Ding-Dong Auditions dead! Ding-Dong the never ending auditions are dead! Tonight’s episode entitled “So You Know, There Are Only 24 spots…” (no comment from Fox as to why they really didn’t title the episode after tonight’s most used line) provided us with an attempt at a recap of the 24 contestants you’ll be voting on starting next week. Details on how that’ll work later.
After yesterday’s attempt at a cliffhanger ending, Idol worshippers alike expected tonight’s episode to begin with a dramatic conclusion to Jennifer Lopez’s emotional breakdown after dishing the news to Chris Medina that he’ll no longer be in the competition. The internets were abuzz today with whether or not she went too far with her “crocodile tears.” Honestly, even if you weren’t a Medina fan, if that didn’t make you get a little teary-eyed, time to get your lacrimal glands checked. Tonight’s jam-packed (and overly drawn out) episode was full of contestants making the long, dramatic walk to receive the final judgment call from our panel of experts. Let’s go ahead and take a look at each encounter, as we finally meet our Top 24! Last night, American Idol welcomed Naima Adedapo, Clint Jun Gamboa, Haley Reinhart, Paul McDonald, and Ashthon Jones. We might as well just dive right in and look at the other 19 one by one, since oddly enough (prepare yourself for this), I don’t have random bouts of complaints to cover tonight. I know, go buy your lottery ticket. I’ll wait…
Up first in our supersized 2 hour result show (and you thought the one hour ones were bad), we kicked off the festivities with our MySpace sponsored Karen Rodriguez. Winning JLo’s heart with a Selena song and confirming her status after “If You Had My Love,” Karen can be proud for powerfully singing her way to the top, even though she is pretty much there just for commercial interests.
Robbie Rosen: A strong, acoustic version of “Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word” has only further confirmed what America likely already knew (thanks to my recaps, of course, right?). Robbie Rosen is no Aaron Kelly or David Archuleta. Don’t let the age fool you. He’s more fluid on stage with a personality that doesn’t leave you wanting more. It was a no brainer that Robbie would make it to the Top 24. Question now … how far will America take him, considering he’s one of the youngest contestants the show has ever seen.
Tatynisa Wilson: After blowing the lyrics in Hollywood, it was a surprise Tatynisa was still around the competition. After belting out Toni Braxton’s classic “Unbreak My Heart,” the judges had no reason but to say yes to this vocal delight. Vocal delight. Sounds like that could be an ice cream flavor, no? Sorry, back on track … After Tatynisa received the good news, the likes of Jimmy Allen and Brittany Mazur had to hear the opposite tale. We knew 11 had to be told no, we’re just lucky Idol didn’t give them all much of the light of day.
Tim Halperin: Swooning JLo and most of America with his Maroon 5 rendition in the city auditions and winning more hearts from his duet with Julie Zorrilla last night in Vegas, Tim decided he’d take the bold route and belt out an original tune for the final stage. Not only did it sound legit and full of emotion, Tim started to make me long for the days of Matt Giraud. Hopefully he can save us from the Bieber wannabes (who undoubtedly have more talent) and keep the singer-songwriter vibe alive and kicking.
Julie Zorrilla: I’m pretty sure it’s no longer a secret who this guy (yes, I mean me) has picked as his contestant to follow and praise all season long. If you haven’t already figured it out, you may want a lesson in picking up not so subtle hints before reading on. I’m still not entirely convinced how “Born This Way” by Lada Gaga was the perfect theme to complement her celebration of receiving the good news, but the powers that be decided she needed a bold, upbeat anthem to carry her through. Keep your eye out here, one of the strong Latina contenders of the season … and one of the few strong, consistent ones Idol has seen in a long time.
Scotty McCreery: Well, what do you know. American Idol is not only sponsored by Ford, Coca Cola, AT&T and MySpace, but their official artist of the year is apparently Josh Turner. Now Scotty’s got a good voice and it is a singing competition after all, but his vocal ability can’t seem to get passed Mr. Turner. Ya, I don’t see him going very far. I’m tuning in to American Idol, not “Josh Turner Karaoke Hour” twice a week. And nothing against Josh either. And with one cowboy’s entry to the Top 24, comes the demise of a John Wayne Schultz.
