American Idol Recap: Semi-Sweet Dreams

jeremy rosado idolAnd now, an almost verbatim transcript of what went down on Thursday night’s “final judgment” episode of American Idol:

Randy: So listen dude, you came in with a really strong audition, and we thought you could go all the way, but then in Hollywood Week you had your ups and downs.
J.Lo: Sweetie, this is really difficult, because you had some great moments, but your Vegas solo was not your best performance.
Randy: Exactly. This year is harder than ever. We are always upping our game, and as the best judges in the reality competition game, we did an incredible job of picking out talent. Incredible. But that means sometimes the best singers don’t make it through.
Steven: (Singing) Do you care? Do you care? Honey, one more time now, it ain’t fair!
Randy. Blah blah blah. Blah blah. Blah blah blah blah. Sound of my own voice. Blah blah. I can’t believe nobody’s shouting in my ear monitor telling me to shut my pie-hole! Blah blah blah.
J.Lo: (under her breath) I seriously don’t get paid enough to sit next to this human tomato can.
Randy: I’m sorry to say that…you’re not going…home!
J.Lo: And baby, if you make eye contact with me again without my explicit permission, I will make you pay dearly for the rest of the season.
Randy: Good lookin’ out! (pauses) Any of you guys know what that means?

Yes, folks, welcome to another loooooong, drawn-out edition of “Turning a Roll Call of the 24 People Going to the Semifinals into a Two Hour Telecast” — brought to you by AT&T, Coca-Cola, and Ford!

After Wednesday’s episode introduced us to 14 of Season 11’s semifinalists — check out a full recap of the proceedings here — Thursday night’s show rounded out the field the final 10 contestants, and one twist that might’ve felt more dramatic if The X Factor hadn’t done pretty much the same thing back in October.

But before we take divvie up the last 10 Season 11 semifinalists into three distinct groups (and assign them an imaginary number you can use to call and vote them through to the next round) a couple of quick observations:

* Not a single black woman in the Top 24? That’s grim news for R&B/soul aficionados like me.
* Conversely, there are at least three country-leaning ladies in the mix — which is 25% of the females in the semifinals!
* And six of the Top 24 — a full quarter of the Season 11 semifinalists — were prominently featured in Season 10 before falling short of the live rounds. Mere coincidence, or Uncle Nigel’s way of reengaging Idol loyalists who swore they were finally quitting their addiction in 2012?

Eben Franckewitz: 1-866-REMEMBER-JOHN-STEVENS
Vegas solo on “You Are So Beautiful” confirmed my suspicions that the “OMG adorable!” teenager isn’t quite ready for primetime. Even when he’s hitting his notes, there’s an immature quaver to his tone that I suspect won’t get any better with a move to the live Idol stage. Plus, the joyous fist-pumping as he followed dejected buddy David Leathers Jr. out of the Green Mile walkway wasn’t exactly his best look. Of course, this all means he’ll probably be on our TV screens well into April, and end up relegating some future Oscar winner to a seventh-place finish.

Shannon Magrane: 1-866-NILLA-WAFER
No shame in the fact that she flubbed her words during a group-round performance of “Hit ‘Em Up Style (Oops),” as the song’s sole purpose on Idol might be to lure unsuspecing Hollywood Week performers into lyrical gaffes. But she seemed to be trying too hard on her Vegas cover of Kelly Clarkson’s “The Trouble With Love Is.” She might’ve given J.Lo “goosies!” — raise your hand if you’re ready for that phrase to be retired already! — but I wish the 16-year-old had waited a few years before she auditioned.

Chase Likens: 1-866-WHO-THIS-NINJA?
Poor Chase! Dude has gotten so little screen time this season, he’ll probably spend the weekend defensively emailing screengrabs of himself to friends and relatives with the message, “See! I wasn’t making it up! I really am part of the Top 24!” Suuuurrre you are, Chase. But given the fact that Season 10 champ Scotty McCreery is still working his debut album to the country market, I suspect Uncle Nigel won’t be too devastated if Season 11 doesn’t produce any competition in the country crooner department.

Adam Brock: 1-866-PUT-DOWN-THE-HANKIE
“I have to sing. It’s where my joy comes from. It’s how I know that God blessed me,” a sobbing, sniffling Adam told the judges as they were about to decide his fate. Um, dude, you have an adorable newborn baby daughter. That’s how God blessed you! But I digress… Look, while there’s no use denying Adam has a monster voice, he tends to use it in much the same way he used his tears in front of the judges: With little or no subtlety, and with a neediness that borders on desperate. And while the heavy amount of screen time these last few episodes should provide a short-term boost,  unless he makes his narrative about his actual performances, he’ll be lucky to still be standing come April.

Skylar Laine: 1-866-YEEE-HAWW!
Seacrest introduced her as a “rough and tumble country girl,” or perhaps a Kellie Pickler 2.0 With a Better Grasp on the English Language. And while Skylar’s voice seems a little rougher around the edges than fellow Season 11 country girls Baylie Brown and Chelsea Sorrell, that rawness makes her perhaps a little more exciting than her polished rivals? Or maybe I’m just responding positively to her choice of Reba’s absolutely legendary “Fancy.”

Hallie Day and Aaron Marcellus: 1-866-IT’S-A-SABOTAGE?
Hmmmm…both of these singers got a decent amount of screen time in prior episodes — Hallie in the audition rounds singing “I Will Survive,” Aaron in Hollywood Week as part of Groove Sauce — but last night they were relegated to “also through to the Top 24” afterthought status. So now the question looms: Did Uncle Nigel keep them under wraps so they’ll have even more dramatic unveilings in the live rounds? Or is he burying them at the bottom of the dumpster where they’ll be even more difficult for the voting public to discover?

Jeremy Rosado: 1-866-MAMAS-HEART-HIM
I’ve got to give props to J.Lo — I know, sometimes I surprise myself, too — for pointing out Jeremys enthusiastic response to his competitors’ solos. As she later said to Steven and Randy, “That’s a nice kid right there.” It doesn’t hurt, too, that Jeremy’s got a fantastic, throwback R&B voice. Yeah, it was a little early for Seacrest to tell us how Jeremy “became a star with his final performance” in Vegas, but I really did love how he took Carrie Underwood’s “I Know You Won’t” into a completely different genre. He held that final note like a mother about to send her child to the first day of kindergarten. To repeat a word I’m not sure J.Lo understood when she uttered it: That performance was indeed “transcendental.”

