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The 'Idol' Hopefuls: Who Made the Cut?

Feb 5th, 2004

February 5, 2004

Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul on American Idol 3

When "Idol" began last night, only two things were certain: SIMON would wear a black T-shirt, and PAULA would cry before the end of the show.

Both came true! But who would have guessed that spunky "Scooter Girl" NICOLE TIERI would be riding off into the sunset, along with audience favorite JASMINE ARTEAGA? Tonight on ET, we have the farewell moments from your favorite dissed semi-finalists and a look ahead to next week's fierce competition!

"It's bone-crushing," our special correspondent PAULA ABDUL tells ET's BOB GOEN. "Everyone's psyche is being tested and stripped down. It is getting right down to the wire, so every move they make is under scrutiny."

The auditions were brutal this week, and even Paula told us things are just not as warm and fuzzy as in the past. She especially voiced her outrage over one singer's viperish tongue, taking KIRA SCOTT from New York to task for being disrespectful when she lashed out at SIMON COWELL, saying, "The rumors must be true. You must be gay."

"I think, in their minds, they want to stand out, so they are willing to do something left of center," Paula explains.

Most of the original 117 contestants have been cut, and the final 32 were selected in a tension-drenched episode worthy of, well, FOX.

"The cuts are difficult to make and that's why we have the wild card show," the sole female judge says. "So if we want to change our minds and bring back some people to see again, we can."

Next Tuesday night at 8, tune in as FANTASIA BARRINO from Atlanta competes along with JENNIFER HUDSON, whom Simon chastised for dressing like "something you wrap a turkey in," as part of the first group of eight. Who will be left standing? Keep watching ET to find out.

Courtesy of

Filed under: American Idol


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