American Idol Top 13 Announcement Recap: Where the Wild Cards Are [Updated]

idol-top-13-announcement-jessica-majestyThere’s been a decided lack of bullishness among the American Idol faithful over the last 48 hours regarding the Season 13 Top 30 — or at least the singers’ less-than-scintillating efforts during the show’s inaugural “Rush Week” festivities.

Call me a relentless optimist (who still thinks “I’m on a Roll” should/could be a Top 10 hit), but I’m not ready to fully write off any of the current crop of contestants — not considering the sadistic setup of Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s semifinal telecasts.

I mean, imagine attempting to execute an astonishingly stressful project at your day job while sitting in a shark cage made out of off-brand paper towels. (“Oooh! Your Idol recapper is still typing despite the fact that he’s being torn into bite-sized chunks by a Great White. Guess he should’ve used Bounty!”)

I’m not sure what executive producer Per Blankens was thinking, but he couldn’t have expected Allison Iraheta “Alone”-level performances by planning two nights of live shows during which a full third of the singers would be axed without getting to belt a single note. Even more confounding, the “lucky” ones sometimes had to wait up to two hours in a grim holding cell — cameras all up in their grill — before being told “you’re on!,” experiencing an extreme adrenaline rush and then being foisted onto the stage to try to master “intonation,” “performance” and “make love to the camera” face. Also: Confidence! Humility! And not openly vomming at memories of Randy Jackson’s insipid “tips.”

Anyhow… on to the Top 13 announcement. Ryan Seacrest was so quick in revealing the five guys and five ladies put through by viewer votes, that I actually worried for a minute that Fox was going to pull a switcheroo and try to trick us into watching Rake from 8:15-9:00. (#NeverGonnaHappen) Here’s who got the good news…

SENT THROUGH TO THE TOP 10 BY VIEWER VOTES (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER)
Malaya Watson
Ben Briley
Emily Piriz
Alex Preston
Jessica Meuse
Dexter Roberts
Caleb Johnson
Majesty Rose
M.K. Nobilette
Sam Woolf
(Could the order have been any less suspenseful? I mean, everyone knew MK and Sam were locks? Why not call them first and leave less clear-cut folks like Emily and Dexter for the end? #obvious)

J.Lo then grabbed the mic and explained that of the 10 singers left in jeopardy, the judges would ask five to sing, then ultimately choose three of ‘em to round out the Season 13 Top 13.  As I gritted my teeth and tried to brace myself for a Kendra Chantelle- or Lisa Leuschner-level injustice, here’s what occurred:

GIVEN A CHANCE BY THE JUDGES TO SING FOR A WILD CARD
C.J. Harris: Sam Cooke’s “Bring It on Home to Me” — Grade: B- | Keith was right that C.J. appeared to mentally drift in and out of the performance — to the point where I began focusing on things like, “Maybe he coulda shaved” and “Is that a variation on Pharrell’s hat?” rather than the actual vocal. Based on his body of work to date, I’m not upset about the judges giving a shot to C.J., but based on tonight’s number alone, I wish it had gone to Malcolm.

Jena Irene Asciutto: A self-penned song called “Unbreakable Me” — Grade: A | This was — hands down — the best performance of Season 13 “Rush Week.” As Keith noted, Jena was completely raw and vulnerable at the keyboards, with no accompaniment from the band, and yet she siezed the opportunity with the ferocity of a lionness spying a particularly meaty antelope. The fact that Jena proved her songwriting chops and showcased her gruff-but-ethereal tone in the process is just the hot fudge on top of some already perfect ice cream. Could she be Idol‘s first Wild Card winner? It’s not hard to imagine, is it? At minimum, her “Unbreakable Me” prompted the following, not-at-all-dramatic Tweet from yours truly. (Uff da — it’s too early to be in this deep, isn’t it?)

