'American Idol' Unveils Its Top 12, and It Includes Four Latinos!

Photo: Courtesy Ray Mickshaw / FOX

After years of Latino hopefuls getting eliminated from American Idol before making it to the Top 12, we’ve finally got contestants to root for in the Kodak Theater! The juggernaut show revealed its Top 12 for Season Seven on Thursday night, and although the super-fierce Danny Noriega failed to make the cut (we’ll miss you!), the show’s remaining four Latino contestants are headed to the next round.

On the male side of the competition, David Hernandez staved off the uproar over his past career as a male stripper to claim his place in the finals, which he did with an impressive rendition of “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now.” The dreadlocked Jason Castro made it through with his haunting acoustic cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” (an atypical choice for Idol, but that’s why we love him!). And 17-year old David Archuleta continued to wow the judges and the fans watching from home with his cover of Phil Collins' "Another Day in Paradise" (thanks to our loyal Latina commenters for pointing out David's hondureño roots!) As for the ladies, Syesha Mercado (whose mother is Cuban-American) earned her spot with a powerhouse version of “Saving All My Love For You.”

For all you non-math majors, Thursday’s results means that a full 33 percent of the Top 12 is Latino, and they’re some of the most talented singers in the bunch, to boot. Could one of these singers be on their way to getting crowned as the first Latino American Idol in the show’s history? Only time will tell…

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