American Idol Recap: Those 24 About to Rock, We Salute You!

What Thursday night’s American Idol telecast lacked in suspense, it more than made up for in terms of surprise.

Ryan Seacrest pulled a Gwyneth Paltrow and went all Country Strong on us, but not before getting lifted like a set of Jersey Shore dumbbells by male and female contestants alike. Rachel Zevita opened up a commanding lead in the Season 10 Millinery Race. A pissed-off rocker chick took home the prize for Most Endearing Contestant (I kid you not!) by candidly flipping off the Idol cameras. And Sam Cooke’s classic civil-rights anthem “A Change Is Gonna Come” underwent radical plastic surgery — without the benefit of anesthesia!

Perhaps most importantly, though, by the time the judges finished introducing us to this year’s 24 semifinalists, we’d had a chance to hear each and every last one of them singing. Yes, Idoloonies, Nigel Lythgoe & Co. apparently succumbed to our prior accusations of “sabotage!” when contestants like Michelle Delamor or Jeanine Vailes — I’ll pause here so you can go ahead and ask “Who?!” — arrived at the live portion of the competition without having performed a single note for the voting public. And while the New Idol Order doesn’t mean each and every one of the Season 10 semifinalists is operating on a level playing field, it’s better than seeing a handful of contestants selected at random to get buried alive underneath the grass.

So bravo, Uncle Nigel! Mazel tov, Cecile Frot-Coutaz! When it comes to the 19 singers who survived the “Green Mile” in Thursday’s telecast (joining Naima Adedapo, Haley Reinhart, Paul McDonald, Ashton Jones, and Clint Jun Gamboa from Wednesday’s show — read my take on their chances here) we’re not limited to ruminating on the “pop-starriness” of their names or the luxuriousness of their hair. Instead, let’s break ’em down into six distinct categories, shall we?

* Robbie “Get Me a Buzzcut!” Rosen
: Just in case you hadn’t noticed that the polite, dashing teenager has yet to take a musical misstep this season, Ryan’s voiceover served as a perky reminder: “This 17-year-old seems unstoppable!” And indeed, his stripped down rendition of Elton John’s “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word” in the sing-for-your-life round showcased Robbie’s lovely phrasing and penchant for smart vocal risks. I’m not sure he’s quite earned Randy’s superlative label of “genius” (insert eye roll here), but I can definitely get behind Steve Tyler’s assessment: “You sang your [bleep] off!”

* Casey “The Furniture Thrower” Abrams: The season’s most charming contestant got even more adorable tonight, noting that whether he left the Green Mile crying in joy or in agony, he’d still get to hug Jennifer Lopez. “I’m here to prove people like me can be sexy,” he grinned, before taking to his upright bass and delivering a smoldering take on “Why Don’t You Do Right?” I’m not sure a black suit paired with sneakers is heartthrob chic, but that final falsetto note fading into a growl certainly helped support Casey’s thesis.

* Lauren “Cute Overload” Alaina: One of the night’s comedic highlights came before the commercial break, when producers juxtaposed the image of a gasping Lauren with the sound of Jennifer Lopez saying, “you didn’t make it into the top 24 this time.” As if! Uncle Nigel spent the last seven years in a laboratory trying to weld together DNA from Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood with a heap of sequins he pilfered from the set of Toddlers & Tiaras. He’d rather toss Thia Megia into a swimming pool of ravenous piranhas than see his Chosen One go the way of Baylie Brown. Yet while Lauren definitely has a set of pipes (and an icky penchant for physical contact with Steven Tyler), did anyone else notice her hiccupy delivery on the chorus of “Unchained Melody” in her airplane hangar performance? “I need your (gasp) love”? Seriously? Cowboy Barbie needs a lot of work in the phrasing department, folks!

* Brett Loewenstern: Sweet, redheaded teenager got lumped together with Colton Dixon and Jacee Badeaux (pictured, bottom right) for the season’s twenty-fourth and last semifinal slot. Yet while Brett has been a consistent presence on the show all season, his original track “Bulletproof Vest” featured the kind of lyrical hokum you’d find at a bad high-school poetry jam. “I look in the mirror and I see a stranger staring back at me”? Gack! Then again, compared to Jacee’s choice of Michael Jackson’s absurd “Gone Too Soon” (with an actual lyric of “born to amuse, to inspire and delight/ here one day, gone one night”) perhaps I’m judging Brett too harshly. He’ll also have to face residual wrath from fans of Colton Dixon and His Magnificent Hair.

* Tim “Never Ask a Lady Her Age” Halperin: Of all the original songs we heard performed in the final solo round, Tim’s piano-driven ballad was the best. If it weren’t for Paul McDonald, Tim would have a monopoly on the “sensitive musician hottie” role that’s been a proven commodity on Idol the last few years.

* Kendra “Not Chanterelle” Chantelle: Somewhat to my surprise, I cheered more enthusiastically for Kendra to crack the top 24 than any other contestant tonight. Maybe it’s because I’m still reeling from her haunting, lovely version of “Blackbird” (with Paul McDonald) from Vegas night, or that snippet of “Georgia on My Mind” from Hollywood Week. (Neither of which got as enthusiastic reception from the judges as they warranted.) And now, thankfully I’ve also got Kendra’s sparse, intimate take on Alicia Keys’ “Fallin” to add to my “YouTube obsession” folder. Clearly, this is a woman who’s not limited to just one genre; now here’s just hoping she doesn’t pull a Janell Wheeler and botch her Week One semifinal song choice!

* Rachel “Hat Tricks” Zevita (pictured, lower left): Granted, Idol has been pretty frugal in doling out clips of this little firecracker’s performances, but her “sing for your life” rendition of Lady Gaga’s “Speechless,” while a wee bit theatrical, was also highly entertaining. Rachel can go from a growl to a squeak — and everywhere in between — and her kooky fashion sense should offer  refuge from the onslaught of tulle that Julie Zorrilla and Lauren Alaina are sure to inspire. (Bonus points for the way Rachel’s grandmother macked on Seacrest. ( “What’s the matter? You losing weight?” she wondered mischievously, before telling our host he was looking like a teenager. )

* MySpace Contestant Karen Rodriguez: She might’ve won over Jennifer at the moment she turned “If You Had My Love” into a tender ballad, but I’m still convinced that the judges put her through to the top 24 under some bizarre, secret deal guaranteeing at least one MySpace discovery in the voting rounds.

* Tatynisa “Hair, 10; Voice, 3” Wilson: “It’s about not having a bad day,” explained J.Lo, just moments after producers showed the comely songbird double-botch the lyrics to “I Hope You Dance.” And, oh dear, her airport-hangar rendition of “Unbreak My Heart” has us wondering if she’s got anything more than a great set of gams in her arsenal.

* Jovany “now that my pecs have got your attention, please take me seriously” Barreto: “I’m here to sing,” crowed the guy who performed a half-striptease during the audition rounds. “I’m here to win a competition on talent.” Um, unless that talent is strippin’ down to his skivvies and shakin’ what his mama gave him, I don’t really see that happening, especially since his main priorities between Hollywood Week and the Green Mile were centered mainly on the erstwhile shipbuilder “working out and, letting my hair grow out a little.” As Ryan explained, “Now Jovany is in your hands, America. Do with him what you will.” Ew, did you mean for that to sound so dirty, Seacrest?