Jovany Baretto: He wanted to remind us that he didn’t make it this far because of his “The-Situation-like” ab reveal during his city auditions but because he can actually sing.
Lauren Turner: From cleaning houses to gracing the Idol main stage. Another Top 24 finalist we haven’t been force fed much this season.
Rachel Zevita: Before we begin, can someone please tell me what this Idol hopeful was wearing? Did she travel to her Grandma’s childhood days and steal something out of her 1940’s closet collection? Speaking of Grandma, I wonder how her date with anorexic Ryan went. After Rachel’s high pitched squeal at the end of her “Speechless” final audition, I wasn’t sure we’d be seeing her in the finals. Apparently the rumor that she took a music scholarship and quit the competition was F.A.L.S.E.
Kendra Chantelle: After regrettably being overlooked by me last night (yes, I tried apologizing to her directly but Paul McDonald just grabbed my attention just like that), Kendra stood out tonight with her “Fallin'” cover in the final audition. However, she pulled the “I’m-singing-my-initial-audition-song” card, which I usually don’t go for. Why would you re-sing your initial audition song at this stage. It doesn’t show growth, originality or flexibility. That said, it was well done and was well done even though Tyler and crew weren’t sure she’s ready for this stage.
Jordan Dorsey: Jordan has probably had the most inconsistent and obtuse representation this audition season. From a positive piano teacher at our initial meeting to performing his own auditions for the group round in Hollywood to ditching Jaycee, it’s hard to form a decent opinion on this man. However, it is a singing competition and he’s got the chops. No wonder J.Lo vouched for him.
Lauren Alaina: Bless Steven Tyler for saying he’s not sure how she’ll be able to handle it big time, attempting to cover up the fact that the producers are pulling for this one! As if there were a doubt in your mind, Lauren made it through and can thank Pappy Nigel for some clever editing. And I really hate to be cynical because she actually does have a great voice, but when a show manipulates editing like that for one person in particular, it tends to be a turn-off.
Stefano Langone: Another who kinda sorta has been absent or less than stellar during the auditions. Not horrible enough to be eliminated but more of a “let’s see what he can do” kinda guy at this point.
Jacob Lusk: His over the top, excessive runs that Randy apparently doesn’t want him to stop have danger of getting old fast and quickly. Touted with the best performance EVER on Idol by the Dawg, Jacob has a huge reputation to now live up to. Sometimes starting so high up doesn’t have it’s perks on AI.
Pia Toscano: For some stranger reason, reminds me of Paris Tassin (who I still wish was around). Working through her rendition of an Alicia tune, Pia’s made her way to the top and could be a quiet contender from the get go.
James Durbin: The Adam Lambert comparisons will forever continue if they keep hitting the same notes in the same exact manner with the same exact facial expressions. What James has going for him that Adam didn’t…humility.
Casey Abrams: As we reported earlier, Casey has a little bit of a health scare. With a soulful tune and the help of his bass fiddle, Casey is proving that he too can be “cool.” As Randy continues to make Season 10 sound like a priceless gem, he claims that Casey is the best contestant this show has seen with music technique. If Randy’s right, technique is a true sign of an artist.
Thia Megia: Down to Thia and Jessica (who has been hidden from our view until now) with Thia grabbing the edge over the girl who has auditioned 7 times already. Talk about not giving up.
Finally, Idol’s reveal comes to a close as we’re down to 3 guys for one spot. Brett Loewenstern, Jaycee Badeaux, Colton Dixon all fighting for the last male spot in the Top 24. Brett has continued to show personality in each stage of the competition with a real desire to sing a straight tune. He may need to work on his “I haven’t washed my hair in a while” look to keep the public interest, but you can bet he’ll have America backing him up. Get ready for countless headline grabbing stories as Ryan covers bullying should Brett make it onto the main stage.
Well, there you have it worshippers! We’ve made it through another tough audition season together. Next week, the Top 12 guys and Top 12 girls take the stage on Tuesday and Wednesday for your votes. As we reported earlier, Idol has officially entered the 21st century with online voting. Starting with the performances next week, users can vote online for their favorites, as well as via telephone and text message. What do you think about the top 24? Do you think Jacob Lusk has the best performance EVER claim to fame? Who do you want to see make it past next week? Let us know below!