Deandre Brackensick: 1-866-MILLI-FULFILLI
Sweet mother of falsetto, his rendition of Kate Bush’s “This Woman’s Work” was mesmerizing! What else can I say that J.Lo didn’t when she declared, “We’d be crazy people if we didn’t ask you to be in the Top 24”?

Hollie Cavanaugh: 1-866-STEALTH-BOMBER
After logging in more unconfirmed sightings than a Yeti during Hollywood Week, this Season 10 hopeful finally got some significant airtime in the final moments of the Green Mile episode, knocking off Ariel Sprague and Shelby Tweten in one of those “three girls enter, one girl leaves” Thunderdome scenarios. So how come there was no mention of her previous Idol run, which went from a rocky, tear-soaked audition to a terrific Vegas solo before Steven and Randy outvoted J.Lo and cut Hollie right before the semifinals? Maybe it’s because Uncle Nigel had to find time to show clips of Hollie’s gorgeous cover of Carrie Underwood’s “Change” — complete with silver sparklepants! I may turn out to be completely wrong, and Hollie might turn out to be completely cannon fodder, but like the Black Eyed Peas, I’ve got a feeling (woo hoo) that Hollie is going to have an Allison Iraheta-on-“Alone”-style breakout next week.

Call it the “Melanie Amaro Addendum”: Next week, the judges will reinstate one of four pre-semifinal evictees — Johnny Keyser, Jermaine Jones, David Leathers Jr., or Awful Cowboy Richie Law — into the competition, creating a Top 25. If it’s not Johnny or David, I won’t mention Mishavonna Henson in my Idol recaps for the rest of the season!

Scott Dangerfield (in a sweater that I think I gave to goodwill in 1992)
A bunch of people I vaguely recognized whose names weren’t even listed
“Gentle Giant Jermaine Jones” (Really, Ryan?)
Ariel Sprague
Shelby Tweten
David Leathers, Jr.

And with that, I turn things over to you. What do you think of the final 10 contestants in the Top 24? Did any cuts make you sad/happy/furious? And how are you feeling about the “dramatic” twist/Top 25? Sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Raquel says:

    Why does a female R&B/soul singer have to be black?

    • dcmjlive says:

      Slezak seems to forget that his own favorite, Jessica, leans towards pop-r&b. Then of course you have the many R&B males: Jeremy, Adam, Aaron, Deandre, Creighton (?)…and etc.
      That being said, I go for Team “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore” aka Jessica Sanchez and Deandre Brackensick.
      I do want Johnny or David to be the 25th. (Johnny more than David) I just don’t like Jermaine (even if my parents do) or awful cowboy. (I do admit that their Vegas performance was moving, something I don’t agree with Slezak on.)
      What I don’t understand is, why not a girl’s round for this. I recommend Candice Glover, Schyler Dixon, Ariel Sprague and Lauren Gray.

      • Grace says:

        YES to the last thing you just said. I think this whole thing is dumb – the only one of the four of them I even LIKE is David, and while I can concede that they’re all talented, none of them actually had a shot of winning like Melanie Amaro did. Also, whereas on X Factor the balance of talent was severely skewed toward the “girls” group, to say the same is true of the boys vs the girls on Idol this year is patently false. I agree 100% with your choice of the four ladies who are at least as deserving of a second shot as any of those guys.
        Alos may I just say PLEASE LORD don’t subject us to more Johnny Keyser!! Colton Dixon already has the Ace Young memorial position of Obnoxious “Heartthrob” Who I Secretly Want to Kick in the Face – we really don’t need two of you.

  2. Alex says:

    Woo Mishavonna!

  3. Scarlett says:

    As much as we all like to say that Live-Show Steven is too “quiet/pervy” and JLo is too “ice queen/diva”, you really have to give it to them in the Audition rounds. They actually do make an effort to listen to the people when they are auditioning and I think that they bring to this the memory of their own early-career experiences/struggles. They project empathy and seem to want people to do well. They get into the performances smiling and bopping along and, generally, they are not unkind. And, unlike Simon, they seem to see through most people’s physical “flaws” to the human being within. Steven, especially, comes off as a sweet guy. As wacky as he is, his hugs and “words of wisdom” to rejected contestants feel real. Even JLo’s tears, to a certain extent, seem genuine at this point. If only they kept this going on into the Live Shows. As for Randy… total waste of a chair. Especially during the sing-for-your-life final audition round, they should just duct tape that guy’s mouth.

    • Musica1 says:

      Yes! They also listen to the performances during the live shows, which is something the prior judges never did. The old judges would sit and talk to each other or people behind them in the audience during the entire performance and then turn around and critique the performance as though they had listened.

  4. Lauri says:

    I’m so excited Hollie made it! I was so bummed when she didn’t make the top 24 last year. She’s got my vote no matter what.

  5. Josh says:

    I don’t see Jeremy Rosado making it, especially if David or Johnny come back.
    Again I’m in the firm belief that since Johnny didn’t perform in the top 42, he shouldn’t make the top 12…but alas, that probably won’t happen. He’s pretty, white and male, the rules bend for him!

    • ladyinsilver says:

      He may not “deserve” to make the top 12 because he did not perform in the top 42, but why would they throw Johnny in the group of “possibles” if they didn’t intend to reinstate him? The other 3 had their chance, and the judges didn’t think they were good enough. Maybe they feel they made a mistake in eliminating him so early. I don’t think it has anything to do with being white, male and pretty (although pretty definitely doesn’t hurt!) I think the guy is a good singer, and I never understood why they eliminated him in the first place.

      • Carol says:

        But your exact logic can be applied to Johnny — I’ll just use your words: [Johnny] had his chance, and the judges didn’t think he was good enough. Maybe they feel they made a mistake in eliminating [David, Jermaine, Richie] so early.

        • umbrella says:

          Richie wasn’t eliminated early enough.
          Johnny Keyser and Chase Likens look an awful alike.

