American Idol Season 12 Finalists Revealed!

Ryan Seacrest opened up Thursday’s American Idol episode with a nod to Randy Jackson’s announcement that he’s moving on after 12 seasons.

“A little later on we’ll be revealing who is leaving our show,” Ryan said, standing behind the only remaining original judge. “A little heads up?”

Randy just chuckled.

American Idol's Kree Harrison Wants to Rebuild Her Late Parents' Home

Kree Harrison’s personal history is among saddest of any contestant in American Idol history. But for everything that fell apart in her life, she is planning to put some of the pieces back together – quite literally.

The singer, who turns 23 next week, lost her father in a plane crash a decade ago, and her mother in a car accident a few years after that.

American Idol's Top 3 Visit Home Before Finale

Familiar roads, fried chicken and plenty of tears – that’s what awaited American Idol’s final three contestants when they ventured back to their hometowns as newly-minted stars.

On Saturday, Angie Miller, Kree Harrison and Candice Glover returned to Massachusetts, Texas and South Carolina, respectively.

Here’s what they had to tell PEOPLE about their emotional visits:

American Idol Names Its Top 3

After performing two songs each – a pop hit and a standard – on Wednesday night, American Idol’s fabulous final four women faced elimination on Thursday.

Last week, Amber Holcomb and frontrunner Candice Glover were in the bottom two. But in a twist, no one was sent home. This week, the singer with the lowest number of votes wasn’t so lucky.

American Idol: Top 4 Take On Top Hits and Standards

Last week’s surprise non-elimination round left American Idol’s Amber Holcomb and Candice Glover with the lowest number of votes.

So on Wednesday’s show, the pressure was on for them to make up ground against Angie Miller and Kree Harrison.

Thanks to an extremely up-and-down night – that featured some controversial coaching by mentor Harry Connick Jr. – they may have done just that.

American Idol: Did One of the Final Four Go Home?

Twelve seasons into American Idol, things can sometimes get very predictable. Contestants will sing, judges will judge, America will vote and someone will go home. So at the beginning of Thursday’s show, Ryan Seacrest teased the audience: “In just a bit,” he said, “I will announce some shocking news that will affect the judges and turn the competition upside down.”

American Idol: Angie Miller & Amber Holcomb Jump Ahead

Now that American Idol has whittled the competition down to its final four female contenders, it suddenly seems like one of the underdogs might end up on top.

After a season in which Kree Harrison and Candice Glover always appeared to be the frontrunners, on Wednesday’s show it was Amber Holcomb and Angie Miller’s turn to shine.

American Idol's All-Female Top 5 Face Elimination

Now it gets interesting.

Week after week, we’ve watched American Idol’s male finalists leave the competition. It hardly mattered in which order the guys went home – an all-female final five was basically preordained from the beginning. But after Lazaro Arbos left last week, all bets were off for Thursday’s elimination night.

American Idol's Angie Miller Honors Boston Bombing Victims

Angie Miller brought down the house Wednesday on American Idol with a rousing, emotional tribute to Boston – and later told PEOPLE that, believe it or not, she wished she could have been there Monday.

American Idol: Top 5 Take On Music's Biggest Divas

America got its first glimpse of American Idol’s first all-female top five Wednesday night, but it was two other women – Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj – who briefly stole the show with their unexpected verbal catfight.

The tense exchange happened when they were critiquing Kree Harrison, who had just performed her first song of the night, “She Talks to Angels” by The Black Crowes.