Meet AMERICAN IDOL’s Top 36 Contestants

American Idol 8 Top 36 Contestants

Now that the judges on AMERICAN IDOL have chosen the Top 36 contestants, it is time for us to meet all of them.

But before I start, I need to let you guys know that even though Joanna Pacitti was shown as making it through, she was later found ineligible and replaced by Felicia Barton in the competition. Why? Well, I’m still not exactly sure, but from what I understand it had to do with Joanna having released albums before and even recorded songs written by none other than new judge Kara DioGuardi.

Personally, I don’t care either way because so far none of the girls have stood out for me. But maybe that will change when they start performing on Tuesday.

And now on to the interesting part, here are the American Idol Top 36 semifinalists:


Alexis Grace - American Idol 8

Alexis Grace
Hometown: Memphis, TN
Currently Resides: Memphis, TN
Age: 21
Grace has been singing since she was 7 years old. She was a member of the Concert Choir at the University of Memphis, and enjoys dancing, playing the guitar and taking care of her daughter.

Allison Iraheta - American Idol 8

Allison Iraheta
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Currently Resides: Downey, CA
Age: 16
Iraheta is a junior in high school who began singing at age 5. She also enjoys playing the guitar.

Ann Marie Boskovich - American Idol 8

Ann Marie Boskovich
Hometown: Thousand Oaks, CA
Currently Resides: Nashville, TN
Age: 22
Currently pursuing a career as a singer/songwriter, Boskovich began singing before she could talk. She also plays guitar and piano.

Arianna Afsar - American Idol 8

Arianna Afsar
Hometown: San Diego, CA
Currently Resides: San Diego, CA
Age: 17
Afsar is a senior at Westview High School. She has been singing since she was 7 years old, and loves acting, dancing and playing piano.

Casey Carlson - American Idol 8

Casey Carlson
Hometown: Eden Prairie, MN
Currently Resides: Minneapolis, MN
Age: 20
Carlson is in her third year at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, majoring in Psychology. She began taking voice lessons in fifth grade.

Felicia Barton - American Idol 8

Felicia Barton
Hometown: Virginia Beach, VA
Currently Resides: Virginia Beach, VA
Age: 26
Barton lives in Virginia Beach, VA, with her husband and son. She began singing before she could talk, and her first public performance was at age 2.

Jackie Tohn - American Idol 8

Jackie Tohn
Hometown: Oceanside, NY
Currently Resides: Silver Lake, CA
Age: 28
Tohn resides in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Silver Lake. She holds an associate’s degree in psychology from Santa Monica College. Her hobbies include acting, performing comedy and playing guitar.

Jasmine Murray - American Idol 8

Jasmine Murray
Hometown: Columbus, MS
Currently Resides: Starkville, MS
Age: 17
Murray lives in Starkville, MS, and attends The Mississippi School of the Arts. She loves being on stage and has been singing since she was 3 years old.

Jeanine Vailes - American Idol 8

Jeanine Vailes
Hometown: Washington, DC
Currently Resides: Sherman Oaks, CA
Age: 28
A recent arrival to Los Angeles, Vailes began singing at age 4 and had her first solo performance in church at age 9. She also enjoys songwriting, motivational speaking and doing voiceover work.

Jessica Langseth - American Idol 8

Jesse Langseth
Hometown: Minneapolis, MN
Currently Resides: Minneapolis, MN
Age: 26
Langseth lives in Minneapolis, MN, with her 8-year-old daughter. In addition to singing, she also plays the piano and guitar.

Kendall Beard - American Idol 8

Kendall Beard
Hometown: Lufkin, TX
Currently Resides: Austin, TX
Age: 24
Beard graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2007. In addition to singing, she has been studying dance for 12 years.

Kristen McNamara - American Idol 8

Kristen McNamara
Hometown: Napa Valley, CA
Currently Resides: Nashville, TN
Age: 23
McNamara is a singer/songwriter originally from Northern California. She loves to dance and has been performing her whole life. Her hobbies include playing guitar, piano, painting and baking.

Lil Rounds - American Idol 8

Lil Rounds
Hometown: Memphis, TN
Currently Resides: Memphis, TN
Age: 24
Rounds lives in Memphis, TN, with her husband and three children. Music has always been a part of her life, and she began singing when she was 3 years old.

Megan Corkrey - American Idol 8

Megan Corkrey
Hometown: Taylorsville, UT
Currently Resides: Sandy, UT
Age: 23
Corkrey lives in Sandy, UT, with her 2-year-old son, Ryder. She has been singing since age 3, and is a self-professed “foodie.”

Mishavonna Henson - American Idol 8

Mishavonna Henson
Hometown: Irvine, CA
Currently Resides: Irvine, CA
Age: 18
Henson has been singing since she could talk and sang publicly for the first time in church. Her hobbies include horseback riding, acting, dancing and playing piano and guitar. She also takes classes at a junior college.

Stevie Wright - American Idol 8

Stevie Wright
Hometown: Phelan, CA
Currently Resides: Phelan, CA
Age: 17
Wright is a junior at Serrano High School. She works in a coffee shop and sings in a band with her youth group. Her real passion is singing, but she also loves to dance.

Tatiana Nicole Del Toro - American Idol 8

Tatiana Nicole Del Toro
Hometown: San Juan, PR
Currently Resides: Los Angeles, CA
Age: 24
Del Toro studied at the Manhattan School of Music and attended the New York Film Academy. Her hobbies include theater, acting, writing and dancing.