* Jordan “You Say ‘Aggresive’ Like It’s a Good Thing” Dorsey: I don’t know about you, but the thing I remember most about Jordan’s highlight reel tonight isn’t his rendition of John Legend’s “So High,” but rather, the words that accompanied his runway strut: “I don’t wanna lose. I’m in this to win. I’m confident. I’m aggressive. I like to get things done in perfection, and I’m trying to win this thing.”

* James “Scarf-Tail” Durbin (pictured, upper left): Yeah, Idol reminded us tonight that James is coping with Tourette’s and Asperger’s Syndromes, but those details are starting to look like red herrings to distract us from the fact that the show’s editors are systematically turning the headband-wearing foolio into the season’s least likable contestant. (Or maybe this is all just a long-con bit of reverse-psychology to make us all feel really bad for the dude.) “I started my journey throwin’ my screams in, just like Adam Lambert, and it’s like, what else can I do? They’re just gonna expect it,” James said after catching “Somebody to Love” in the vice-like grip of his “vocalizing” during Group Round in Hollywood Week. As if James’ presumptuous self-comparison to season 8’s wickedly talented runner-up wasn’t bad enough, he then went and took one of Adam’s signature Idol songs — Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come” — and violently tore it limb from limb till there was nothing left of it but a bloody, quivering pile of unrecognizable notes. J.Lo made her “I smell something bad” face. Ryan, meanwhile, issued an unmistakeable threat: “We now turn James over to you.”

* Scotty “Nuts of Wonder” McCreary:
Holy baritone, Batman, even Ryan Seacrest is singing “Baby lock them doors”! And while Scotty did manage to remember the words to something other than “Your Man” for his airplane-hangar performance, I am dismayed to report that “Long Black Train” is by the same exact artist — and last time I checked, this wasn’t America’s Next Top Josh Turner Impersonator. Would it make me a bad person to fantasize that the “quarter Puerto Rican” side of this unassuming teenager will lead to a spectacular implosion on “Livin’ La Vida Loca” or “She Bangs”?

* Jacob “No Good Note Left Unpunished” Lusk: If Elliott Yamin’s season 4 cover of “A Song for You” was a perfect summer breeze of a performance, then Jacob’s overwrought rendition was a tornado — powerful, yes, but also horrifying. (Also note Jacob’s tornado like action when picking up Ryan and whirling him around like a tiny and meticulously styled rag doll on the Green Mile runway.) Unfortunately, as he did during Wednesday night’s telecast, Randy once again reinforced all of James’ histrionic habits, declaring Jacob’s Hollywood solo of “God Bless the Child” as “the single best performance ever on Idol.” (I’m not going to even go down the road of refuting such nonsense.) But I do have to wonder aloud if it’s too late for Idol to swap in a sub for Randy? I’d even be willing to consider the other original judge, now that “Paula Abdul’s Thunderdome of Dance” has been canceled.

* Thia Megia: Every season needs a teenage female contestant (Lisa Tucker, Katie Stevens, etc) whose GPS misdirects them to Idol instead of some soul-sucking regional beauty pageant. And Thia, with her somber, tinny take on “You Raise Me Up,” has assumed her role with grace and enthusiasm (although, at this time, not with a sash).

* Lauren Turner (pictured, top right):
We haven’t really seen enough of the New Orleans housekeeper to get a true gauge on her talent, but she certainly proved she’s got a lot of horsepower with a muscular reading of “Steal Away.” Idol styling team should be on orange alert following Lauren’s parkly silver skirt and unflattering aqua top during the Green Mile. Color me intrigued with a side of hopeful.

* Julie Zorrilla: J.Lo righteously wants to turn the beautiful robot girl into a real-life human being, demanding she start performing from the heart, not just the head. And I have to say, Julie’s attempt to participate in a game of “Lift the Seacrest” was an excellent step toward her campaign for humanization.

* Stefano Langone: Love the vocal oomph and charisma this kid has, but it was hard to find a single individual word or note in that turgid self-penned ballad he performed in the airport hangar.

* Pia Toscano: Hasn’t made a serious misstep during her Idol run to date, and that cover of Alicia Keys’ “Doesn’t Mean Anything” sounded pretty tight. I also liked the way her thank-yous to the judges felt more humble than entitled.

And finally, as we say goodbye to Brittany Mazur, Jimmy Allen, cowboy John Wayne Schulz, Taiwan Strong, Erin Kelly (sorry, we had one of those in Season 9), Jackie Wilson, and apparently Jerome Bell and Aaron Sanders (even though their send-offs weren’t deemed fit for television) let’s check in with rocker chick Jessica Cunningham (pictured, below), who got cut from the Green Mile for the second year running, on her f****** birthday, in her seventh attempt to make the Idol stage, while paired with Thia &^*#?@* Megia. She knew it from the look on Ryan Seacrest’s face that he was nothing but an undertaker. You hear her! Let’s roll the tape: “They ruined my birthday. You know what I have to say to that. [Raises both middle fingers to the camera.] Yeah, you know what it is. Guys, you know you deserve it. You can’t see what it is — probably got American Idol bubbles over these fingers right now, but you ruined my birthday. I love ya, but come on.” Well-played, sister! After seven seasons of rejection, you’ve earned the ability to keep it real, to not have to grit your teeth, smile, and say “it was an honor to come this far.”

Oh, and about the Jennifer Lopez “drama” that kicked off tonight’s episode? Just because Nigel Lythgoe & Co. put it on an endcap and slapped a bright orange ‘SALE’ tag on it doesn’t mean I’ve got to buy it. The woman had an emotional reaction to Chris Medina’s ouster, and the producers chose to repeat the same footage over and over again till it looked like a full-blown emotional meltdown. As for the “production has come to a halt” bit, I’m willing to bet there’s a lull in filming after nearly every contestant receives a “yes” or “no.” Shall we keep pushing our shopping carts and walk on by?

On that note, what did you think of Thursday’s episode? How do you think the Season 10 semifinalists stack up to last year’s crew? Sound off below, and for all my Idol coverage, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

What’s more, if you have some strong thoughts or opinions on anything you saw this week on Idol — pertaining to judges, contestants, trends or conspiracy theories — and you’d like to share them on the next episode of TVLine’s new Idol-related Web series, Idoloonies, email a paragraph or two to (and be sure to include a contact phone number). We’ll be selecting a handful of readers each week to join me in cohosting the Webcast via Skype or iChat (to tape on Friday afternoon). We’ll also be choosing a Twitter Question of the Week, so don’t hesitate to fire your best shots to me @MichaelSlezakTV. Be sure to tag it #Idoloonies!

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  1. Ablo says:

    I like some of these singers — others seem like they are on the show simply to annoy me — Kendra, James, Stefano, etc. — whiny, sharp/flat — just not good.

    Oh well — we’ll see how they all sound on the stage.