          • umbrella says:

            ooops “an awful LOT alike”
            They don’t look awful at all ;)

          • David says:

            Chase is the handsome hottie filling in the David Cook/Kris Allen role this year. Scottie McCreery might have been a great singer, but he was no treat to the eyes, so Chase may have a chance to add to that hunky country luster.
            I can honestly say, I enjoyed Richie and Jermaine in their performance, but found them both to be grating.
            Richie is egotistical and opportunistic, even “scheduling” his own “press conference” with Idol cameras during the group rounds to set the record straight about how he didn’t like the direction the others were taking.
            Jermaine is this season’s offering in what has become an Idol archetype: the ambiguously gay and very large African American singer whose mother is never far away, and to whom he retreats every time things don’t go his way. Jermaine said that he was afraid that if he didn’t make it, he’d disappoint his mother. Really, Jermaine? That woman looks at you as if you fart diamonds! And that’s why I don’t care for him: he’s a complete diva but refuses to own it, and with that voice he should be singing on Broadway (not to get up Betty Buckley’s ire).
            Regardless, the 13th male (unlucky or baker’s dozen?) will be Jermaine.
            Is it just me, or did they put too many screechers into the top 24? It seemed that if this were a fashion show, Bill Withers is so last year; Joe Cocker is what everybody’s wearing this year.

      • Josh says:

        Because his Vegas Performance Group was horrible…I mean a lot of people can ask why certain people where eliminated and others weren’t. Isn’t your statement that the “top 42 had their chance” apply to Johnny as well? Johnny had every chance they had..and he didn’t do well enough to get through. So why should he get a second chance above anyone in the top 42?
        And they are promoting him to get viewers who think he’s hot to watch the show…

      • Cinenke says:

        I agree, I was shocked when they let Johnny go. He has an incredible singing voice. I think his group performance got lost in all the commotion from the girl that fainted, he actually caught her as she was falling. They weren’t able to finish their round so I think the judges just forgot how well he sang in audtions. Really hope they bring him back!!

        • Musica1 says:

          Idol should make a rule that if someone faints during Hollywood week group performance, the others in the group automatically make it through. It wouldn’t hurt the process even if they’re not that great. Listen to them sing in the next round and eliminate them then if need be. It’s just not fair to have someone faint in the middle of your performance, go through all the medical drama and then be expected to sing.

      • PGV says:

        I agree that it wouldn’t be Fair to reinstate Johnny, he was eliminated in the first Vegas elimination round. Idol has a YouTube Channel now. If you look up Johnny’s Vegas Group Performance, you’ll understand why he was eliminated… it wasn’t good.
        My money’s on David Leathers returning. While I love Jermaine’s voice and wish it was him, David is more marketable. I think the Producers threw Johnny and Cowboy into the mix to get people talking and tuning into next week’s show. ;-)

        • Ultra Venia says:

          I agree about Vegas Group performances regarding Johnny. It was cringeworthy indeed. Also got to see why early favorite Neko Starr did not advance.

    • David says:

      All in all, fair is a relative term. These decisions are made by the judges and the judges determine who they want to put out there for our votes, if they feel they were in error on Johnny than so be it…they must have taken into consideration his performances (if he is the one) and changed their mind. It wouldn’t be fair if we went through America vote rounds and then insert Johnny. I truly think (and hope) it is Johnny, the episode was still going and they made the announcement…I would imagine all 3 of the others were still in town.

  6. Carol says:

    Yay Deandre! And I really hope the 13th guy is Jermaine Jones — his voice is like velvet.

    • Jennifer says:

      Yes!!! I thought I was the only one who thought that. He has the best voice out of all of them!!! He is too good for this show. He should be an opera singer!

      • Ultra Venia says:

        Jermaine has a wonderful singing voice, but wonderful singing voice != Idol material. He got a lot further than he would have had Simon been there.

  7. Emily says:

    I actually think Shannon Magrane has a good shot at the top 12, her dad’s got a big following and she’s extremely likable. I’ve not been watching very zealously (thanks to Modern Family and Suburgatory) thus far but her audition made me check the recaps each week to make sure she’s gotten through.

    • me says:

      I think she does too. She certainly has the guy vote (along with Denise Richards), although perhaps that is not a big voting block. And I don’t think I will vote at all, they don’t deserve my votes and I can’t even take the show seriously any more after last season. (and note how the ratings having been down like 25%+ from expected starting very suddenly right as last season got cut to the final and it’s been down that much every since so perhaps I am not alone, I peeked a bit the last couple night to see who is in and that is it so far)

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      If guys were voting in droves Haley would have won last year. :-)

    • Ultra Venia says:

      Crap, Shannon Migraine has a famous dad? Great, now we’ll never see the end of her.

  8. Loni says:

    So happy Hollie made it. I’m excited to see her perform next week. It’s just so weird they didn’t review her audition last year (or this year’s for that matter) because it seemed they brought up everyone else’s previous attempts. Well, I wish her luck regardless!

  9. lukien says:

    H2P2 better watch out … coz here
    comes Johnny !!!
    Best of the girls: Hollie !!!
    Those are my top 4 !!!

  10. Kat says:

    I won’t watch until it’s down to the final 12 and even then it will depend on the talent.

  11. jon says:

    Same here! I am so excited to see her perform next week and glad Slezak’s on board!

  12. darcy's evil twin says:

    Mr. Slezak – you forgot to mention Steven Tyler stripped down to his skivvies at the end of the show and jumped into the pool. Nobody over the age of 30 should be seen with their clothes off. I fear I may go blind now.
    And WTH is up with the “dramatic twist”? Seriously? Gosh, I may lose sleep trying to figure out who is coming back.

  13. Ana Muti says:

    I disagree with Michael’s opinion of Deandre. I had to mute him after a few bars. That falsetto is great when it’s a condiment. But like ketchup, I don’t want to make a meal out of it. Too much falsetto ruined his performance for me.
    I love Heejun’s voice too, but would like him to just let go and get into some holleration.

  14. Heather says:

    Has anyone else noticed (or noted in a comment before) that Adam Brock looks a little bit like…. Michael Slezak?

