Local Idol Jasmine Murray advances to top 13

March 6, 2009



In a surprise move, 13 "American Idol" contestants will move on to next week''s competition. And local Idol Jasmine Murray is among them. 


Jasmine sang Christina Aguilera''s "Reflections," from the soundtrack of Disney''s "Mulan," during Thursday night''s "wild card" show. 


Judge Randy Jackson said 16-year-old Jasmine, who grew up in Columbus and now lives in Starkville, showed a "100 percent improvement," with "great bright spots." 


Kara DioGuardi admitted, "I didn''t know you had that big of a voice." 


Paula Abdul said Jasmine was "determined" and "did a wonderful job." 


And Simon Cowell called "Reflections" "a very, very brave song choice." 


"It was a huge improvement, and I think you just put yourself back in the running," he added. 


Jasmine attends the Mississippi School of the Arts in Brookhaven. 


While judges were expected to pick three contestants to join the nine viewer-choice contestants already headed to the much-anticipated portion of the show where a contestant will be eliminated every week, they also pulled Anoop Desai into the top 13. 


Simon Cowell announced the 22-year-old college student from Chapel Hill, N.C., would continue in competition. 


Other judges'' picks from Thursday''s show were Megan Corkrey, the quirky 22-year-old single mother from Sandy, Utah; and Matt Giraud, the soulful 23-year-old dueling piano player from Kalamazoo, Mich. 


Previously picked finalists are Kris Allen, Danny Gokey, Alexis Grace, Allison Iraheta, Adam Lambert, Scott MacIntyre, Jorge Nunez, Lil Rounds and Michael Sarver. 


The 13 finalists will start competing Tuesday -- with one singer sent packing each Wednesday.