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‘American Idol’ Season 13 Contestants Who Inexplicably Disappeared


“American Idol” actually won an Emmy for Best Editing in Season 7, but don’t expect even a nomination in that category for Season 13, a season that so far has been packed with continuity fails.

[Related: “Idol” Season 13 Recaps on Reality Rocks]

Since the season debuted last month, we’ve witnessed one awesome audition after another — only to never see or hear from those contestants ever again, or at least not get any definitive answers as to why those contestants were cut in Hollywood Week.

With the show now moving on to something called “Rush Week,” the most glaring omission in the top 31 is obviously Savion Wright. But at least we know what happened to him. What happened to some of our other early favorites? Oh, to be a fly on the editing-room wall this “Idol” season…

[Related: Surviving Randy Jackson’s “Idol” Workshop]

Here are 13 “Idol” contestants who bizarrely vanished in Season 13:

1. Munfarid Zaidi – Munfarid was the Harry Connick Jr. fanboy who memorably appeared on the season premiere crooning Alicia Keys’s “No One” while cradled in Harry’s arms. The last time we saw Munfarid, he’d made it to Hollywood Week, where he stood up for a sick castmate who was having trouble getting through their group number. Then…nothing. The next thing we knew, he hadn’t made the top 31. WHERE DID MUNFARID GO? It seems “no one” knows.

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2. David Luning – This NoCal indie-rocker was one of my favorites of the season. Seeming like the lovechild of Season 10’s lackadaisically cool Paul McDonald and last season’s eccentric fire-juggler Kez Ban, the rebellious troubadour auditioned with a broodingly dark original song that showcased true, gritty talent. All of the judges were impressed, but none of them were sure if this guy was right for “Idol.” Well, I guess he wasn’t, since we never saw him again after that, other than one quick shot of him sitting in the audience during the “Hollywood or Home” round. WHERE DID DAVID GO?

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3. Paisley Van Patten – PVP was one of my MVPs of Season 13. A recovering alcoholic trying to get her country music career back on track after losing her record deal, she sang with heart and grit and pain, pouring herself into her audition song. She also did a pretty awesome Cher impression. WHERE DID PAISLEY GO?

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4. Ryan Nisbett – This self-declared art-school “hipster” had a surprising song choice, Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel,” somehow making the schmaltzy animal-shelter anthem sound cool with his roughened-up singing style. Jennifer Lopez called him “one of a kind.” Harry said he hoped America would give Ryan a chance. Then the show didn’t give Ryan a chance. He disappeared. WHERE DID RYAN GO?

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5. D.J. Bradley – While the judges were on the fence about this kid, I always thought the girls who vote for this show would go cuckoo for his Flock of Seagulls hair and boyish, awkward charm. But then this Seagull flew the coop. WHERE DID D.J. GO?

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6. Jade Lathan – Rocking a Coachella flower crown and covering Amy Winehouse, Jade oozed cuteness and coolness. She also oozed talent. “You are absolutely adorable…You look fresh and sweet and nice, and you did some things I didn’t expect,” said Harry. Jennifer liked her “whistle-y thing.” I was whistling and applauding when Jade made it through. And then…poof. She was cut during Hollywood Week with no real explanation. WHY DID JADE GO?

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7. C.J. Jones – C.J. was the sassy kid who made Harry literally stand by him as he performed “Stand By Me.” Then “Idol” producers didn’t stand by him at all. WHERE DID C.J. GO?

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8. T.K. Hash – This was the charismatic fellow whose President Obama impersonation was even better than Paisley’s Cher impression. I guess he didn’t have “Idol’s” vote, though. WHERE DID T.K. GO?

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9. Ethan Thompson – When Ethan entered the audition room, I thought I was watching a cameo by Season 11 winner Phillip Phillips. The resemblance was uncanny, right down to the floppy haircut, plaid shirt, and ubiquitous six-string. So, in the most guitar-centric “Idol” season ever, this rocker definitely seemed like one to watch. WHERE DID ETHAN GO?

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10. Tyler Gurwicz – Tyler was the guy whose angsty, slightly emo cover of Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain” polarized the judges, but then Harry came around after Tyler did a second song, Jeff Buckley’s “Grace,” and killed it. “That may have been my first slip in judgment,” Harry admitted, after finally agreeing to give Tyler a golden ticket. Then, after all that…we never saw Tyler again. WHERE DID TYLER GO?

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11. Viviana Villalon – She covered Maroon 5’s “Love Somebody” on the ukulele. Not since the amazing Lilly Scott in Season 9 had such a thing been seen on “Idol.” I’d hoped Viviana would continues this amazingness in Season 13. WHERE DID VIVIANA GO?

12. Remi Wolf – This former Junior Olympian ski-racer gave up the sport to pursue her true passion, and it seemed like she’d made the right decision. Her sultry, throaty cover of Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On,” described as “raw and primitive” by Keith Urban, was fantastic. Did the show’s producers just decide that with Sam Woolf and Austin Wolfe already in the top 31, there wasn’t room for the similarly surnamed Remi? WHERE DID REMI GO?

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13. Tessa Kate – This quirky Branson performer snagged the very last golden ticket of the season, thanks to her delightful performance of Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” that reminded Harry of the Mandrell Sisters’ Sid & Marty Krofft 1970s variety show. She was one of my favorite auditioners of Season 13, but I suppose I’ll just have to take a trip to Branson if I want to see Tessa again. Her audition was all the screentime she ever received. WHERE DID TESSA GO?

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“American Idol,” you have some ‘splaining to do.

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