Taylor Vaifanua - American Idol 8

Taylor Vaifanua
Hometown: Hurricane, UT
Currently Resides: Hurricane, UT
Age: 17
When Vaifanua was 2 years old, she and her family moved to Samoa and lived there for five years before returning to Utah. She is a junior at Hurricane High School, and her hobbies include sports, singing and dancing.


Adam Lambert - American Idol 8

Adam Lambert
Hometown: San Diego, CA
Currently Resides: Los Angeles, CA
Age: 26
Lambert grew up in San Diego but currently lives in Hollywood. He began singing at age 10, and has been involved with musical theater for the past eight years.

Alex Wagner-Trugman - American Idol 8

Alexander Wagner-Trugman
Hometown: Studio City, CA
Currently Resides: Studio City, CA
Age: 19
Wagner-Trugman is a sophomore at the University of Miami. He began singing in high school, and he plays piano and guitar. His hobbies include playing video games and basketball.

Anoop Desai - American Idol 8

Anoop Desai
Hometown: Chapel Hill, NC
Currently Resides: Chapel Hill, NC
Age: 22
Desai is working on his master’s degree at the University of North Carolina. During his undergraduate years, he was a member of the UNC Clef Hangers, an a cappella group.

Brent Keith - American Idol 8

Brent Keith
Hometown: Blanchester, OH
Currently Resides: Nashville, TN
Age: 29
A guitar player, Keith lives in Nashville, TN, with his wife. He has been singing all his life but started performing publicly when he was 13 years old.

Daniel Gokey - American Idol 8

Danny Gokey
Hometown: Milwaukee, WI
Currently Resides: Milwaukee, WI
Age: 28
Gokey is the president and founder of a non-profit organization. In addition to singing, he plays the piano and loves salsa dancing.

Jorge Nunez - American Idol 8

Jorge Nuñez
Hometown: Cidra, Puerto Rico
Currently Resides: Carolina, Puerto Rico
Age: 21
Nuñez is in his fourth year at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras. In addition to English and Spanish, Nuñez is also fluent in French.

Ju'Not Joyner - American Idol 8

Ju’Not Joyner
Hometown: Baltimore, MD
Currently Resides: Bowie, MD
Age: 26
A native of Maryland, Joyner owns his own business with his fiancée. He enjoys acting, comedy and songwriting.

Kai Kalama - American Idol 8

Kai Kalama
Hometown: Redlands, CA
Currently Resides: San Clemente, CA
Age: 27
Kalama began singing when he was 5 years old at his church. An accomplished musician, he also plays guitar, ukulele, bass, piano and drums.

Kris Allen - American Idol 8

Kris Allen
Hometown: Jacksonville, AR
Currently Resides: Conway, AR
Age: 23
Allen is a student at the University of Central Arkansas. He has been singing and playing the guitar since he was 13 years old.

Matt Breitzke - American Idol 8

Matt Breitzke
Hometown: Bixby, OK
Currently Resides: Bixby, OK
Age: 28
Breitzke spent his childhood in Hobart, IN, and later attended flight school in Tulsa, OK. He has been singing and playing the guitar since the fifth grade.

Matt Giraud - American Idol 8

Matt Giraud
Hometown: Ypsilanti, MI
Currently Resides: Kalamazoo, MI
Age: 23
Giraud is a life-long resident of Michigan who graduated from Western Michigan University in 2007. He sings and plays piano in local clubs and hotels.

Michael Sarver - American Idol 8

Michael Sarver
Hometown: Jasper, TX
Currently Resides: Jasper, TX
Age: 27
Sarver is married with two children and works on an oil rig. He has always dreamed of being a singer/songwriter. Sarver also plays the piano, drums and guitar.

Nathaniel Marshall - American Idol 8

Nathaniel Marshall
Hometown: Malone, NY
Currently Resides: Malone, NY
Age: 19
Marshall began singing at age 2, and sang publicly for the first time in his high school choir. He is a cosmetology student in New York.

Nicholas Mitchell - American Idol 8

Nick Mitchell
Hometown: Brookfield, CT
Currently Resides: Brookfield, CT
Age: 27
Mitchell attended Marymount Manhattan College and Western Connecticut State University. He is a sketch comedian who performs in Manhattan and Connecticut.

Ricky Braddy - American Idol 8

Ricky Braddy
Hometown: Nashville, TN
Currently Resides: Elizabeth City, NC
Age: 25
Braddy graduated from Belmont University in Nashville, TN, with a degree in Commercial Vocal Performance. He began singing when he was 4 years old at his church.

Scott MacIntyre - American Idol 8

Scott MacIntyre
Hometown: Scottsdale, AZ
Currently Resides: Scottsdale, AZ
Age: 23
MacIntyre earned his bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University at age 19, and attended graduate school in London, England. He also plays piano, guitar and drums.

Steven Fowler - American Idol 8

Stephen Fowler
Hometown: Cleveland, OH
Currently Resides: Beachwood, OH
Age: 26
Fowler has been married for six years and has two sons. He has been singing his entire life, and began playing piano at 11 years old. He is a full-time musician who teaches piano at the Rainey Institute in Cleveland.

Von Smith - American Idol 8

Von Smith
Hometown: Kansas City, MO
Currently Resides: Greenwood, MO
Age: 22
Smith plays piano and is fluent in Spanish. His other hobbies include dancing, acting and songwriting.