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‘American Idol’ hopeful Jordan Sasser is all by himself

Raleigh native Jordan Sasser’s “American Idol” run continued Wednesday night with his first appearance in the top-24 round in Los Angeles -- where all the performers are angling to make the top-10, and a spot on the annual “American Idol” concert tour.

Half of this season’s 24 “Idol” hopefuls appeared Wednesday. Sasser showed up in the final quarter-hour and was identified in his video introduction as a “Reptile Lover,” talking about his fetish for turtle-themed items (ummm…). Then he sang the Eric-Carmen-by-way-of-Celine-Dion ballad “All By Myself,” with his wife and infant daughter leading the crowd’s applause.

But the responses from the celebrity judges were mixed. Keith Urban called Sasser’s rendition “too theatrical” while Harry Connick, Jr., praised his voice but added, “You don’t need to show off.”

For his part, Sasser appeared to take the criticism well. “Thank you all for sharing that,” he told the judges.

This round continues with a two-hour show starting at 8 p.m. Thursday on Fox. The other 12 contestants will sing solo, followed by a round of duets with past “Idol” idols (including North Carolina winners Fantasia, Scotty McCreery and Caleb Johnson.

After that, the judges will cut the field down by five contestants before next week’s shows.

David Menconi: 919-829-4759, @NCDavidMenconi