  15. Josh says:

    So for Johnny fans, I really want to hear their take on how it’s fair that Johnny might get to advance to top 24(basically top 13) while skipping over the top 42 performances, which undid many of the top performances(like Lauren Gray and Nico Star)…It wasn’t like he’s been perfect throughout(Vegas Group performance = horrible) and some are claiming he was eliminated due to a record deal he was keeping secret(which again is his fault)…so if he does make it to the top 24…where is the fairness in that?

    • Carol says:

      I agree completely, especially about how the top 42 performances were the undoing of standouts like Lauren and Nico, so I can’t imagine them bringing Johnny back. I don’t think the judges had regrets about sending home Richie Law (he wasn’t quite good enough) or David (I think they sincerely believe he needs a few more years for his voice to develop). I think it will be Jermaine that they will bring back.

      • Josh says:

        I think David and Jermaine are the only two who deserve it…Listen if Johnny had made it to top 42, I wouldn’t mind him coming back at all(though I think it’s unfair that a guy gets to return and not a girl…)….I just feel no one should skip such a major step, especially one that so many stumbled on.

      • marie says:

        Good heavens, if anyone needs a few years for his voice to develop, it’s Eben at 15, way more than David at 17 – but of course, the show always has to cast one sweet, very young boy for the tween girl viewers to swoon over.

        • Josh says:

          I agree I think Eben is pretty horrible too.
          PS…still no answer from Johnny fans, haha. I’m honestly curious how anyone could think this is fair! Though I guess if it’s your fav, do you really care?

          • marie says:

            Oh, I don’t think Eben is horrible, just very young with a child’s voice, and children’s voices don’t really interest me – come back when you and your voice have grown up. This is one reason (of many) I am not interested in X Factor: the bottom age limit is WAY too young. It’s the very, very rare young teen or pre-teen girl whose voice is developed enough to pay attention to, but with a young boy, the problem is compounded by the fact that if his voice hasn’t even changed yet, you have no idea of whether you’re eventually going to get a good mature voice! That’s why I’d take 17-year-old David over 15-year-old Eben: because with David, you have a much better idea of what his voice is going to sound like going forward.

        • Carol says:

          I agree that Eben needs more time too — I don’t think they’re doing him any favors by putting him through so young.

        • me says:

          I haven’t been watching other than the last two nights but yeah Eben was kinda grating on the ears, boring voice, too young.

      • Johnny says:

        I’m a Johnny fan (and not because we share the same name). Huge fan of the voice and stage presence, but that’s pretty much the definition of a “fan” of a singer.
        On American Idol, I feel like the cuts aren’t necessarily made in terms of who is great. Which means that the Top 42 may not necessarily be better than those cut in Vegas or Hollywood. Granted, everyone who gets to Hollywood isn’t great, and they’re usually done in Day 1 solos or in the group rounds. This new format adds an addition selection filter through the whole “room” thing that cuts people before Vegas. At that point, in Vegas, you’ve got the best of the best, and it becomes a matter of what kinds of people the judges/producers want to consider for the live shows. We’ve seen great people get cut before this point who have awesome voices. Everyone always complains about certain people going home early, and this is why. It’s all preference-based, sometimes for drama, sometimes because the person isn’t the most personable, sometimes for external reasons (record deals, dropping out, etc.). Does anyone really believe that Richie Law is a better singer than Johnny Keyser? Schyler Dixon? Jessica Campbell? And yet he made it through. Why? For the drama. He clearly wasn’t getting to the live shows, but the drama with Heejun and Jermaine made him a character worth keeping. The point being, the choices per round aren’t necessarily based on talent, and I’d say most of the duds are gone by Day 1 or Day 2 of Hollywood Week, so everyone who gets past that point is good, meaning additional rounds are all based on what the producers/judges want in the live shows versus some people being more or less talented than others. With Johnny in particular, he was cut despite never having had a poor performance. Why? Maybe there was some outside reason, but maybe the producers just thought the others would make better TV.
        In what I now see is far too many words, that is why I don’t think it is unfair that Johnny is being given a chance to return.

        • Carol says:

          Maybe he had a poor performance in the Vegas group rounds — it was never shown. One less-than-perfect performance did it for Lauren and Neco…maybe Johnny too.

          • Johnny says:

            It was online- it wasn’t bad, but that’s what I’m saying. At that point, everyone sings well, so good people may be cut even if they don’t do poorly, so the Top 42 is not necessarily that much better than those cut at Top 70 or whatever. People like Candice Glover could compete with those in the Top 24 easily. It’s all based on judge/producer preference.
            Plus, even if the judges hated Johnny’s Vegas performance, there were others that they hated and put through based on past performances; they did this with Heejun’s group members in the group round at Hollywood. Given how J-Lo gets her lady parts all excited whenever Johnny is up, I can’t imagine she wouldn’t fight for him.

          • Josh says:

            @Johnny…But many did his performance was bad. That’s why his whole “mystery” of elimination got quiet again after people saw the performance. They saw it wasn’t bad. Lauren and Nico weren’t bad either but they weren’t up to par. In no way should Johnny be able to skip around because he got eliminated for a bad performance. How is that fair? And again J.Lo’s lady parts fighting for him doesn’t make it fair. He didn’t perform in the top 42, so he shouldn’t be allowed through…He had a great(audition), good(H-wood Solo), decent(H-Wood group) and bad performance(Vegas group). So how is it fair that he not only comes back but he skips probably the most stressful round in the audition process.

          • Johnny says:

            Right, but the point is, everyone has a different opinion. Many may have hated it, and others may have loved it. Everyone is good at that point, so decisions are a matter of preference of the producers, not necessarily because one is a better singer than the other.
            Are you trying to say that it isn’t fair because Johnny didn’t have to do a Top 24 performance? In a completely objective judgment, I would say that is true, because he had to do less work than the others. However, if the judges cut him for the drama or some reason other than talent, then it is their own fault. Based solely on quality, and this is subjective, I think it is fair to give him a shot.

          • Carol says:

            But Johnny, the fact of the matter is that not everyone in the top 70 is as good a singer as the others, as you’re claiming. You’re painting them with a broad brush and saying they’re all equal at that point, so he must have been cut for preference/drama. That is just not true, that they are all equally good at that point.

