Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick, Jr. Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick, Jr.

American Idol brought the most painful cuts so far.

On Wednesday, judges Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick, Jr. began the process of picking their semifinalists: 15 boys and 15 girls. Read on to see who took the next step to accomplish their dreams.

American Idol: Why we're just wild about Harry


1. Emily Piriz The Atlanta contestant was under the radar until the solo rounds, in which she impressed J. Lo with her light, airy and full voice. Harry felt she looked like a movie star.
2. Jillian Jensen
We're not surprised she made it through. After all, she made a huge impression on The X Factor not just with her voice, but the soul she put into her performances after overcoming bullying.
3. Malaya Watson
Hooray for the tuba player! After a false start during the solo rounds when the band was playing in the wrong key, she recouped. We guess Harry will have to practice pronouncing her name correctly for at least another week.
4. Bria Anai
We think the fuchsia lipstick did it. Oh, and the fact that she sang her face off.
5. Jessica Meuse
  After a sing-off with Jesse Roach, whom the judges thought had a very similar style/niche, Jessica was chosen because she fit better "for the purposes of what we're trying to do." We liked both of their raspy voices, but Jessica definitely had more of an Idol presence.
6. MK Nobilette
Her voice may be smooth like butter, but the judges were on the fence because of her atypical image. Could this openly gay singer be the next idol? "The world is changing," Jen said, before giving MK the good news.
7. Kristen O'Connor
A favorite from the beginning, this model-pretty nurse tech went through with no problems.
8. Andrina Brogden  She has a natural confidence and charisma as a performer. We're just sad that they brought the equally talented Leah Guerrero in at the same time just to let her go. What is up with that, Idol?


Harsh troublemaker: The two sides of new Idol judge Harry Connick Jr.


1. Spencer Lloyd This Austin auditioner was a no-brainer. Not only is he so ridiculously pretty that Jen did a double-take, but he's a very confident and practiced singer. Although he lost the judges with an original song that Harry thought sounded like a PSA, they put him through because he showed "some star quality."
2. George Lovett
The guy with a big voice, who "Won't Give Up" doesn't have to.
3. Sam Woolf
He took a risk by singing an original song during the solo rounds, but it paid off in a big way. When he got the good news, even Harry thought the decision was obvious. "What did you think we were going to say?"
4. Maurice Townsend
The father of four sang "Wrecking Ball" for his solo, but it didn't wreck his career. Harry thought he did a great job with the song's arc, and that pushed him to the live rounds.
5. Dexter Roberts
The farmer and tractor driver proved that he was the real deal, that he was not "all hat no cattle."
6. Emmanuel Zidor
After a shaky group round, he redeemed himself with his solo. He came before the judges already crying, but he made it through. We may get to see that high-heel walk-off against Jen after all!
7. Jordan Brisbane
Happy Sweet 16, Jordan! In the auditions, he declared that he would shut the series down, and so far he's on his way.
8. Malcolm Allen He earned a triple "yes" from Jen during auditions, and after a rough group round, he won back her love with his rendition of Rose Royce's "I'm Going Down." Harry doubted his marketability, but the judges ended up putting him through.
9. Alex Preston The guitarist and singer felt his style may be too different for the judges' vote, but Keith said they liked his "unusual thing."

Ugh after more shenanigans, Idol ends on a cliff-hanger. The judges brought C.J. Harris and fellow Alabama native Casey Thrasher in for another sing-off. They're both talented country singers with some versatility, so it's not clear which way the vote will go.

Check back Thursday night to find out if C.J. or Casey made it and for the rest of the Top 30 results. Who do you want to take the final spots?

American Idol airs Thursday at 8/7c on Fox.