    • Suncatcher says:

      @Ablo – I could not believe either:
      1. James Durbin tried to copy Adam Lambert’s show stopping rendition of “Change is Gonna Come.” (And blew it).
      2. James Durbin got through to the top 24

      He’s gotta be in just to annoy the he!! out of ALL of us.

  2. Jean says:

    Casey Abrams’ attempt at sexy totally worked for me. Love! (In my judge voice: And he’s only 19!) Also, I was disappointed (and I’m guessing you were, too, Michael) to notice that once again Idol has failed to give us a viable black male contestant. Bring back Jermaine Purifory!

    • Marta says:

      I chatted about it with Michael on Week 1’s Idoloonies- so count me as one who is also indeed saddened by the lack of viable black R&B male contestant. Jordan Dorsey will fizzle just like Sellers and Toddrick last year.
      Lusk might have a chance to make the 13- which will have to do– but’s more Ruben/Rickey Smith than Nikko Smith. I want someone singin’ Usher, NeYo and Boys II Men!! I would have LOVED to see Jimmie Allen, Jerome Bell or even teen Deandre make it.
      We will never forget you, Purifoy.

    • Bat Country says:

      You knew the minute you saw Aaron that it would be Jordan over him. Because there’s only allowed to be one black man in the top 24 for some reason, and Jordan was “chosen”. (I don’t even want to speculate at the ugly reasons behind that.)
      It all had to do with image: Jordan is incredibly camera-friendly (read “pretty”) and poor Aaron just doesn’t look very young. So we get the pretty douche over an incredible vocalist.

      I would have loved to see that cut of Aaron’s televised, but you know they couldn’t. They are hoping we had forgotten about him. The only reason we know he exists is the fact he sang with Robbie and Jordan. Maybe he sucked at his solos, but I bet not, or they would have had no reason not to show him walking the Long Walk.

      • missy says:

        There are two black men in the top 24 (Jacob Lusk)

      • whyme says:

        OMG! I TOTALLY agree…We only heard a snippet of Aaron singing in the group with Jordan and Robbie, and he blew them away. Soulful, controlled, great tone…but I thought immediately, uh-oh, he’s not camera friendly or outlandish (as are Jordan, Jacob respectively), so he’s a goner. It is amazing that JLo even said “you’re so good, I don’t know why we can’t remember you.” Well WE remember! Out of the thousands of auditioners, should we believe that NO attractive, great singing, and likable black male exists? Jordan is a goner (just look at the “i hate Jordan” posts, and Jacob doesn’t stand a chance to get to the Finals….As Michael Slezak has pointed out – It’s puzzling how idol treats black males, given that black males are so prominent on the pop charts (Ne Yo, Chris Brown, usher)…not sure why the idol “marketing machine” doesn’t get it…

        • Eolra says:

          I thought he was camera friendly – my first reaction was “Who’s that hot black guy who’s better than these other chumps?”.

  3. Dmedici says:

    Colton Dixon, not Colton Ford…isn’t Colton Ford a porn star?

  4. Sharon says:

    I may be the only one not on the Lauren Alaina train. Actually I’m not sure I dig any of the contestants this season… well maybe wild, bass-playing dude, but I think he’s teetering on the brink of Taylor Hicksville. We’ll have to see.

    • stevenjaba says:

      Uh, no… there are lots of us not on the Lauren Alaina train! (does anyone else think she seems like she spent quite a lot of time doing pageants as a little kid? Has anyone checked old Toddlers and Tiaras footage?)

      • Sharon says:

        Ah, good. I’m glad I’m not the only one, and YES… perfect observation. Makes me wonder whether her mother wanted to be a star at one time.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Sharon, there are LOTS of us that aren’t on the Lauren Aliana “Long Black Train” to quote Scotty McCreery/Josh Turner (which is actually a metaphor for drug addiction, but who cares). I haven’t “gotten it” from Day One and I still don’t. I MUCH preferred British Crying Girl Hollie Cavanuagh, who could actually SING. Slezak is right – Lauren’s phrasing was awful on “Unchained Melody” and her breathiness is annoying. It worked for Olivia Newton John on “I Honestly Love You” but most of the time I honestly hate that sound!

      Remember that cheesy duet from the 70s, “Stay Awhile” (for all the old codgers out there)? I was young and stupid(er) back then and I hated that breathy sound back then.


      • Andre says:

        Count me in on board the “Not For Lauren Alaina” train! I find her voice, while it is powerful, to be common-place. No character at all. And her personality is grating. I never found her to be charming. I find her precocious, entitled, and downright obnoxious. Unfortunately, I will have to endure her as I am sure they TPTB will do anything to make sure she makes the top 2.

        And really, Scotty McCreery over John Wayne Schulz? Puh-lease. I like Scotty’s voice, but what people love about his voice – deep, thick and solid – will also be the vocal limitation that being on the Idol stage will expose. He would be a promising country artist, but don’t put him on the Idol stage. John Wayne had better range and a silkier tone to his voice. Plus, he is definitely more visually appealing. The difference? Scotty’s just 17 vs. John Wayne being 23. And maybe this:

    • Bat Country says:

      What’s not to love? The lack of a sense of artistry, the basic piling on of makeup, lace, and notes in her phrase ends? Haven’t you ever heard “more is MORE?”

      I fast forwarded through her Long Walk segment because I like to avoid torture if I can help it, but I did notice her human My Little Pony getup. God help us if she wins.

    • syb says:

      No, I’d rather walk than hop on the Alaina train. I don’t have a particular problem that she made the top 24. She’s better than a couple, not as good as most, but she’s perky. I mind that she’s been almost crowned by AI from producers to judges.

  5. CMJ says:

    Jovany will move forward as this year’s Tim.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Good night, are you actually comparing Jovany to Tim Urban? I don’t think so! Tim had a confident, humble, endearing quality about him – I ended up liking the kid. He just ignored the judges and got up there and sang. Sorry, I don’t see the comparison. And Tim was cuter.

      • Vetle says:

        This year’s Tim will probably be another Tim. :p

        The difference is that I have expectations that Tim Halperin is going to do well.

  6. Rick says:

    Er… I think when you said “Colton Ford” two times, you actually meant the contestant Colton Dixon. The aforementioned Mr. Ford is a middle-aged former porn actor who is now trying to be a pop singer. Not the same person.

  7. Shari says:

    Great review. Most of it I agree with. I think the country fans will embrace Scotty, especially if he is smart enough to do a Randy Travis song. Same range. I am wondering what the vocal coaches and stylists will do with James. He might benefit a lot. He’s compared to Adam but I think Adam had a lot more training to control his vocals. I wish Caleb Hawley had gone through and not blown it. Singer, songwriter, plays a mean guitar, piano man, and has a sense of humor. Listen to the song Selling Out. His music on his website is good. It will be interesting to see how the season goes. I think a lot of good musicians were passed over. Tim Halperin is a friend of the guys from Green River Ordinance. He will get votes from that arena.

  8. Erica says:

    Thanks, Slezak. You made me laugh my head off!

  9. RLH says:

    Love you Mr. Slezak!! Your recaps make me happy! Question though…not going on looks, but personality alone…does anyone else think Brett could be Richard Simmons’ lost love child??? Maybe it’s just me…I don’t know. :) Ya’ll have a good one!