          • Josh says:

            So can’t go back below but I agree 100% with Carol’s last post(on the bottom of this thread)…Johnny wasn’t the only talented singer kept for drama…There were other deserving ones caught. Johnny was hardly the be all to end all in that group. What about Jairon Jackson? He was great and he was cut in the same round as Johnny. Candice Glover was cut in the same round as Johnny too. I mean why does Johnny get the shot, but they don’t(Candice was one of the best I saw and Jairon was a great male vocal…same level as Johnny IMO)…It’s just unfair…Keep it to the top 42, if not just admit you’re fixing this competition how you see fit.

          • Josh says:

            Nevermind my post did go to the bottom, so yeah ignore that part :-p

          • Johnny says:

            @Josh- Ooooh, okay, gotcha. You were wondering why they chose Johnny and not someone else cut in that round, like Jairon Jackson. I think I had just misunderstood where the problem is (ie: I thought the argument was that Johnny wasn’t as good as those in the Top 42, but your argument was that there are others cut before Top 42 who were as good as Johnny) I agree that there isn’t solid reasoning for why Johnny was chosen over, say, Jairon. I think Jairon is also awesome and would have been all for him in the wildcard slot too. My guess is that they chose Johnny because they showed most of his performances and because the blogosphere had a temper tantrum when he didn’t make it.

          • Josh says:

            Well I was sort of saying that yes…in terms of Johnny’s abilities. I don’t think he’s bad at all. He’s got talent. But I just don’t think anyone in the top 72 should be an option, no matter their talent, if they didn’t make the top 42. And if it’s just ONE person in the top 72 who magically just go to skip over a major elimination round, then that’s incredibly unfair. That’s what this is about. It has nothing to do with Johnny’s talent but with the fact that 30 plus people didn’t get to advance(despite some very talented members among them) and another 16-18 didn’t get to advance(with againtalented people among them) after going through what is probably the most stressful round…And they might choose one random guy out of 48 cut who wasn’t anymore or less talented then many of the other contestants…It’s not fair for the 18 who eliminated(and the many who eliminated because of “Sing For You Life” and it’s not fair for the girls like Lauren or guys like Nico..or Jiaron or Candice(if they can bring in Johnny)…It just seems manipulative. That they want to bring him in for eye candy so they can get viewers….And it’s not because of the fan outcry….For 11 seasons there have been early cut fan outcrys…Why change things now?

          • Farrah says:

            johnny- i understand your point and agree. you made yourself clear, i don’t think josh really got it. if there are 60 amazing singers, 18 need to go if you’re going to have a top 42, so 18 amazing singers go home. the 42 chosen may be chosen for dramatic purposes or other reasons, but the 18 eliminated are equally good. sure, the 42 had an extra song to sing, but that only helps them. the fact is, some of the top 70 (or however many) are equally as talented as the top 42 and deserve a chance, and i’m sure the outcry over johnny’s elimination was what got him in.

        • Josh says:

          Except Johnny did have a poor performance. Go to and view his Vegas Group performance. It’s not good at all.

    • Rolfe says:

      I just find it odd that Johnny was grouped with those three. It seems like if he is not in the Top 25 they would not have used him as one of the four possibilities. I think he made it. If not David did. But Uncle Nigel could be grooming David for next season.

    • Ty says:

      There is nothing fair about it, but at the end of the day, when it comes to my entertainment, I don’t care about fair. Watching idol will be more enjoyable for me if there are better singers singing.
      I think Johnny is a better singer than MANY of the people who made it to the top 24, let alone the top 42, so if he does come back I will be glad.
      This is an entertainment show, this is not charity, this is not welfare, this is not the showcase of who worked hardest or who had the hardest life, in fact when I get fed a sob story I Puke it back up.
      If contestant A worked 10 times harder and had to jump through 3 times as many hoops, but contestant B sound better, I want contestant B, Period.
      Nothing Fair about it, but not everything should be about fairness.
      If ANYONE wants to base their entertainment choices off of fairness, you are doing it wrong.

    • Ultra Venia says:

      Neko Starr shouldn’t have survived Vegas Group round. That was a mistake on their part.

  16. Kait says:

    if the cowboy get’s put through, it will be awfully anti-climatic, because there is no way he’d make it to the top 12 anyway. Personally, I don’t like Jermaine either. I’m afraid it might mostly have to do with the fact that he almost always seems to be sweating and crying profusely… it’s just not a good look. That may not be fair, but there is just something about him i don’t like.

    • Ghost of Kelly Clarkson says:

      If the horrible cowboy is put through, it will be Tatiana del Toro 2.0 where every viewer on the planet will hate his guys and count down the minutes until he is eliminated…then he will be brought back for the finale and made to look like an absolute fool again in front of 25 million viewers. Mark my words.

      • Ghost of Kelly Clarkson says:

        not “guys”

      • marie says:

        As I said in a comment to another article, Cowboy Richie has been cast as “the contestant everyone can’t stand.” They are usually shot down before the live shows, though; if he’s brought back this time, that would be something new, to have the hate-magnet contestant make it through to the live shows.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          marie – if Cowboy Richie comes back it wouldn’t necessarily be all bad. Perhaps he and Brielle could start a “showmance” and REALLY get everyone’s blood boiling! Oh, the drama!

        • TheBeach says:

          It seems they already have their “hate magnet” (Brielle) and their cryer (Adam). There’s no need for Richie or Jermaine.

          • marie says:

            Oh, gosh, D.E.T. and Beach, I’d actually BLOCKED OUT Brielle…!!! She’s not my favorite.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            But TheBeach, perhaps they’re REALLY trying to up the ante on drama this year!

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            Nice try, marie – you can run but you can’t hide. Once the showmance gets going hot and heavy they’ll bring in her mother to boss them around and help choose songs.
            I hear the phone ringing…I think it’s Nigel calling to offer me a job!

        • Joy says:

          But they totally put hate-magnet Clint Gamboa through to live rounds last year, after depicting him as Mr. Big Bad Horrible Bully during Hollywood Week…

      • Rolfe says:

        Tatiana del Toro was at least fun, and somewhat in on the joke. Richie Law is just dreadful. I’ve met too many people like him. Can not deal!

