American Idol

Candice Glover won "American Idol" Season 12 over Kree Harrison as Psy, Jennifer Hudson, Jessie J, Adam Lambert and Aretha Franklin performed.

Rachel Hale, Shubha Vedula, Melinda Ademi, Kree Harrison shine as 'American Idol' names top 40

During the "American Idol" Hollywood round, Raisin' Cain

During the "American Idol" Hollywood round, Raisin' Cain -- "Sin Wagon" -- Lauren Mink, an unidentified contestant, Brandy Hotard and Morgan Leigh Boberg perform. Nicki compliments the group, calling them cupcakes, and they all moved on to the next round. (Credit: Fox)

"American Idol" cuts down to its top 20 women and top 20 guys as Hollywood Week wraps up; but at the moment, there are still 24 women and 28 guys in the running 

The women all get called up on stage first, and Randy Jackson calls out three names — none of whom have been featured — and just like that they're cut.

Down to 21 now; he asks Stephanie Schimel to sing again, anything she wants. Picks Phillip Phillips' "Home," and she's good — passionate, nice crackly tone. Bubbly Rachel Hale next, she's one of my faves so far. Does a strong version of another ex-Idol's song, Haley Reinhart's "Undone." 

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I'd pick Hale between the two of them; and sure enough, Schimel gets cut.

The 28 remaining guys are then brought back out on stage. Nicki Minaj asks a few of them to sing, with Adam Sanders up first, doing "Taking Chances." Appropriate pick; he's an unusual contestant, but I like his raw honesty and obvious passion for singing even if he can be a bit erratic.

He goes crazy on the song with his high voice, has the judges nodding their head in appreciation; it's a no-holds barred performance, if a bit off-key.

Josh Holliday sings next, "Georgia on My Mine." Given how much this song is sung on this show he better knock this out of the park.

It's hokey for me though, what Simon Cowell would dub cruise ship/theme park singing. Rips his pant leg at the end going down for the big finish. "We wouldn't forget that one," deadpans Minaj.

They then cut eight contestants, none of whom — except for David Leathers Jr. and Sanders — they've featured much.

So that's it, the top 40 as next week moves on to Las Vegas. Below are the four women who stood out for me tonight; put your own thoughts in the comments, below.

1) Melinda Ademi has energy and serious charisma — her version of "Price Tag" got Minaj to stand, with Urban summing it up well: "Effortless, clear and energetic — you have such a good light about you."

2) The big notes on Kree Harrison's "Stars" had Urban rubbing the goose bumps on his arm and telling her, "you have something amazing in your voice." Plus she has high likability, and with both of her parents dead a good story of loss overcome.

3) Shubha Vedula hasn't been featured much, but her good looks and the big voice she showed on "When You Believe" will serve her well.

4) Juliana Chahayed hasn't been featured at all; had a great tone with "Landslide," looking forward to more.

Tags: Rachel Hale , Shubha Vedula , Melinda Ademi , Kree Harrison , American Idol , Hollywood round , Nicki Minaj , Mariah Carey , Keith Urban , Randy Jackson

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