    • GinaBallerina says:

      Haha, you’re not alone! My husband said the same thing!

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        My husband looked at Brett and asked if Carrot Top and Richard Simmons had a Love Child, LOL.

        but honestly, I am kind of liking Brett.

        • T2 says:

          If you throw Sean Penn into the mix, then you’ve got Brett. He’s not a bad singer, but needs to cool it with the ‘feel bad for me because I was bullied’ shtick.

    • Michelle R. says:

      I came to this conclusion during the whole We’re All Shining Stars For Making It This Far speech. He’s a nice kid though and I hope he shows all those bullies!

  10. K says:

    Lol, I’m guessing “Colton Ford” was a fruedian slip, Michael? If not, you really want your younger reader googling that? Either way, pretty hilarious.

  11. tesh says:

    Name checks:

    TIWAN (not Taiwan) Strong
    Aaron SANDERS (not Aaron Douglas)
    Colton DIXON (not Colton FORD)

    Also, wasn’t Jacob Lusky #1 on your Leaderboard? Was one song reason for a big change of heart?

  12. NickQuebec says:

    I am mad that they let go of Hollie and Colton. I don’t get the love for Scott, who messed up so many times but still in the running for most boring and useless contestant. And I hate James Durbin, Jordan DOrsey, Clint whatever. The others I don’t mind. Guess I’ll be rooting for Rachel and Tim.

    • T2 says:

      Maybe if Hollie hadn’t stomped/marched down the lit runway, stiff arms swinging and with a ‘going to the execution’ scowl on her grim face, she’d have made it.

  13. Saracen Riggins says:

    I’m certainly pleased. Almost everyone I wanted to make it did. The only person I’m disappointed didn’t make it is Colton Dixon. I’d have swapped him for Jovany, James, Jacob, Jordan OR Clint. Wow… that’s a lot of guys I don’t like…

  14. Carlito says:

    OK Scotty McCreary has TO GO!!! And does anyone else get “Lolita” vibes when Lauren Alaina is all over Steven Tyler? Yuck!

  15. Paco says:

    I just love the fact that you originally did not bold Thia’s name lol Harmless mistake or FREUDIAN TYPO!?!

    i was actually upset that Colton didnt make it to the Top 24. We heard very little from his sing-for-your-life song (if anybody got the title to that song, could you please help a brother out? Thank you!) but the little I heard, I freakin loved. I even really really REALLY like the Daughtry song he sang. However he minute I saw him walking down the green mile with Brett and Jaycee, i knew he was a goner since Brett has been so heavily shown all season long.

    Jordan is my Jermaine Sellers of Season 10. i had such an intense dislike of Jermaine from the moment he opened his mouth and the same thing happened to me with Jordan. I want him gone from my tv screen already.

    With that said, Im excited for Robbie, Stefano, Paul, Tim, Karen, Ashton, Kendra and Julie.

    P.S. Am I the only one that thinks Jovanny looks like a parakeet? I just cant unsee it.

  16. Ken says:

    While I agreed with most of the choices for top 24, the choice to put Scotty or Brett in over Colton Dixon was a head scratcher for me. And Jacob Lusk??? He is an over-the-top parody of a gospel-style singer and belongs in a MadTV skit with Debra Wilson’s rendition of Whitney Houston.

    • kryssyess says:

      Great description of Jacob Lusk! Not sure there are enough Southern Babtists to keep him going for long.

    • jrs says:

      Love the description. I absolutely hated him…had to turn off the volume when he sang, er, I mean, when he oversang. What drugs is Randy on to say that was the single best performance ever??? I want somma dat!

  17. Suncatcher says:

    Slezak with nothing but net, again! I agree with your recap totally. Wondering why Jaycee’s photo is being shown above. He was cut last night…

    Any update on how Casey Abrams is? He was taken to the hospital yesterday with “severe stomach pains” and if he failed to get back to taping today, he would be off the show? He’s the favorite!!!

    Can Lauren cure Casey in time??? Tune in again next week…

    PS – Note to Lauren, you’re getting wayyyyy too cozy with Steven Tyler. Bordering on sexual harrassment. Noticed also by us VOTERS.
    PPS – Note to Uncle Nigel, put a leash on your “niece!”

    (Oh, the drama this year)!

    • RT says:

      “Can Lauren cure Casey in time?” Hilarious, and sadly true. I will be very disappointed if he is not able to be on the show.

  18. Amy says:

    LOL’d on your Jacob Lusk & Scott McCreery descriptions. Thanks Michael! I ffwd’ through Jacobs final song – way over the top –
    I think Scott did well though on his final performance, I loved it. Here’s hoping he can move past the “nuts of wonder” :)
    I’m keeping my fingers crossed that when the Top 13 happens, Steven Tyler picks Colton as the final wild card. Why would he say “You were just crazy good” and then oust him. Why at the end did Ryan say Bye to Jacee and something like, “See you later Colton”.

    • Suncatcher says:

      Oh, the drama this year!

    • Snsetblaze says:

      Is it a top 13 or a top 12? What ever happened to the – we’ll just pick the 20 best whether they are guys or girls?

      And I’d love to see Colton as the wild card. I do think Brett deserved his spot though. Those that did not: James Durbin, Clint, Jovanny and Jordan.

      Love Casey, Paul and Rachel and like Tim. Of the girls, only Rachel seems any different. At least the guys have variety.

  19. Maddie says:

    Colton Dixon – disappointed he didn’t make the top 24 and disappointed you didn’t get his name right. The little we saw I thought the guy had – in idol speak – “the whole package”. I’m guessing the powers that be didn’t want another white rocker guy to win. Colton is too Lee, Chris, and Davidesque. Is there a wild card this year? Any hope we might see him again?

  20. shari says:

    Would the girls please get rid of the short version of the sqare dancing dress. This might be a year when a girl takes it.

  21. GA-girl says:

    What–no comments yet, or are they just not showing?? Looking forward to the next couple of shows. Can now put faces with the names. haven’t seen enough of some of them to know who is who. And the black guy who has to run every note up and down the scale, and thru hoops—turn it down a notch already!!

  22. Finian says:

    Scotty isn’t going to win AI, but that kid is “pure” country – and that’s going to sell music whenever he gets off the show. The low end baritone ain’t for everybody, but he’s going to just fine after the tweeners Facebook him to death in favor of Brett, the one trick pony.

    Anyobne lese think keeping the two teenagers over Colton and Jessica at the end was TPTB machination at its best?

    • Snsetblaze says:

      Keeping Thia, Lauren Alaina and Scott (and Jovany, James Durbin, Clint, Jordan Dorsey) over Colton and Jessica was the TPTB machination. Brett earned his spot.

  23. Deb says:

    Am I the one whose a fan of Paul McDonald? Guy has the best phrasing of any contestant this season and among the best ever.