  17. Mik says:

    I don’t get this “another person goes through thing”. It just happened out of the blue. And why does it have to be a boys-cometition? I mean Richie Law instead of Lauren Gray or Ariel Sprague? …Seriously? I hope David Leathers win!
    – Besides that, I’m happy to see Hallie Day, Elise Testone, Jessica Sanchez and Phillip Phillips making it to Top 24. Jessica and Phillip had the best final performance in my mind.
    – A lot of guys I didn’t like is moving on. Reed Grimm, Adam Brock, Creighton Fraker. Creighton Fraker is the most tolerable, but of the three he has the “least-good” voice.
    – I laughed when that dude was crawling on the floor, when Jessica’s family went crazy. Nice ninja moves, haha.
    – Good luck to the top 25! :)

    • Mom of 6 says:

      Mik, one thing I keep trying to remind myself is that the order we are seeing things on television may or may not be the order that things actually happened, and that editing can totally rewrite a story. Just look at all of the pre-commercial teasers that spin things one way and then we find out a different reality after the commercial break.
      As for this new twist, we don’t know what actually went down, but I highly doubt it was “out of the blue.” More likely the producers just wanted to create some drama, or else the judges were really divided on one or more guys and so decided to tease a 13th guy out in the guise of a competition with a few other singers that have become good water-cooler talk or internet buzz. The producers have tended this American Idol engine long enough to know that good drama gets mileage (although sometimes we viewers can get exhausted).

      • Mik says:

        Hehe yeah, I actually meant by the way they edited it that seemed weird. Of course, we knew there was a “twist” like Ryan said in the countless “coming-up-next” teasers, but it just happened last minute without any explanation as to why a thirteenth contestant would move on.
        I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with changing the rules. I would be very happy to see Johnny Keyser or David Leather Jr. again :)

  18. marie says:

    This could very well be completely nonsense, but I have this nagging suspicion that perhaps the 13th guy may not even have been chosen yet: could it be that Nigel and co. are waiting to evaluate the buzz before making their selection? Could they be that desperate to bump up the ratings?
    But why just the guys, with all the talk of how there hasn’t been a female winner in a quite a while?

  19. wendy says:

    You know, they kept saying they want “different” – and they let Lauren Gray go – who has such a unique sound – and the problem Michael has with her dynamics could’ve been easily corralled by a vocal coach – Also, and not everyone will agree – I think Jermaine’s voice was good for the show – a voice the show hasn’t had before (sorry, no one has had that rich of a voice) – Imagine how great when they do group numbers to hear that low note! I just think his final song was terrific and i hope he is the one they pick. But why aren’t the women getting this final opportunity!? Unfair.

    • Josh says:

      If there is a top 13 guys, there should be a top 13 girls and Lauren shoudl be a part of it! Grrgh! So unfair(and even a bit sexist!).
      And while I can’t say I’m a Jermaine fan, at least he’s something different. All the people I like this season have something “unique” about them…I’m just tired of the same pop voice…We don’t really need another one, do we?

    • TheBeach says:

      And that is exactly where Jermaine should be…in a group singing bass.

  20. Louie says:

    Why are they entertaining the idea of bringing back Johnny Keyser? They have so many to choose from the ones they unceremoniously cut in that dramatic waterfall room

    • Josh says:

      Because a lot of people liked him because he was
      1) Attractive
      2) Had a good if not great traditional pop voice.
      I really hope it isn’t him.

      • Louie says:

        It was more of a rhetorical question, but you’re absolutely right. I pray it isn’t up to the fans to vote for who they want back… too many squealing girls are already foaming at mouth

  21. Barack Palin says:

    I guess Adam Brock is this year’s black woman. I am surprised that there are no black women contestants; instead we’re treated to a Hollie/Hallie/Haley/Bailey sea of blonde-could this be “Swedish Idol”? I really couldn’t tell those blondes apart-they all look alike. I hope Jermaine Jones comes back-he has a magnificent voice and he should seriously become an opera singer. His voice could grace the great opera houses of the world. This will be an interesting season.

  22. Doc says:

    Loving the video reviews with Melinda Doolittle. Michael & MindyDoo are the Fred & Ginger of Idol snark.

  23. Carrie says:

    Is it just me or do a lot of these ladies fancy themselves to have XTina’s voice. Stop screaming already! I was sad when David was cut – for no other reason than his final song was upbeat while it seems that a lot of the other men went with the heart-felt ballad. As we know, ballads don’t always translate well on the Idol stage.

  24. Amy says:

    I agree on your Hollie assessment, she was my #1 standout last night. In fact, I had a feeling she might be your “this year’s Haley.” Can’t wait to see what else she has up her sleeve.
    Others seem interesting too…no one else yet I’m “looking for” in particular…just “lookin’ out” for what’s next with most everyone.
    Too many tears and drammmmmma….I hate it. Not only does Adam Brock look like Danny (once was enuf for me) Gokey, but he’s following suit, tragically, with the melodrama overshadowning singing thing too.
    My biggest surprise and ??? for the top 24 results….two words–Lauren Gray??
    She seemed to put in all solid performances that the judges were complimenting, then they booted her?? Yea, her confidence was shaky, but that never got anyone eliminated before, and judging from last night’s drama queens, NO one, (except I forget his name…”Gumby guy” extrovert..Reed?), has Adam Lambart style swagga’ and confidence. Guess I’m losing my Idol skills…I thought Lauren would still be there in April…not because I loved her best, but she seemed to have the goods and interesting musical chops that might turn out some original performances.
    I think I combined both nights here…but I watched both last night.

  25. Amy says:

    oops LamBERT! need an edit button!

