By Annie Barrett
February 24, 2012 at 01:00 PM EST
Theo Wargo/Getty Images

American Idol‘s overlord gargoyle Nigel Lythgoe has cooked up quite the season 11 twist: A 13th guy will join the top 24 on Tuesday’s live show. In the running (clockwise from left): operatic gentle-giant mama’s boy Jermaine Jones, awful cowboy Richie Law, wee Michael Jackson impersonator David Leathers Jr., and hot-tub denizen and former J. Lo paramour Johnny Keyser.

What’s bizarre (other than Idol‘s insistence on a “mugshot chic” presentation of the four contestants) is that Johnny Keyser didn’t even make it past the group round in Vegas. His dismissal itself was odd — until then, they’d kept looping Jennifer Lopez asking/telling him, “You know you’re gonna be a star, right?” Then Johnny was shown chilling in the hot tub with his group instead of practicing, and suddenly he was unceremoniously dumped. Should he get to join the semifinalists anyway? Is he SIMPLY THAT ATTRACTIVE? Vote below.

I’m pulling for Jermaine Jones because his voice is huge and the most mature, and because his mom is one of my favorite characters of the season. David Leathers seems one-note to me, though I will miss how his name calls to mind all of the luxurious leathers. The awful cowboy is a classic American Idol villain so I think he’s just there for sport — and to torture Heejun Han.

Apparently Johnny had no clue about the surprise twist:

Are you buying it?

(When I first wrote that I accidentally typed “Are you guying it?” So please answer that too.)

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