Spencer Lloyd: An original (I think?) about “Ordinary Girls” — Grade: C+ | I was sure the judges would give Spencer a slot in the Top 13 even if he’d decided to bite the head off a dove and then smash his guitar over Sam Woolf’s noggin. But amazingly, J.Lo put aside Idol‘s standard operating attraction to cute boys who activate sorority-girl screaming and instead told Spencer that his tepid performance of a not-very-rangey original song wasn’t what she “would’ve wanted America to see.” I also wish she’d told him the Hugh Grant-ish, mush-mouthed intro didn’t help his case, either. Oy!

Bria Anai: “It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World” — Grade: C+ (but the personality/star quality gets an A-!) | I so so so wanted Bria to be amazing, after her hilarious pre-performance chat about her thumping heart and her promise that “Oh, y’all gonna get a show!” As Harry noted, though, Bria’s cover of the James Brown claci was “all over the place” — with the teenage singer repeatedly losing control of the melody, her sense of pitch slamming into the brick wall of her passion and conviction. Oh, kiddo, take a few years and we’ll see you on The Voice around 2015, mmkay?

Kristen O’Connor: Katy Perry’s “Unconditionally” — Grade: B | Kristen (in genie pants perhaps designed to detract from her beauty) colored nicely within the lines of one of La Perry’s most boring singles. But if I’m being honest, she did it with about as much personality as a slice of Wonder Bread, lightly toasted, with just a smidge of margarine. Girlfriend definitely has talent and a very pretty tone, but I get the sense she’s trying so hard to come off like the “perfect pop star” (whatever that is) that she forgets the best pop stars are individuals, real humans with flaws and eccentricities and grit and humor. If those qualities are percolating beneath Kristen’s beautifully manicured exterior, I suggest she bring ‘em to the surface next Wednesday — or get relegated to a 13th-place finish. (Her cheering section, BTW? Remarkably good lookin’! It had to be said.)

ELIMINATED PRIOR TO WILD CARD ANNOUNCEMENT
Briana Oakley
Marrialle Sellars — I didn’t see that coming!
Emmanuel Zidor
George Lovett
Malcolm Allen — I didn’t want to see that coming!

WILD CARD WINNERS
Jena Irene [YAY! MY TV LIVES ANOTHER DAY!]
Kristen O’Connor
C.J. Harris

ALSO ELIMINATED
Bria Anai
Spencer Lloyd

And with that last announcement, Sony Pictures has greenlit the new romcom How J.Lo Got Her Credibility Back!

AND WITH THAT RIDICULATA… I turn it over to you!

What did you think of Top 13 announcement episode. Did anyone get snubbed of a chance to sing for the judges? (I vote Briana and Malcolm!) Did the judges make the right choice about who ultimately got the Wild Cards? And who’s your fave(s) from the Top 13? Sound off below!

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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508 Comments
  1. stephweph says:

    Happy that Jena and CJ made it through, but quite angry that Malcolm is going home. He had true star power and would’ve been very marketable for Idol, his voice was not the only thing he had going for him, he had a great attitude and seemed to truly be thankful for getting there, his humility was a breath of fresh air.

    • tvlover44 says:

      totally agree! i hope he gets a shot somewhere, somehow, because he has ‘it.’ now that others have clarified that all wild card singers were to sing their hollywood week songs, i’m even more bummed that we didn’t get to hear malcolm sing ‘i’m goin’ down’ – he would’ve killed it (again) and would’ve been put through. oh well…

  2. Kay says:

    I think the only girl America got wrong was Malaya, it should have been Briana instead. The female Urkel should just stick to comedy. I think the guys were dead on and predict we’ll have a male winner this year.

    • darcy the slutty twin says:

      Honestly, Briana would have made it if this was Season 2. Her runs and off-pitch glory notes are tired.

      • Briana fan says:

        Clean your ears.

