'American Idol' judges pick 12 male, 12 female semifinalists, ranging from 16 to 26

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LOS ANGELES, Calif. - "American Idol" opened the door this season for 15-year-olds to audition but none made it into the semifinals.

For round-faced charmer Jacee Badeaux, 15, of Lafayette, La., that means the music stopped Thursday, but he earned a comforting hug from judge Jennifer Lopez.

The 24 contestants who advanced in the singing contest are mostly in their early 20s. A handful of 16- and 17-year-olds did get the nod from Lopez, Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler.

California, New York, Tennessee and Louisiana are the states best represented among the two-dozen semifinalists, who are split evenly between males and females.

They won't have long to savour their achievement. Next week, only about half will make it to the finals after the men perform on Tuesday and the women on Wednesday. The results of audience voting will be announced Thursday.

Geographic location: California, LOS ANGELES, Lafayette, La. New York Tennessee Louisiana

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