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Top 13 finalist chosen on 'AI'

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Top 13 finalists chosen on 'American Idol'

By DERRIK J. LANG, AP Entertainment WriterFri Mar 6, 7:34 am ET

LOS ANGELES – Thirteen turned out to be the lucky number for  Anoop Desai  on "American Idol." After announcing the three remaining finalists at the end of Thursday's  wild card  round,  Simon Cowell  announced that the much-loved 22-year-old college student from  Chapel Hill, N.C., won a previously unannounced 13th spot in the next round of the popular Fox singing contest. In past seasons, 12 finalists were picked to move on.

"We decided — recently — we're going to make this a top 13," Cowell revealed.

The three other wild-card finalists were Jasmine Murray, the big-voiced 16-year-old high school student from Starkville, Miss.; 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.

The previously dismissed foursome were selected by the show's judges.

Desai's last-minute selection wasn't the night's only seemingly unscripted moment. After oh-so-emotional semifinalist Tatiana Del Toro performed Whitney Houston's "Saving All My Love For You," she kneeled and pleaded for a spot from the judges. Then, host  Ryan Seacrest  came on stage and told her she didn't have to get up off her knees.

"Family show, family show," judge  Kara DioGuardi  repeatedly proclaimed throughout the awkward moment.

Desai, Murray, Corkrey and Giraud join previously picked finalists 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 next Tuesday — with one singer sent packing each Wednesday.

Entry #926

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