      • mike hollingworth says:

        oh oh slu…………..a commentator below has advised you to “clean your ears” in reference to your judgement on Brianna’s singing! Well, my guess is that your ears, toes, nose, fingers nails, belly button, arm pits etc are shiny, spiffy and squeaky clean and ready for inspection.

        However, a certain unnamed person (hint “live” and reverse the spelling) told a friend of hers who told your mayor who told your state senator who told Barack who told the Canadian Prime Minister who told my mayor who told my fourth wife who is “visiting with” my mayor who then told my fifth wife who told me when she sobered up that ………………..last time this unnamed person (“live”) peaked in your ears and she saw 1/2 of a cabbage in your left ear and 3/4 of a rutabaga in your right ear!

        So, who is right?

      • mike hollingworth says:

        new comment above re: “your ears”

    • deedee says:

      Brianna is a nice girl and a very good singer, but she doesn’t make for good TV. Malaya is memorable – an odd duck with lots of Cinderella potential. Brianna is bland and somewhat over-eager. Having said that, I would have put Brianna in instead of Kristen, who is so nondescript I never remember who she is from show to show.

      • Dhppy says:

        “Bland” and “overeager” are exactly what comes to mind when I think of Brianna, Brandy, and Kristen too. I suspect being thin as well as pretty is what made the difference for Kristen getting in to the top 13.

    • Potato hip says:

      I hope so! I want Sam to win.

  3. marie says:

    Not a single “cute boy” – I am amazed and delighted. Not that I have anything against cute little boys – at my age, I am many years immune to any charms they may hold so I don’t care about them at all – but as others have said, I’m glad that so far, TALENT has pretty much been the deciding factor here.

    • Adam Fachry says:

      Mmm…Is Sam Woolf not a cute boy? Grated, everyone’s definition of cute could be relatively different.But, everything about his physique screams c00t

      • NedPepper says:

        Eh, he may have some female admirers, but I’m not sold on the idea that he’s “the cute one.” If so, he is completely unaffected by it. The kid has a permanent shy blush.

        • Adam Fachry says:

          This week, his cute-0-meter wasn’t as high as Spencer’s. But now that the latter’s gone, more people would start recognizing his look.

      • deedee says:

        Sam is cute in a non-threatening, virginal way. Maybe in 5 years.

      • marie says:

        I meant that Sam is not conventionally pretty in the same way Spencer is. That’s enough now from me on the subject because I’m fairly sure that for me to comment on the attractiveness of 17-year-old boys is most likely illegal, but in any case, the kid seems extremely talented and that’s what I’m looking forward to seeing more of.

      • TheLooksExpert says:

        Well, actually, Sam is not cute. He’s not handsome or homely, he’s average looking, more than plain, leaning towards nerdy.

    • deedee says:

      Aww, in all of America they couldn’t find a cute boy with talent?

      • TheLooksExpert says:

        Adam and Kris spoiled us forever! They sure were two beautiful (beyond cute), talented singers when they were young. Remember that cute haircut Adam had at the beginning of his run? It was adorable. And Kris was adorable in miniature form. Kris was the pocket Idol, remember that?

        • deedee says:

          I never found Kris to be anything special, and was shocked when he kept advancing. To me he was not an interesting performer at all. Adam, though, was stunning in every way. I rooted for him, even though Ms. Allison Iraheta was my favourite that year.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            Kris could rearrange a song and turn it on its ear like nobody’s business. But Alison was my favorite as well.

          • deedee says:

            So they say, DET. Still, I never found anything he did compelling, and the squeak in his voice made me crazy, haha.

      • Potato hip says:

        I get what you mean, I have no clue what these judges are doing. I find it hard to believe there wasn’t more talent out there like Savion.

  4. darcy the slutty twin says:

    Pleasantly surprised that Briana didn’t make it. I was just so over her with the runs and overdone belting. Yay Spencer Lloyd didn’t make it! Outraged that Caleb made it. I was actually hoping Marialle would get a chance to sing again, sound breathless again, and end her performance with a shoe next to her face! On another note, I wonder what Ben Briley would look like if he had a haircut and wore a tank top?

