“We’re your friends — kind of,” purred sinister feline Randy Jackson, eyeing up a cornered mouse on Wednesday’s episode of American Idol. “You guys have become part of our family,” he told another trembling creature a few minutes later. Yes, Idoloonies, if you hadn’t noticed, Fox’s long-running reality singing competition began its annual, interminable game of cat-and-contestant that is the Top 24 “final judgment” episode. Let’s do a quick take on who made it to the live telecasts — and who won’t have their fates placed in the hands of speed-dialing tweens and cat persons — after the first of a two-night process:
In the Top 24
Jen “Geor-juhhhhh-uh-uh” Hirsh
Creighton “starving artist” Fraker
Joshua “don’t call me Lusky” Ledet
Haley “I defeated and absorbed Brittany Zika” Johnsen
Elise “covered Jamiroquai, lived to tell” Testone
Reed “I play imaginary instruments annoyingly” Grimm
Erika “mobile DJ with terrible taste in vests” Van Pelt
Chelsea “potential country diva” Sorrell
Baylie “cut in Season 6, but also a potential country diva” Brown
Heejun “overcome the beauty” Han
Jessica “do it for Candice Glover!” Sanchez
Phil “what happened to the ‘lip’?” Phillips
Colton “skunk head” Dixon
Brielle “meet my saboteur stage mom!” Von Hugel
Adam “black woman on the inside” Brock
Lauren “family wedding franchise” Gray
Neko “Mars” Starr
Richie “cowboy from Hell” Law
Also eliminated but never really got any significant screentime, so just forget you ever knew them, okay?
River St. James
On that note, I have a full episode recap to write — look for it in the morning here at TVLine.com! — so I’ll turn things over to you.
What do you think of the first 14 contestants in the Top 24? Are you with me on Team Jessica Sanchez? (Holy mother of God that girl has a voice!) And did any cuts make you sad/happy/furious? Sound off in the comments!