After American Idol’s dozen finalists were narrowed down to 11 before the show even began, Heejun Han took the stage to mixed review from the judges.
Host Ryan Seacrest opened the show by announcing that “with the cooperation of law enforcement we discovered information that left us with no choice but to eliminate one of our finalists from the competition.”
The unnamed finalist that was disqualified was Jermaine Jones, one of the three wildcards chosen by the judges to advance to the top 13.
The remaining contestants performed songs that debuted in the year they were born.
The 22-year-old Han sang the 1989 Richard Marx ballad “Right Here Waiting.”
“Dude, for me, I didn’t really enjoy this at all. It was pitchy all over the place,” said judge Randy Jackson to boos from the crowd.
Jackson said he felt it was the wrong song choice and that Han is usually better than what he showed last night.
Steven Tyler agreed that Han didn’t choose the right tune to perform.
“You stepped far outside your circle to do this. It wasn’t a great song for you,” Tyler said before adding that he loves Han’s voice no matter what.
Jennifer Lopez was the most impressed of the three with the Flushing native’s performance.
“I could tell you were struggling with the song a little bit, but then for me I felt like you started fighting through that a little bit more and going for it towards the end and it got really beautiful for me,” Lopez said. “I felt your heart in the song.”
The viewer’s votes will be revealed tonight on American Idol at 8 p.m. on Fox 5. Tune in to see if Han survives to advance to the show’s top 10.