  24. Owen says:

    Why did moving to TV Line turn Slezak into a douche? Just because you have 1/93 of the readers you once had on EW, doesn’t mean you have to be such an ass. Your respondents, sure, that’s what we’re here for. But please. I’m now ROOTING for Scotty and James just cause you hate them to such a silly degree (well, not James, I don’t think I could go that far–but listen to Scotty. Those are some luxurious tones the boy has when he can remember the lyrics. I know you’re a country-hater, Slezak, but at least represent when there is a truly beautiful voice singing. Plus he seems like a seriously sweet boy. I hate country myself, but a good singer will always catch my attention). It scares me that dude like Casey Abrams as much as I do, but probably for the wrong reasons. We all know Slezak is a “bear chaser” and Casey fits that category nicely (and sexily). Also, I used to love Idolatry. I loved Slezak at his EW desk. It was informal and fun and sweet. He was having a conversation with a person in the room, discussing the show like we would with a friend. Now he’s “presenting” to the camera, coming across, again, douche-like. I wish Idolatry had continued over at EW with Annie, who is a great recapper, who seems to have found the heart Slezak is missing. You think your attempt at humorous similes take some of the sting out of your mean-spiritedness? You’re not that good a writer. Check out what Annie is doing over at your old job.

    • Suncatcher says:

      Huh? Annie, is that YOU?

      (Don’t worry, Slezak, we’ll take care of this)…

    • Owen says:

      Oh, and get the names spelled right.

    • Paco says:

      bear chaser LMAO hilarious.
      Imma have to disagree about Slezak being a douche. Hes just opinionated about AI contestants, something he has always been. But I will agree with you on not particularly enjoying the format of Idolonoonies. I really liked the whole desk-setting you mentioned in Idolatry

    • betsy says:

      I’m getting tired of employees coming over here to insult Slezak. maybe they should just worry about their own site/jobs.

      I’ve tried reading the recaps at and they bore me. When everyone figures out where Slezak went, they’ll be here.

      • Owen says:

        I am certainly NOT an EW employee. I’m sure they would never tell the truth in pixel print about a former colleague. They appear, besides Dalton Ross, to be very nice people.

      • T2 says:

        ok, so I’m one of the ew readers that followed a suggestion to check this out. It’s a quality recap, so I have no qualms about reading it every week.

        What IS annoying is the l-o-n-g pages of comments. If you want to scroll back up to the article to check a name, it’s hard to find where you left off reading. Can someone put pagination on here? More than there is now, I mean.

        Thank you.

    • Lunakit says:

      Wonder twin powers activate! Form of an invisible shield for Michael and a bucket of water for Owen…… I also noticed that Annie gets her share of “You are just not Michael Slezak” in the EW comments. Having both to read means twice the fun on Thurs and Fri. Love ’em both! I tend to read Michael’s first, since he is generally more cohesive and informative about how the show went down. (I usually don’t watch the actual shows until the weekend). Annie adds in flavor and bizarre observations. Both make me laugh out loud. Dream sequence: Annie and Michael do a weekly idolatryloonies that shows on both sites. I do miss seeing Michael riff with his colleagues.

    • Hooch says:

      Ok, not sure why people think this would be an EW employee or why there would be animosity from Slezak’s old EW co-workers towards him…. If you WATCHED Idolotry, clearly they were all friends. Do you hate all of your ex co-workers because they no longer work with you ? Why would Annie suddenly want to trash him ? Makes no sense.

      Anyway though, based on your comments this season, Owen, I do wonder why you read Slezak’s articles if it seems like you really hate him and his writing ? I’m not saying “go elsewhere!”, but really , you seem to be on some personal crusade to attack him as much as possible in the comments of every AI recap he does. It’s coming across ( to me anyway ) as a tad obsessive …. Just sayin’.

    • Cy says:

      Whoa, whoa, CHILL, dude. Slezak is entitled to his own opinions, and too bad if they happen to run counter to yours. There are tons of other Idol bloggers out there with different opinions, so go find one whose taste matches yours a little better. No need to throw such a hissy fit at Slezak. I mean, what else do we come here and read his articles for if not to hear his snarky commentary on the Idol hopefuls? If you want a straight cover, Washington Post has a pretty vanilla recapper.

      And for the record, as a straight woman who is typically only attracted to skinny, emo-looking guys, I have to say even *I* was charmed by Casey, the so-called “bear” contestant. So you don’t have to slap homophobic labels on Slezak just because he happens to be gay and you apparently don’t get what’s so great about the (big, beary) kid, capisci?

      • Owen says:

        Well, I’m gay (and a bear), which doesn’t necessarily preclude my comments from being homophobic…but I do believe I’m just actually Slezak-phobic. He used to be a douche on EW (around Season 4 I believe…) but I warmed to him and Idolatry went a long way to making me a fan. But here at TV Line, his week after week insistence of blabbing about how he hated AI’s overindulgent use of backstory, now his odd prejudices of this year’s contestants…he’s back to being an ass-wipe. But again, that’s my opinion. Slezak is also a habit. Part of my own AI Obsessive Disease. A bad habit, granted, but one I’m not going to break. I’m not going to stop reading (or commenting). You don’t have to agree with me that he’s a douche, but his writing? Dudes. Just the basics of you know how many names and factoids he actually got wrong in this recap alone? Just bad bad journalism. I certainly hope he’s gone back to correct them (there’s no way I’m reading the drivel again to see).

        • Owen says:

          Actually I just tried to re-read. Then I got to this line:

          “And Sam Cooke’s classic civil-rights anthem “A Change Is Gonna Come” underwent radical plastic surgery — without the benefit of anesthesia!”

          Oh, dude. Really? Really?

  25. kts says:

    Wow, Michael! I agree with you on almost everything! Except Brett–seriously, you’re criticizing his chances based on his original song? An original song by a FIFTEEN YEAR OLD (and let’s face it, kid mighta been 13 or 14 when he wrote it! ;)) who clearly has some issues with how people perceive him (some of the giggling and sideways glances, when he’s gone up to sing–some even from the judges who made a few assumptions about him). I love this kid. I love his energy and his karma–as the trio walked the Green Mile and he reached out and grabbed the others’ hands, and did so again on the way back? I hated that he lost his moment to enjoy being in the Top 24 because AI wanted the drama of the other two NOT getting in. Everyone else got to jump up and down and fistpunch and have a moment of glory with the judges. He had to be all solemn and concerned about the other two and their feelings–and he WAS! I say, keep an eye on him.

    • RT says:

      I thought about that last night too. It is not really fair to have the final people go in together for the last spots. The ones who do get through, don’t really get to celebrate their big moment like they deserve if they are trying to be respectful of the ones who didn’t make it (which they were last night).

  26. Timothy Gunn says:

    I get cold sweats thinking about the horrific possibility of the following top 10 getting to go on tour:

    1. James Durbin
    2. Lauren Alaina
    3. Jordan Dorsey
    4. Scotty McReery
    5. Thia Megia
    6. Jovany Barreto
    7. Karen Rodriguez
    8. Rachel Zevita
    9. Haley Reinhart
    10. Clint Gamboa

    Would anybody pay to see them? Egads!

