“American Idol” Finalists

American Idol Finalists
A “Rock Star” Red Carpet Night for American Idol’s Top 12


It was an unforgettable “rock star moment” when the American Idol Top 12 were introduced on the red carpet at a celebratory Fox TV event amidst a media frenzy in Hollywood.

The finalists couldn’t contain their excitement. Everyone took a turn at expressing either shock or “awww” at being part of the lucky dozen. The youngest, 16-year-old Aaron Kelly was gushing, “It’s a dream come true. I’m still in shock.” The biggest, Michael Lynche (known affectionately as Big Mike) gave everyone a tender “awww” moment when he said he got the strength to sing “This Woman’s Work” with such power by thinking of his wife and baby girl. He said, “Nobody saw me at full strength until that moment. And it was only possible because my wife and baby are here, so my heart has all of its pieces.”

The blond boy with the golden voice, Casey James kept calling his appearance at the Top 12 party, “Crazy, man, this is just crazy. I keep thinking I should be home in my living room watching all this with my puppy dogs.”

Didi Benami was just speechless, but Tim Urban couldn’t stop talking about getting a hug from Ellen Degeneres after she judged his great performance of “Hallelujah.” “That was a shock. I couldn’t understand why she got up and started walking towards me. Did I do something wrong?” No, he did something totally awesome.

Crystal Bowersox, with her blonde dreads, was actually acting kind of sad, lamenting the elimination of her friends Lilly Scott and Katelyn Epperly, revealing that they were like the three musketeers during the competition.

But glam-gal Lacey Brown, Lee Dewyze, Andrew Garcia, Siobhan Magnus, Katie Stevens and Paige Miles were still among the hopefuls to be the next American Idol.

Paige’s face lit up when she recognized Justin Guarini from American Idol’s debut season in 2002. She said, “I was 16 when I watched the first season. I’m 24 now, and here I am, and there’s Justin. This is so bizarre.”


Justin Guarini, who came in second when Kelly Clarkson became the first American Idol, is a great guy who told me he was there to support all the finalist, “and to tell them to enjoy every moment of this wild ride.”

Chatting with Justin, he gave me goose bumps when he was recalling his most memorable “rock star moment” on his Idol ride. “The first time I played to an audience of 30,000 people on the American Idol concert tour, that was unbelievable. Just hearing the roar of the people, and they’re screaming your name as you come up the elevator on to the stage. That was awesome.”

Justin gave me an awesome moment, singing to me briefly on the carpet before we went into the Fox party at The Industry West Hollywood club. I was dressed for the rockin’ occasion wearing my Roar Clothing outfit. The Top 12 followed after the media blitz.

By the end of the night, the darling dozen were looking tired but happy, because the next day they would be picking out a Rolling Stones’ song to sing for the next elimination round. It was funny to hear that Aaron Kelly did not know the name of the Stones’ lead singer (Mick Jagger). He’s only 16, but really, if you want to be a rock star, you should show some respect for the rock legends.

Margie Barron has written for a wide variety of outlets including Gannett newspapers, Nickelodeon, Tiger Beat and 16 Magazine, Fresh!, Senior Life, Production Update, airline magazines, etc. Margie is also proud to have been half of the husband & wife writing team Frank & Margie Barron, who had written together for various entertainment and travel publications for more than 38 years.