The competitors for the fifth season "American Idol" crown emerged last night (March 9) as viewers voted off four contestants, leaving a dozen finalists.

The competitors for the fifth season "American Idol" crown emerged last night (March 9) as viewers voted off four contestants, leaving a dozen finalists. The Fox show, which featured a performance by season four runner-up Bo Bice, marked the end of separate male and female performance rounds and the last in front of a small studio audience.

The six female finalists are 17-year-old Paris Bennett of Fayetteville, Ga.; 29-year-old Mandisa of Antioch, Tenn.; 21-year-old Melissa McGhee of Tampa, Fla.; 21-year-old Katharine McPhee of Sherman Oaks, Calif.; 19-year-old Kellie Pickler of Albemarle, N.C.; and 16-year-old Lisa Tucker of Anaheim, Calif.

On the male side of the aisle are 16-year-old Kevin Covais of Levittown, N.Y.; 28-year-old Bucky Covington of Rockingham, N.C.; 26-year-old Chris Daughtry of McLeansville, N.C.; 29-year-old Taylor Hicks of Birmingham, Ala.; 27-year-old Elliott Yamin of Richmond, Va.; and 25-year-old Ace Young of Los Angeles.

The final 12 will go head to head on Tuesday (March 14), performing the music of Stevie Wonder. Results of viewer voting will be revealed the following night, when the contestant receiving the fewest votes will leave the show. The pattern will continue until the field is whittled to two and the winner is crowned during the show's May 24 season finale.