    Much better and worth my money for the summer tour would be:

    1. Paul McDonald
    2. Casey Abrams
    3. Kendra Chantelle
    4. Julie Zorilla
    5. Tim Halperin
    6. Naima Adedapo
    7. Brett Loewenstern
    8. Ashthon Jones
    9. Colton Dixon’s hair (sigh)
    10. Jacee Badeaux (oh well)

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      No kidding, Tim. I don’t completely agree with your lineups (I’m warming up to Karen Rodriguez and Rachel Zevita – my jury is still out on them, and I’m also liking Lauren Turner and Pia Toscano). Holy cow, look at last year! The good people got sent packing and the cannon fodder made it through. Do they NOT think about that possibility? I would have preferred to have seen Colton Dixon, Aaron Sanders, and that rocker chick that gave the camera the double-bird put through rather than Lauren Aliana, Thia Megia, Jordan Dorsey, James Sob Story, and Jovany what’s his name.

    • T2 says:

      One ticket for show #2, please.

  27. Lourdes says:

    Slezak, you really need to get Jessica Cunningham and Colton Dixon onto a future installment of Idoloonies. I would have swapped them in in a second over Thia Meghia and James Durbin! Also I think you’re being too hard on Karen Rodriguez…great voice and bubbly without being annoying. Lauren Alaina should take notes.

  28. Catrina says:

    Why was Ashthon left off the list?! She is my favorite girl so far and I hope she does well in the Semi’s. The rest of the list I agree on, I would give anything to have Scotty get the boot in the semi’s.

    • T2 says:

      Unless her name is pronounced Ash Thon, I will not ever type it. If that name is pronounced Ash Ton, her parents did her a disservice.

  29. darcy's evil twin says:

    Certainly there were disappointments last night and not too many surprises. It would be easier to size up the contestants if we actually got to hear them SING a little more rather than engage in histrionics and sob stories.

    I enjoyed Karen Rodriguez last night – she was doing more of what I scientifically refer to as “good old fashioned singing”. I also enjoyed Rachel Zevita.

    Casey Abrams’ rendition of Peggy Lee’s “Why Don’t You Do Right?” was pure magic and I’m so glad he didn’t do the overdone “Fever”. “Fever” and “At Last” need to be retired from pop culture. And speaking of retired….

    If one more contestant slaughters a song by the late, great Sam Cooke I am going to drive to Hollywood, snap off their heads, and do you-know-what in the hole. James needs to listen to the original “A Change is Gonna Come”. While I enjoyed Adam Lambert’s rendition, my favorite is still Lilly Scott’s version, which was lovely! Sam Cooke has a HUGE songbook. Retire “A Change is Gonna Come” and sing something else, people! In fact, Jacob Lusk should try a kinder, gentler version of his voice at one of Cooke’s songs.

    I am liking Lauren Turner, and her unusual song choice of “Steal Away” was intriguing and a bit of a risk, in my opinion. Has anyone else ever performed that on AI?

    Yes Slezak, “Long Black Train” is a Josh Turner “Baby lock them doors and turn the lights down low” song (father and husband are huge country fans). I also wish he’d sung something by ANYONE else! I’m trying to like this guy! Hey Scotty, surprise us with a Barbara Mandrell tune! Or George Jones! He’s demonstrated he has a bit of a range. I think he was chosen over John Wayne because of his age.

    I’m liking Julie, Pia, Robbie, Paul, Kendra, and Tim.

    • sherimoonzombie says:

      I totally agree re: Karen Rodriguez, she’s my refuge from the melismatic overkill from nearly all the other girls.
      As I posted on another site, I think Sam Cooke’s estate should slap a restraining order on James Durbin to ensure he’s never allowed within 100 yds of A Change is Gonna Come again. Or maybe a civil suit would be more effective….

    • sherimoonzombie says:

      Wow,I may be darcy’s evil twin’s twin because I totally agree about Lilly Scott’s version. I still miss her.

  30. Alex says:

    No mention of the delightful Paul McDonald?

  31. Mariska Hartigay says:

    Seriously, what is with Sleazak’s obsession with the words “rocker chick”? That Jessica girl was not good and NOT a rocker. Now we will have to endure Sleazak’s season-long hatred for Thia Megia because she was paired in the chair with Jessica, who has tried for the show SEVEN times and seriously has no chance in hell of making the semis.

  32. Alex says:

    Oh, and Karen Rodriguez is not the only MySpace contestant in the top 24 — Tim Halperin auditioned via MySpace, too. Watch his official American Idol video for proof.

  33. Alex says:

    Not sure why my first comment didn’t go through, but Slezak, for someone who geeks out on the details of American Idol, I’m shocked you keep misspelling someone’s name. It’s Ashthon Jones, not Ashton — see for yourself.

  34. Titina says:

    I think Paul will win because of the overall package, but Casey Abrams is my favorite. He has super star written all over him. Win or not we will see him in the showbiz world for sure. Dude is gonna get plenty of offers!
    Maybe his style of music is not mass popular but he is so damn talented, what a voice!
    I think he just might do a very cool jazz album. Love him. Team Casey all the way.

  35. ASH says:

    Not to nitpick, but Elliott Yamin was a contestant in Season 5, not 4. :-)

    • betsy says:

      Elliot *sigh* – my favorite AI contestant EVER!!!! Thanks for reminding everyone of his beautiful rendition of “Song for You”, which Simon called “a vocal master class.”

  36. Judy says:

    I liked Karen Rodriguez!!! I thought she had a lovely tone singing that Selena song.

  37. GinaBallerina says:

    Hi, Slezak!

    I think you need one more list…

    SCREWED THEMSELVES TOO BADLY DURING HOLLYWOOD WEEK TO RECOVER (aka, let’s hope the judges use the wildcard on us)

    1. Clint Junebug
    2. Jordan

  38. marie says:

    I’ve said it before, I’ve learned to wait for the live shows to form a definite opinion of any of the contestants. That said, there are a few who have already piqued my interest – but ONE who ALREADY has my wholehearted enthusiasm: Casey Abrams. His “Do Right” floored me, and I had just recovered from his killing me with “Georgia.” From the moment I saw his first audition, I thought, THIS guy is NOTHING but PURE MUSICIAN, 100%, through and through – WITH the added bonus that he seems to make real music for ADULTS, as opposed to much of the adolescent fare one typically hears on Idol. SO hoping he’s recovered and able to continue with the show!