  26. Joe says:

    So am I the only person in the world that can tell Phil Phillips is doing a Dave Matthews impression? I mean, he should start a cover band called Tripping Billies or something. I almost threw up in my mouth when the judges told him he was original. He’s copied everything from Dave from the way he holds and plays guitar to the way he dances to the faces he makes when he sings. It’s mind boggling they put him through but I’ll give him this much; he does a great Dave Matthews impression.
    Get used to Eben people. He’s going to either win or make the top 3. He could go on stage & fart Greensleeves into a mic and get votes. Uncle Nigel is already gathering tween groupie girls to come up on stage who want to kiss him.
    I don’t get the Heejun thing either. I’ve never heard felt anything after hearing him sing.
    When Jeremy Rosado sang last night I almost started to ball. I don’t know why, but I really responded to him.
    The big guy with the deep voice who got cut last night shouldn’t get to come back. He doesn’t have a pop voice. Although I’d pay money to see what he could do on Carpenters Week. Note to Nigel; We need a Carpenters week this year.
    If they bring back little Michael Jackson I’ll also be disappointed unless he promises to wear 70’s era jumpsuits and grow out his fro. Then I can get into him big time.
    Apparently black women forgot how to sing this year. Thanks Idol for pointing that out. Work harder women of color! Ugh.
    My 2 favorites are the guy who sounds like the child of Al Green & James Brown & the Jessica girl who is ready to support her entire family and all of their families at age 16. Those are the 2 best voices along with the girl who works at a Winery.
    For the most part, I like the choices. It doesn’t feel as programmed as usual which means Nigel has a master plan none of us see coming other than turning Eben into Bieber right before our eyes.

  27. tara d says:

    personally i don’t care about what people think is fair as far as bringing someone back. Is it fair to our ears to bring back richie or jermaine? We dont know the ins and outs of why people really got eliminated, so then if they think someone has a chance of winning, does it matter if they didnt perform in vegas? on another, conspiracy theory note, do we even really know if johnny did in fact get eliminated in hollywood or is that just what they told us and want us to think?? We know how they like to edit…
    anyway, i would be happy with either david or johnny, because i think both of them have voices i would want to listen to. Be honest, would any of us buy an album by jermaine?? he is just not a viable pop singer. sorry. he may be a good singer in a technical sense but not for radio, or anything other than church really. I think he would have better luck joining an acapella group and trying out for the sing off.

    • Carol says:

      Yes, I would buy an album by Jermaine. How can you say he doesn’t have a voice for radio? He would be perfect for r&b radio (think Jeffrey Osborne, Peabo Bryson, Luther Vandross — all chart-toppers in their day).

      • TheBeach says:

        I’m afraid “in their day” basically says it all. His voice is not current. This is not to say he has a bad voice. I just can’t remember the last time I heard Peabo or Luther on the radio.

        • Carol says:

          If you don’t remember the last time you heard them on the radio, you obviously don’t listen to r&b radio — their songs are still played 20 years later. Good singing is good singing. And the only reason I referenced singers from so many years ago is not to say that Jermaine’s voice is not current, but to say that there is a void that no one is currently filling.

          • TheBeach says:

            Truth be told, I am actually a huge old-school R&B/Blues fan (Aretha, Gladys, Etta, Al Green,BB). Melinda Doolittle was probably my favorite Idol contestant ever. It’s Uncle Nigel who got burned with Reuben that’s steering clear of that genre.

        • Caleb says:

          What TheNeach said. He’s not current at all. Neither are richie or David for that matter (old time country and Motown/MJ). Go Johnny”

  28. susela says:

    Umm, it was actually “Turning a Roll Call of the 24 People Going to the Semifinals into a THREE-Hour Telecast.” Yikes, no wonder “Big Bang Theory” trounced “Idol”!

  29. Amy says:

    “KennyG/Black Jesus””MillieVanilli” was “Aaron Neville” to me. and…maybe this year’s Jason Castro in the looks dept.

  30. susela says:

    Gosh, I hope it’s not Johnny. Aside from the fact that he didn’t even make the Top 40, the dude *stepped over* a woman who had fainted and kept singing! Not my idea of an “Idol.”

    • Louie says:

      It’s funny how many people will overlook those two glaring facts just so they can see their eye candy on Idol… sorry but they cut more talented people than him who deserve a chance to come back over him

      • laurie says:

        but he has a cute butt!!

      • me says:

        AI hasn’t been about talent for a long time, just witness last year when they sent the entire Greyhound fleet after a certain highly talented contestant.
        So if people want to root by pure eye candy, why not. That’s all I’m doing this year. So let her have her Johnny and let me have my Denise Richards (neither sing that badly anyway). I don’t plan to vote and won’t watch too much either.

  31. scrutinizer says:

    like michael, i’m also a big fan of R&B. my favorites so far are jessica, deandre, jeremy and erika. lots of soul with those 4!

  32. TheBeach says:

    I miss Melinda (sniff).

  33. Meme says:

    I thought Jessica had the best final audition of all … wow, what a beautiful and emotionally-touching performance! Watching her face and listening to those amazing notes brought tears. I will miss Lauren Gray as I believe she has a lot of potential and deserved a spot more than anyone else who was cut. She definitely should return next season for another attempt! If that annoying Cowboy returns, I will definitely have to record the show so I can for sure fast-forward through his attitude. There’s a lot of talent this year and some of it is surprising.

  34. lemon says:

    Johnny Keyser walked away when his cast mate fainted in front of him. Kind of a like ability killer there. Plus that speech he gave in the pool about not working too hard…possibly made him look cocky.
    Also…We have to remember that if someone makes the top 24, they can never audition again. I’d like to think they have Candice Glover and River St James (an awesome talent they barely showed) on the DeAndre/Colton plan….where they want them in next years line up, and therefore won’t put them in the top 24.

  35. Kay says:

    I honestly believe David Leathers got a raw deal… the judges tried to spin his “ladies man” shtick as being “overconfident”. IMO, he appears to be well adjusted kid goofing around about how “suave” he is.. my little deluded brother does the same.. LOL. And we all know how the idol producers “encourage” these contestants to amp up their personality to increase screen time. Anyway, I totally appreciate the clarity and control of David’s voice. I hope they call him back.
    btw, as hot as he is, Johnny Keyser was being himself (not mugging for the camera) when he decided to sing after that poor girl collapsed.. talk about a gentleman. He also didn’t crack the top 42 so it’s not fair to bring him back.

  36. IdolFlash-7-9-35 says:

    Everyone loves to talk about the similar name situation with the blondes: we have Hollie, Hallie, Haley, and Baylie. Imagine if my 11-year old cousin found out about this (and actually cared), or the little special needs boys at my improv group; they’d annoy the crap out of everyone by going “Hollie Hallie Haley Baylie” over and over again just to tie their tongues. Just wait; it’ll turn in to the American Idol equivalent of the Badger song. (If you don’t know what that is, be grateful.)