    • Adam Fachry says:

      Brianna is overrated. Her upper-register, which reminds me of Katharine McPhee’s, is too shrill-sounding imo.

      • Lauren says:

        I agree that Briana’s voice was shrill and unpleasant to listen to and I won’t miss her, but instead we got Kristen “Jaws” O’Connor, who will no doubt bore the hell out of everyone singing pageant ballads until she is kicked off. I’d have much preferred 7 guys and 6 girls this year.

      • tvlover44 says:

        agree. on the ‘top 30′ episode when they showed briana and brandy back-to-back, brandy’s tone was infinitely more pleasing than briana’s. and briana’s performance this week did nothing to erase that impression for me.

    • Jared says:

      I’m assuming the stylists will have a blast working with Ben, but nothing too drastic. I like the shaggy look.

    • MamaLis says:

      Oh, you make me laugh. =))

  5. Spencer says:

    Also, After going through and watching it a second time and I guess I am ok with Kristen getting a wildcard.

  6. JM says:

    I have to say that I’m really impressed with Jena’s original song. I admit that I wasn’t paying attention to the lyrics during Hollywood week. This time I did, and it’s a great song. Whatever happens, I hope she can release it on itunes.

  7. Lauren says:

    I am mostly happy with the Top 13 except for Malcolm not making it. CJ and Jena deserved to go (and probably should have been VOTED through) but Kristen is only there to fill the bland, boring and predictable ‘pageanty pretty white girl pop singer’ that America can’t live without. I hope she gets cut first. Bria and Spencer being Wild Card options was ridiculous and they were called up there so their pre-determined picks wouldn’t be put into question.

  8. Carla says:

    I’m sorry but Malaya needs some ADHD medication…she is a little overly animated and hyper for my preference. Think she’d be better if she came back next season and matured a little bit….in voice and her personality. I get she’s really excited obviously but calm down girl!

  9. Mark says:

    Overall not a bad final 13. The voters did a better job than the producers, I mean judges, did selecting wildcards. I’m pretty sure CJ and Jena could have stood on the stage and farted into the microphone and they were still getting in. What I mean is, they weren’t singing for their lives, unlike possibly the other three.

  10. webly3 says:

    The only disappointment for me is still the complete robbage of Austin Wolfe (or whatever her last name was) and Jillian Jensen for the girls in the previous episode. They are both better than Malaya and Kristen O’Connor. smh.

    • tvlover44 says:

      austin was one of my favorite girls, agree. loved her in hollywood week, haunting voice. and she was consistently good, unlike kenz(ie). maybe her personality was too ‘low key’ for them? hopefully she will come back sometime…

  11. Annie says:

    SO disappointed that Malcom didn’t at least get a chance to sing for the wildcard.

  12. wingsstef says:

    Mostly happy with this Top 13. Looking forward to great season. Yay for:
    Malaya Watson
    M.K. Nobilette
    Sam Woolf
    Jessica Meuse
    Jena Irene
    CJ Harris

  13. Angie_Overrated says:

    Other than Jena, all the wild card contestants should have been cut. Kristen was way off the beat, off pitch, and out of her range, Spencer was a joke, Bria has no top in her voice and was a histrionic trainwreck, and CJ was simply bad for lack of a better word.

    Oh boy, this season… it’s something. It’s definitely something.

  14. Blinged Up says:

    Only had one disappointment tonight — I wish Malcolm would have made the Top 13. All in all, I’m happy with the decisions and was so pleased with the judges’ wildcard picks (except, of course, for not choosing Malcolm to sing again.) Was really surprised that CJ was not in the Top 10, but thankfully the judges gave him a spot.