  39. Allison says:

    My thoughts on the top 24 (as I frantically took notes during the show. Also, sorry if I misspell names…I did my best, really)
    1. Karen Rodriguez: no opinion one way or the other
    2. Robbie Rosen:I don’t know why, but I get an Anoop Desai vibe from him. I even wrote “Anoop 2, Electric Boogaloo”. I want Robbie to go far. He deserves it.
    3. Tatynisa Wilson: I DO NOT LIKE THIS GIRL. She messed up way too much to deserve this, and I don’t think her voice is that great.
    4. Tim Halperin: I like him. I’m excited to see more of him
    5. Julie Zorrilla: I keep having to remind myself when I see her that she is GOOD, that I LIKE her, and that she is NOT that horrible New Jersey girl that got cut. I don’t even know why I confuse those two; they look nothing alike. They don’t act alike, either.
    6. Scotty McCreery: He has a good tone, but I don’t see much versatility in him. If he sings that song again, even for fun, he’s dead to me.
    7. Jovany Bareto: Douche. Male bikini girl minus bikini.
    8. Lauren Turner: Not sure one way or the other
    9. Rachel Zevita: She’s quirky, she’s cute, there’s something awesome about her.
    10. Kendra Chantelle: Not quite sold yet, but I think I could get there.
    11. Jordan Dorsey: MEGA DOUCHE
    12. Lauren Alaina: I don’t know what to think…I catch a Jordin Sparks-esque vibe from her, but I really liked Jordin and I don’t think I like Lauren. Maybe she’ll prove herself. And I want people to stop telling me she’s the best thing ever or I will turn on that poor little girl so fast her head will spin.
    13. Stefano Langone: I like him, don’t love him.
    14. Jacob Lusk: SO ANNOYING.
    15. Pia Toscano: Good voice…not sure yet.
    16. James Durbin: Haaaaaate…HAAAAAAAAATE.
    17. Casey Abrams: Love! I think I’m rooting for him more than anyone at this point.
    18. Brett Loewenstern (spelling?): A little annoying, but has potential, I guess. Gives off a slight Josiah Leming vibe (too emotional to handle the pressure). But I was on team Colton Dixon out of the three guys, so I’m a little bitter.
    19. Thea Megia (spelling?): She won’t win, but probably will make it decently far. (think Ramiele Malubay or Katie Stevens)
    20. Paul McDonald: I like him.
    21. Clint Jun Gamboa: He annoys me. I want him gone.
    22. Naima Adedapo: She’s such a sweetheart. I hope she does well.
    23. Ashton Jones: She’s cute, but I’m not quite sold on her yet. I’m open to it.
    24. Haley Reinhart: I find her a teensy bit annoying, but I enjoyed some of her performances.

    • j.christopher says:

      totally got the Robbie/Anoop connection as well…in fact, referred to Robbie last night as Ajewp :)

    • J says:

      Great post, Allison. I agree with you on all main points (especially the bitter about Colton Dixon – I hope the rumors are true that he will return as a wildcard guy). Thank you for making the effort to “think out loud”.

    • JBanana says:

      As far as I’m concerned, you nailed it, Allison. Thank you for summing up what is in my head so I don’t have to.

      I love, love, LOVE CASEY! And there are several of the girls that I like, I think overall I like more of the girls than the guys at this point. But I feel a little bit more dislike towards Thia and Haley than you do, and like Kendra more.. but otherwise we are totally of the same mind.

      I can’t understand why they are assaulting us with the horror of James Durbin’s voice. I really hope he goes out quickly or he will become this year’s Sanjaya, kept in way too long by people wanting to make a joke out of him, and that’s not good for anybody, really.

    • Allison says:

      Agreed with a lot of your comments. And I definitely got the Anoop/Robbie vibe too. Or maybe even more Matt G/Robbie vibe, idk. Definitely some soul there.

      I think they picked a great top 24, with the exception of a few girls like Tatynisa (sp?) and Jovany. Colton should have been there instead, definitely. The girls are all really talented, but kind of bland and some of them are very similar. The guys are stronger than last year and have more personality, so I can see another guy winner this year.

      I have a feeling the judges will put James through on a wildcard even if he doesn’t make top 10. He’s the most polarizing, buzzed about contestant right now, and he’s big and showy which Nigel has always liked.

  40. marie says:

    Trying this again, first post did not go through (seriously, I’m finding tech problems ALL OVER this site, including NO “Next” or “Previous” links to enable me to see multiple pages of comments! Truly a pain in the a$$, because most of the commenters here tend to be thoughtful, literate, and worth reading.)
    I am cautiously optimistic about a handful of contestants so far, but have learned to reserve judgment for the live shows. That said, ONE contetant has ALREADY gained my enthusiasm: Casey Abrams. From his first audition, I found myself thinking, THIS guy is 100% PURE MUSICIAN; the music simply INHABITS him and you can tell he NEEDS it like food or air, FEELS it as a deeply emotional part of him. AND it’s music for ADULTS, unlike a lot of the teenybopper stuff you find on Idol. His “Georgia” floored me, and his “Do Right” finished me off and positively KILLED me. I’m SO hoping he’s recovered and can continue on the show!

    • Amy says:

      Just FYI on all the double posters. It takes a few minutes for your comments to appear. Either someone is screening them pre-post or the technology is slow. Either way, Your 1st post always shows up.

  41. marie says:

    One more thing: Agree completely, VERY happy about the producers’ decision to at least show a LITTLE about each of the Top 24 before just springing them on us on the live shows, and feature at least some of their performance footage. That levels the playing field a little, hopefully.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      I was thinking there was less singing than ever before but apparently I’m wrong, judging from what I’m reading here.

      • marie says:

        Funny thing is, I agree that OVERALL, there was less singing than I’d have liked, but my point is, at least we got to see each of the Top 24 sing SOMETHING, even if just a few lines. That’s never been the case in previous seasons; we’d always get to the live Top 24 shows and say “WHO?” to a few contestants who had gotten ZERO air time up to then.

        • Amy says:

          I do have to give Props to Nigel & Co. for adding Vegas Audition and Final Audition leading to the Top 24. This has been so needed!
          I think that may be the reason we ended up with so many Sanjaya’s & Dark haired girl with huge mouth season 2?3 before. Not enough chances to hear them sing.

    • JBanana says:

      yes to this. I am really happy to be able to have some small idea of each contestant at this point. It honestly helps me keep them straight in my head. I applaud them for finally giving us this, even a little goes a long way.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Okay, I’ll take everyone’s word for it – we at least got to see a little bit of everyone singing but we could still do without repeats, crying, sob stories, and contrived drama.

  42. Mel says:

    Slezak, I count on you to agree with me. Now where is your outrage at the Colton Dixon elimination? Can somebody help me make sense of this? What kind of world do we live in where there’s room in the top 24 for bully Clint and “fodder” Jovany, but not for Colton, who actually sang current, cool songs, had great confidence and presence, niiice looks, and a strong, radio-and-stadium-ready voice?? I ask you, fellow Idol addicts: who would you pick up the phone for, Brett or Colton? Jordan or Colton? Clint or Colton? The list goes on. It makes no sense, and I know Idol often makes no sense – it’s like they purposely try to infuriate viewers with stupid stunts like eliminating people with actual star potential.

  43. Emma says:

    Sad to see John Wayne Shulz not chosen.

  44. Yo says:

    Michael. Michael. Michael. Robbie Rosen is not “dashing,” although he may be a guy’s idea of what dashing is: The poor kid is homely, but he will mature into his nose, his feet and the adjective dashing, just as his dad apparently did. He, like several of the male contestants, has a perverse appeal, which the girls are not allowed to have because they are, well, girls. (Sorry to rant, but this is South Dakota Week.) Because the males are allowed quirky appeal, they are much more memorable than the women, who have to resort to the Kate Middleton Canary Hat From Hell to get noticed. I like Rachel and her tweety head and still love Lauren Turner, though she needs to change her first name, which has been despoiled by Lauren Alaina. The latter I anticipate will be DQ’d as she is really a glittery 40 year old stripper from the Bronx, hence the fondness for Tyler’s Projectile Parts.

