In a series first, the American Idol judges tonight announced seven semifinalists who have secured a coveted spot in this season's Top 24. These seven semifinalists are: Didi Benami, Lee Dewyze, Katelyn Epperly, Todrick Hall, Casey James, Aaron Kelly and Michael Lynche.
Tune in tomorrow night Wednesday, Feb. 17 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) as the judges reveal the remaining 17 contestants who will round out the Top 24.
The first seven American Idol semifinalists to be named to the Top 24 are:
Hometown: Knoxville, TN
Currently Resides: Los Angeles, CA
Benami's mother inspired her passion for music by singing to her when she was a little girl. She is currently pursuing a career in music in Los Angeles and is learning to play the guitar and writing songs.
Hometown: Mount Prospect, IL
Currently Resides: Mount Prospect, IL
Dewyze has been performing music since age 16. He graduated from Mount Prospect High School and enjoys playing the guitar and scuba diving.
Hometown: West Des Moines, IA
Currently Resides: West Des Moines, IA
Epperly was born in Iowa City, IA, and has been singing since she was 2 years old. She is a sophomore at Millikin University in Decatur, IL, and enjoys playing the piano.
Hometown: Arlington, TX
Currently Resides: Arlington, TX
Hall grew up in Plainview, TX, and has been singing since age 10. After graduating from Bowie High School in 2003, he went on to perform on cruise ships and in theme parks.
Hometown: Fort Worth, TX
Currently Resides: Fort Worth, TX
James has been singing since before he could speak. He enjoys playing the guitar and mandolin, and has been a fulltime musician for the past 10 years.
Hometown: Sonestown, PA
Currently Resides: Sonestown, PA
Kelly lives in Sonestown, PA, and is currently a senior at the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School. He also enjoys songwriting and photography.
Hometown: Astoria, NY
Currently Resides: Astoria, NY
Lynche grew up in St. Petersburg, FL, and has been singing since he was in junior high. He played football for the University of Central Florida, and currently works as a personal trainer.
American Idol is created and executive-produced by Simon Fuller, founder of 19 Entertainment; and executive-produced by Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO, FremantleMedia North America; and Ken Warwick, executive producer, FremantleMedia North America.