  15. Annie says:

    Malaya’s personality comes off both obnoxious and insufferable

  16. flappybats says:

    I wonder who would have made the top 10 had they not designated five spots per gender. I like to think that Jena would have been up there, and that she got a lot more votes than some of the guys. I hope to see her hang in there for many weeks to come.

    I am overall very pleased with the top 13. The only two I would eliminate are Kristin and Malaya. I’m also really glad that they aren’t a cookie cutter bunch of pretty people. Just distinctive voices, for the most part. I think Harry has really classed up the show and influenced the others to pay more attention to the musical talent.

  17. Bonquisha says:

    I agree mostly with the top 13 except I would have switched out Kristen and Emily with Kenzie and Jillian and Ben with Malcom!

  18. Angie_Overrated says:

    Paula Hunt… where are you?! Come back!!!

  19. Idolhead Ed says:

    I know it’s kind of early but,I am hoping for a Sam/Jena Final. That would finally be epic.

  20. Jim Welker says:

    Well, from their first auditions, I picked Oakley, Woolf, Rose, Caleb and MK, in that order to make the tol 5 in the finals of tbe show! I knew Oakley was in trouble as her last audition was so so! Guess I shuldn’t complain….4 of mine could be in the top 4 in the end! Maybe now Woolf and Rose in the finals? I think so! Briana Oakley got robbed! Definately should have made it! At least horrible Sellars and average Spencer are history! No Oakley…..A JOKE! Melanie Porras was better than most of top 13! Left Hollywood without singing! Go figure!

  21. Sieves says:

    No Spencer! No Marielle! No Emmanuel! Thank god. Otherwise, there would have been another Lazaro debacle.

    Sad about Malcolm going. Switch him with Kristen and it would have been perfect. But overall, America got it mostly right. Mostly.

    The producers got it way wrong though. Kenzie! Brandy! Austin! Jillian! Come back!

  22. NedPepper says:

    America and the judges ACTUALLY got it right. I’m amazed. I was waiting for Spencer to get thrown in there and drag the whole show down with the teenage squealing….and nope! Years past, Nigel wouldn’t be able to contain himself. But Nigel’s gone and J.Lo, Harry, and Kieth got it right. I guess I’m in on this season. I don’t have a clear front runner or favorite, but that’s a good thing. Should be fun watching someone emerge from the pack in the next weeks.

  23. Lily says:

    Just a small comment about the judges, who are all doing a good job. I got tired of hearing how “hard” it was for them to make their selections, especially coming so close on the heels of Harry’s lecture about “I don’t ever want to hear that you are sick, no excuses etc. etc”. This is what they are paid to do!

    • marie says:

      I think that “hard ” meant that there was so much good talent, it was hard to decide who to cut. They weren’t whining with that statement.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        I agree with you, marie. Mrs. Grammar Person thinks “difficult” would have been a better adjective. Plus, I think they genuinely feel badly about sending some of these talented kids home and they want the contestants to know they don’t take delight in sending them packing after making it so far.

  24. jane says:

    I thought Kristen was terrible however Nurses are awesome. They work very hard and take care of the most vulnerable. She should just go back to her day job. It’s a travesty that she made the top 13 instead of Malcolm. Except for CJ, Caleb, and Majesty, the top 13 is pretty meh. These will be the top 3. Sam seems like a sweet guy, but he looked like he was about to vomit last night on stage. He should have waited a couple years and gained more experience. I’m sure he will stick around though. He’ s the cute white boy who plays guitar. I thought the other countryish guy Ben was awful last night too. He reminds me of a frat guy who got drunk in a bar and asked the band if he could sing the one song he knows. and if you think his “guitar” playing was something special, that is just crazy. There is a reason why Keith told him that guitar playing wasn’t his thing baby. I’ll still tune in to watch Majesty accept her crown. She is incredible. I like Jessica and Jena too. The others could have been switched out with any of the other contestants (except Spencer, that goodness he’s gone) and I’d be fine with it.

  25. Jim Welker says:

    I feel there were 3 or 4 that shouldn’t be there! Meuse to me looks weird and sings average!