    • J says:

      LMAO!!! So hilarious, Yo!

    • Finian says:

      with the addition of Facebook voting, the girls aren’t really going to matter anyway, are they? the tweeners will innundate the voting process even more that they did before with power texting – and we’ll have a bunch of “cute” guys vying for the title.

    • Dave in Alamitos Beach says:

      Sorry, but I think Robbie Rosen is the hottest contestant they’ve had in years. He reminds me of a young Springsteen only “sweeter.” He is going to be IT by the time he’s 25 or so.

      • Yo says:

        Even Springstein looked better after some runs around the track. I get that guys think he’s hot, but young girls are into pug noses…Think Bieber. Or Glee.

    • Hooch says:

      LoL! Great Post!

  45. Sean D says:

    At this point, I’m looking for a top 12 of

    Boys: Casey Abrams, Tim Halprin, Brett Lownstern, Jacob Lusk, Paul McDonald, and Robbie Rosen

    Girls: Naimia Adedapo, Kendra Chantelle, Ashton Jones, Thia Megia, Rachel Zevita, and Julie Zorrilla

    But I’m hoping someone new breaks through and impresses me! I’m kind of sad there aren’t any Michelle Delamors or Jeanine Vailes; I always sort of liked having that mystery top 24 person. But there’s still enough people who we don’t really know what they’ll do, so I’m excited for next week.

    And aside from a few exceptions like James Durbin, Scott McCreary, and Haley Reinhart, this was a really well picked top 24. Now, just don’t let those people through to the 12 please for the love of God.

  46. Vetle says:

    Hating on Lauren Alaina has become such a cliché. =p Oh well, I don’t really have an opinion on her. I think her audition was pretty flawless, then later on – a few rough spots. I don’t like the pimping, but I don’t get the obnoxious wibe everyone else seems to get (I really found Danny Gokey obnoxious from the get go, so).

    Anywho, my – current – top 12 (subject to change, seeing that I did not get why Katelyn Epperly made it last year, she became my second favorite next to Siobhan and Crystal tied in first place *sigh* I miss Katelyn)–:


    1. Paul McDonald
    2. Tim Halperin (I hated his audition.. lol)
    3. Robbie Rosen
    4. Casey Abrams
    5. Brett Loewenstern
    6. Jacob Lusk

    I do however think that Clint Jun whatever his name is and James Durbin will make… GAH.


    1. Rachel Zevita!
    2. Naima Adedapo
    3. Kendra Chantelle (loved her on Blackbird)
    4. Ashton Jones
    5. Julie Zorilla
    6. Lauren Alaina

    I do see Julie, Naima and Lauren falling off my list though. But I really like all of them.

    • GingerSnap says:

      Lauren Alania has gotten quite a bit of hype because the judges fell in love with her voice. They like to remind us SHE IS JUST FIFTEEN. Being fifteen (now 16), means she still has a lot of things she needs to learn, and she’s a raw talent now. Her weaknesses and lack of experience are coming out. I don’t think she is mature enough to handle the pressure. And yea, her flirtatious behavior with ST has turned me off, but I think she’s got bigger issues to face. I see more intriguing people in the competition, and AI can’t force us to vote for her.

      Straight up the top 6 female singers are;
      1. Ashthon Jones
      2. Karen Rodriguez
      3. Naima Adedapo
      4. Lauren Turner
      5. Rachel Zovita
      6. Pia Toscano

      Lauren is about 10th on my list.

      The top 6 male singers are:
      1. Casey Abrams
      2. Robbie Rosen
      3. Tim Halperin
      4. Paul McDonald
      5. Stefano Langone
      6. Brett Lowenstern

      A little harder to narwow this list down because the guys in the middle all have annoying traits that will cause them to receive fewer votes.

      It will be good to finally see them on stage playing the part of a star. We’ll see who shines then.

  47. KatyMay says:

    You forgot to add the funniest line of the night-Randy to John Wayne Shultz: “We just don’t think you are quite ready….” ROFL. Shultz has already toured with many of the C&W’s greats. He probably has pulled in more money than some of the ‘idols.’
    What is the REAL reason John Wayne was eliminated? I’m guessing a potential contract conflict.

  48. Jazzy says:

    Slezak quit ragging on Jacob. He’s a goofy kid from Compton who deserves a break in this world and he’s got the chops, they just need to rein him in a little. Fox Los Angeles morning program is talking him up like crazy! So he’s def got a following. Jimmy Iovine was an asshole to him, implying that just because you can sing like that doesn’t mean you should (ok a little truth there), way to build confidence! And way to build him back up Randy! Jacob has such a big heart and soul and killer pipes, he just needs a little refining, like you know a gangly puppy who turns into an elegant – Jarreau/Vandross/Gay dog.

    Although I do agree with the person who is longing for a black male contestant like an Usher/Ne=yo, a category under represented on Idol.

    • T2 says:

      Jazzy, you bring up an interesting point. “Jimmy” (how old is the guy anyway? Time to go by ‘James’ or ‘Jim’, maybe?) criticized basically everyone because they aren’t John Lennon reincarnated. No one wants that. He may have been a great songwriter, but his voice was not all that. And give it a rest, Beatles-party-liners (oooh, they’re the best band ever!) – John Lennon wouldn’t have made it past Hollywood week with that weird nasally voice of his.

  49. Finian says:

    Just a real obvious comment on editing and producer manipulation as well – I’m not sure how many times I saw previously judged contestants in holding room shots for “those about to be judged”, but I know I saw Chris Medina at least five times last night – and Rachel IMMEDIATELY after she had been placed in the top 24 sitting worriedly in the background of the next contestant’s call to the floor. Kind of made the whole Jennifer “I don’t want to do this anymore” storyline less credible, and really creates an artificial feel to the suspense.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      “Idol” will never win editing awards.

      Someone posted someplace to look at Jordan Dorsey’s Sing For Your Life. I noticed it – he was backed by a piano player, they cut away to J-Lo saying “Get him out of here” and then they cut back to Dorsey in front of – a guitar player! HUH?

      There are all sorts of instances like that. During Hollywood week if you looked closely when they brought the contestants out onto the stage in groups you would see contestants in the background that had already been put through. They tried to make it seem as though Rob and Chelsee sang on day two when clearly the sang on Day One – you could see (I think) Jaycee in the background, who went through on Day one. And Brett Lowenstern’s group was obviously not in the right order, either – I spotted him in the background when someone else was singing.

      • Finian says:

        true enough, d.e.t. – but it really seemed shameless last night after the excessively overwrought pseudo-meltdown the night before

  50. marie says:

    Just spent some time at YouTube. It’s official: I don’t really give a damn about any contestant except Casey Abrams. He’s the real real thing.

    • GingerSnap says:

      Totally agree with you. My concern is that he’ll go the Crystal Bowersox road, and lose because he’s already an artist and knows who he is. AI and its viewers, don’t like frontrunners. Let’s see how this pans out in May.