meuse, 23, on the type of music she’ll perform: “Whatever is me. Whatever I feel is right, because I’m different. I’m me, I’m weird!”
- Dexter Roberts, 22, on what you’ll see him perform: “I’m going to make it my own, but country.”
- Caleb Johnson, 22, on what he wants to show the fans: “I love theatrical rock and roll, Queen and Meatloaf. I want to give the public the rock and roll. I’d love to get rock and roll back in the radio.”
- Majesty Rose, 21, on how she felt after advancing: “I’m on top if the world right now!”
- MK Nobilette, 20, on making history as the first out LGBT contestant: “I’m the first one to come out on camera, which I am very proud about… I’ve gotten a lot of people telling me, ‘My parents love you, so now I’m gonna come out to them because I’m very comfortable and you’ve really inspired me to be the person I am.’ And that’s so great to hear because I was young and gay once also and I had all those people that I looked up to the same way, so I’m so proud to be in that spot.”
- Sam Woolf, 17, on advice he’s received from the judges: “To connect more and be yourself.”
- Jena Irene, 17, on advice she got from Harry Connick Jr. (wild card contestant): “Sing songs from here on out you connect with.”
- Kristen O’Connor, 24, on why she can win (wild card contestant): “I really sing with my heart. When I’m singing I feel it. I mean it and I think America will connect with that.”
- C.J. Harris, 23, on why he can win (wild card contestant): “I bring something different this year. I don’t know if ‘American Idol’ has ever had a black country singer.”
“American Idol” airs on Wednesday and Thursday at 8/7c on Fox.