    • IdolFlash-7-9-35 says:

      Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against special needs kids; I have Asperger’s Syndrome and know they can’t always help it. The improv group was designed for kids like us. But the counselors still tell them to cut it out after a while because it gets annoying.

  37. Betsy says:

    I thought they were going to surprise us and say that BOTH Eben AND David were going through – and if they didn’t do that, I was expecting DAVID to make it through. Shocked it was Eben over David. I hope David is the one they pick to make it through this time, even though I also did love Jermaine – he honestly doesn’t have a chance to win the whole thing and David does.

  38. SPELLLCHECK says:


  39. Jamie says:

    I know we shouldn’t be influenced by contestants’ love for previous contestants but I can’t helped feeling something more for:
    Hallie Day, and Heejun who both supported Haley according to
    I guess it helps when they’re talented anyway, so right now I’m liking Hallie who I think has a great voice and a strong chance of doing very well. Heejun, like others have said, has more of a personality; he’s gonna need to prove himself in the live rounds.

  40. Cat says:

    Wow, Idol. For once the Idolestants I like in the top 24 outnumber the ones I don’t. I can’t remember when that happened last. Season 7 maybe? My only real complaints are the horrible omission of Lauren Gray (her Vegas group round performance was, like, heartbreaking!) and this stupid “twist”. For reals, what’s wrong with leaving well enough alone?

  41. James says:

    I hope the “Gentle Giant” is the one that comes back…”Pretty Boy” Johnny did not even crack the top 42 so he certainly does not deserve it…And “One season too late” Richie is just a Scotty clone (albeit not as talented) and “I am 17 but look like I am 12” babyface David would be quite annoying to see…(we all ready have one baby face contestant no need for 2!)

  42. Jsmooth says:

    David Leathers Jr. should be brought back, they mentioned him having bad moments on the show but they never showed it, he was good everytime also he sounds like a young MJ enough said.
    Jermaine not only did awful group rds and hummed his words but his SFYL performance wasn’t good and he can’t handle the pressure he always crying and breaking down, David is 17 and more composed then Jermaine who’s in his 20’s
    Johnny Keyser not only did bad in Vegas rds but he actually kept singing after his group member Imani fainted in Hollywood then tweeted on twitter “Well JLo did say keep on singing, Oops #groupfail” he didn’t even apoligize, also he didn’t even make the Top 42, it’s not fair.
    Richie Law is just not gonna make it, he’s not likeable and he dissed vocal coach Debra Bryd on national tv. and there is no need to really go into detail why he shouldn’t make it over the others.

  43. syb says:

    I liked Jeremy. (You think maybe Ms. Lo meant “transcendent?”) I was very impressed with Jessica last night, even though that isn’t really my type of music. Although I’m not a country fan, Skylar has a very pleasing voice and personality, so I’m glad she made it. The other two–Baylie and Chelsea just don’t do much for me at all. Nobody else really stood out to me although Deandre looks more like Jason Castro than he did last season…
    Nobody last night really ticked me off, although some weren’t as good as their hype. I’m sick of Adam’s routine, he’s starting to remind me of Danny Gokey…
    Overall, still have Jen Hirsch in the lead for my vote, and still don’t get why Colton even made it past Hollywood.

  44. darcy's evil twin says:

    One thing’s for certain – Kendra Chantelle auditioned one season too soon. This is the year of the blonde.
    I’ll say this for the Top 24/25 – Although I find a few of the contestants to be annoying I don’t think there’s ever been a season when I didn’t mind listening to everyone in the Top 24, based on the sometimes SMALL snippets I heard of their voices. Were it not for the group videos on the “Idol” site I wouldn’t have heard much at all from some of them. At this time I don’t have a clear favorite. I did enjoy Hollie Cavanaugh’s performance a lot.
    Someone on these message boards posted that Johnny Keyser looked like a spoiled frat boy that killed his girlfriend on “Law&Order”, or something like that. THAT was funny! That’s exactly what he looks like.

  45. rosita says:

    Joshua Ledet.
    Anyone else (besides Mike & Melinda in Idology) with me?
    The guy is brilliant, and my dream Top 2 as of now are Joshua & Jen Hirsh.
    PS. HT to the wunderkind editor Jason Averett.. give that guy a raise, or sumthin!

  46. Musica1 says:

    Jermaine Jones needs to be on Broadway NOW! Do not pass go, do not go to American Idol. Hopefully some Broadway producer was watching Idol the last couple of weeks and called to get his name. With that powerful voice and awesome physical presence, there is so much he could do on Broadway.

  47. Tina says:

    I happen to agree with michael when deandre started singing womans worth cover by maxwell he showed his range and what a range, i got goose bumps all over. And the way he looked that boy is an idol and a superstar, I am so excited for the live rounds to start and I also love jessica sanchez.

  48. Gerriana says:

    Schyler Dixon FTW!

    • Gerriana says:

      Seriously, though, if we’re just randomly bringing back people they cut from Vegas on, let’s bring Schyler back. American Idol is really grasping at straws in desperation, thanks to plummeting ratings.

  49. Nedsdag says:

    I can sort of understand why they would bring back David or Jermaine, but I do not understand the return of Cowboy. As someone previously mentioned, Johnny dug his own grave singing while his group mate passed out in front of him. Also, his cocky poolside schtick with his group while everyone else was practicing turned me off as well.
    I think the only reason they’re bringing him back is JLO was literally wetting herself over him during his audition and perhaps she wants to replace her current boy toy with him.
    As for Lauren Gray, maybe it’s me, but she had the same problem that Kendra had last year: they do not photograph well on HDTV. She looks older than her actual age.

    • Erica says:

      I’d argue that Elise might have that same problem, yet she got through.
      I think Lauren has an awesome voice, and she certainly deserved to get through over Chelsea Sorrell (forgotten words) or Baylie Brown (dullsville) . . . we don’t need three female country singers, and since Chelsea and Baylie are pretty much the same, with Baylie getting quite a bit more airtime, we should have had Lauren instead of Chelsea.

  50. Sandi says:

    Does anyone know how they will handle the semifinals this year? Will it be in the same atrocious way as last season with a huge cut based on a solitary performance? Or will it be like in previous years with two boys and two girls gone each week until it’s down to 12 (or 13, or whatever)?