S10E12: Alright folks, this is it. The Idol top 24 have actually all been revealed and you know what, it wasn’t all that surprising. Maybe that’s because they’ve been showing us reels and reels of footage of them all season so that we’d get attached and feel compassionate towards their quest for superstardom, but in most cases it’s because they are legitimately talented and there’s not much to gripe about.
While American Idol took two hours to reveal all the finalists, I doubt it will take us that long. We all know that show could have been over in a half hour – I mean, they’re preempting Glee for Idol next week, how much time must we give? With the spirit of brevity in mind, let’s get down to business.
“You had me at ‘If You Had My Love.’” –JLo
First up was Karen Rodriguez from New York, who I called a wedding singer yesterday. Now don’t get me wrong, the girl has pipes; she can sing well, but the difference between a wedding singer and a recording artist is hardly ever ability. As cheesy as it sounds, it’s star quality, and I’m not sure Karen has it, but seeing as she was named one of the top 12 ladies, I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
After Karen got the good news, one of my favorites, Robbie Rosen, received good tidings as well. The show took a moment to remind us of his miraculous past (he used to be in a wheelchair), which I had totally forgotten about but made me like him even more. The kid just oozes talent and he’s charismatic, yet unassuming onstage. This whole segment would have been even better if Steven had refrained from telling him he’d made it in that tricky, circular Chesire Cat-esque phrasing that he used ALL FREAKING NIGHT.
There were a few faces I wasn’t jazzed to see make it into the top 12, but I’m by no means livid about it. One of those folks was Tatynisa Wilson who has incredible range, but brings something awkward to the stage when she gets up there. I’m hoping it was just audition nerves, but we’ll see next week when she sings for the country’s votes.
Among those folks that Idol showed us getting rejected were Brittany Mazure and Jimmy Allen, two faces that managed to shy away from the cameras for most of the journey, so we had little reason to miss them when they left.
“Scotty, Scotty, SCOTTY. You make a Bronx girl love country music?” –JLo
I guess today I’m all about the JLo quotes, but I think Steven’s had enough time in the spotlight. Moving right along, we saw Tim Halperin, who sang his own original song in his final audition in the hangar of doom. He’s got a lovely voice, but he’s also got incredible stage presence, and folks that’s what you need to keep going here: the whole package. Of course, Halperin nabbed a slot among the top 12 dudes.
Julie Zorilla took the stage for her last audition, singing solidly and beautifully, but I share the same concerns as the judges. There’s not a whole lot of emotion behind her voice when she sings, but her beauty and voice won out for now because she also grabbed a spot in the final 24.
Scotty McCreery made it through as well, and while I’d like to say I agree with that, I’m not sure that I do. Maybe it’s the new Idol and he won’t have to try on other styles that will test his country timbre, but he’s a one note guy – even if that one note is fantastic. On the flip side, John Wayne Schultz didn’t fare as well. There’s only one spot for a country boy and it makes sense that Scotty would merit it over John Wayne.
“Thank you and God bless you, Ryan.” –Rachel Zevita’s 90 year old granny
Also making it into the final set were Jovany Barreto (who Ryan creepily keeps calling the “Latin Lover”) and Lauren Turner (who’s just recently started popping up in the show’s “random” footage). They’re both great singers with fantastic ranges. Turner’s been a bit inconsistent, but you don’t ignore a set of pipes like hers. Unfortunately, right after that good news came the news that Erin Kelley and Taiwan Strong would be marching on home. Once again, thanks to the editing on the show, we don’t really have a reason to miss them all that much.
Finally, we have Rachel Zevita, who Ryan says he feels like he’s grown up with because she’s auditioned before. The girl has truly got a great voice, though her performances are a little bi-polar and could use some guidance. She brought her 90 year old grandma with her to get the news so it’s a good thing they finally gave her the green light to make it into the top 12 girls.
“You’re mean! You’re so mean!” –Lauren Alaina
“No. Randy’s mean.” –JLo
Another questionable lady made it into the top 24, Kendra Chantelle. Of course, she’s pretty, she’s got a sweet voice, and she has definitely improved, I’m just not sure how long she’ll last once the voting starts. I did however like her very smart song choice – “Falling” is the song she first auditioned with, and we definitely saw how much she’d improved.
In the category of “UGH, alright I GUESS,” Jordan Dorsey was given a spot among the top 12 dudes. Yeah, yeah, he can sing, but the guy is just straight up not likable. Some of you may disagree, but not everyone can be an arrogant asshole like Kanye West and still sell millions of albums. When you’re as talented as Kanye, go ahead and be a dick, but the fact is Dorsey isn’t THAT talented, so he need to knock it off.
Then we get to mini-Dolly Parton in her sparkly pink and purple cowgirl outfit. WOWZA. When did she become a My Size Barbie? Anyway, after a serious fakeout, Lauren Alaina found that of course she’s in the top 12 girls because DUH. She’s got an amazing voice. Done deal.
“I’ll take an order of that. I’ll have what he’s having.” -Steven
Of course one of Jennifer’s favorites, Stefano Langone made it through. The guy can sing, even if his original song may need a little work as far as the lyrics go, and his final audition proved that. Among other not-so-surprising top 24 picks were Jacob Lusk of the amazing old timey voice (and the best celebration dance ever on Idol) and Pia Toscano. Early favorite Jackie Wilson didn’t fare as well, but after watching her final hangar audition I doubt anyone was pushing for her to stay. She really fell from the heights of her original audition and it was just painful to watch.
Obviously James Durbin got a spot in the top 24. I get that the guy is talented, but his vocals are more suited for an entire rock band’s sound (like, hello, Steven Tyler in Aerosmith) not for a solo pop artist. However, it doesn’t matter what I think, because it’s up to Idol fans now.
“I’m here to prove that people like me can be sexy.” –Casey Abrams
You know, when he said that, I cringed; but when he started singing I backed down and realized that it’s totally true. Mr. Abrams is probably the most talented person ever on Idol. He’s a real musician who probably wouldn’t have had a shot going straight into the music business because he doesn’t look the part. THIS is what Idol should be for, not for a bunch of pretty good singers to show off their skills with old standards and Destiny’s Child songs. If he doesn’t get well in time to tape his performance for next week (he was hospitalized yesterday) I may actually shed tears OVER AMERICAN IDOL. THIS IS SERIOUS, FOLKS.
Finally there were five left and only two more spots. For the ladies it was down to Thia Megia and Jessica Cunningham (who’s tried out SEVEN TIMES). The talent lies with Thia so she got the final spot, but Jessica was understandable frustrated because it was also her birthday. But here’s the thing, you cannot be given a spot in the top 24 as a birthday present or a consolation prize. It’s time to return to your day job, sorry girlie.
Last but not least, Jacee Badeaux, Brett Lowenstern and Colton Dixon were brought out together to find that Brett was the one to take the final spot. I doubt I was the only one who was happy to see that happen, but it was hard to watch Jacee go. He’s a little sweetheart, but the fact is he’s 15 years old and he’d get swallowed up in the competition. He needs a few more years to work on his voice, and then he may be able to really take the competition by storm.
Well, there you have it. The rest of the top 24. Get your voting fingers ready, start doing those exercises (and practice your Facebook skills because you can use that now too) because next week, you actually have to start deciding who goes home and who stays. And we all know, if you don’t vote, you can’t bitch.