    • Mytake says:

      I think she sings great. I also think coming from a tiny town and that even when she played in bars etc she was a solo act that she’s just very shy and not outgoing. I hope she opens up as time goes on. Her stylist should be shot and peed on however. The outfits she’s been put in since the stylists have entered the picture are mind boggling horrendous

      • JayNC says:

        Yeah, I like her too, and apparently a lot of people do as she was in the girls top 5. It seems like she can go in several directions – country, rock, rockabilly -or even mix them up. I look forward to what she will do each week.

  26. Joe says:

    Methinks Spencer pissed off a lot of people on Idol. Otherwise, I can’t explain them making him sing that douchenozzle of a song live tonight. The judges hated that song before. It was like they were punishing him. That was the real “slut shaming” of the week.

    Limited voting appears to have worked. I’m not sensing star power here but more a nice collection of singers which is refreshing. This does not have the Uncle Nigel’s death grip all over it. Spencer, Mariaelle and Emanuel all would’ve made it into Uncle Nigel’s coven.

    Obviously, Sam Wolf’s the favorite. It’ll be interesting to see if this a season that lacks suspense or a coronation featuring Sam’s red cheeks and his proud Grandpa.

    • MamaLis says:

      People!! The Judges did NOT “give” Spencer that song! He chose it by his own misguided, arrogant, volition. Why do you think the first (and only) thing Jennifer said was, (Tsk Tsk) “I just don’t think that’s what we would have wanted America to see from you tonight.”

      Do you think she was saying, “We asked you to sing that song and we are SO stupid?”

      NO! If anything, the Judges set him up the night before to play the frigging piano, as in his PIANO song from Hollywood week!!!

      Spencer had multiple chances and all cards in his favor. And he single-handedly blew them one-by-one.

  27. Tahoe Mike says:

    I’m pretty happy with those who got through. I am still bummed that Brandy Neelly got shut out on girls night. I hope she has one more try in her next year.
    ~
    I don’t like the “Sorry, you survived the green mile but you’re still out of luck,” thing they have done the past couple of seasons. It just seems unnecessarily cruel.
    ~
    I wasn’t wild about the top twenty, but I think the best of the bunch got through. I may even root for a few of the guys this year, which I never do. I like Jessica Meuse, Emily, and maybe MK. I also like Caleb, Alex, CJ, and the country boys.

  28. Jake says:

    Geez so much spencer hate!!! I do think they made a mistake not picking him, ratings wise. It’s just unfortunate that he didn’t play the piano and do his say something song because he can sing well. I think a lot of these singers made bad song choices leaving a lot of them underwhelming.

  29. Holly says:

    The Top 10 :

    Malaya – I’m glad she went through. I love her personality. She has a good voice, just needs to control it.
    Ben – Sorry, but not a fan. There’s just something about him I don’t like.
    Emily – She has a lovely voice, but she needs to be careful with her song choices.
    Alex – So glad he made it through. I love him. He is very talented IMO.
    Jessica – Not a fan. I just don’t think she stands out. I think people felt sorry for her since group week, because of that little girls mom. I just don’t find her fascinating.
    Dexter – I had a feeling he’d make it through. I’m not a fan of country, so I don’t really care.
    Caleb – So glad he made it through. Another talented singer. I can’t believe he never made it through before.
    Majesty – I knew she’d make it through. I don’t know, I’m not a big fan as many others are. I guess I have to watch more of her.
    M.K. – She’s got a lovely voice, but her stage presence lacks. These judges see emotion…sorry, but I don’t.
    Sam – Another one that I think has a lovely voice, and is smooth in his delivery, but again, he lacks in stage presence.

    The judges decisions I didn’t agree with. They could of at least let Malcolm get another shot, but I just knew Spencer would get chosen over anyone. The best part though Emmanuel not getting a shot. I liked him, but it just seemed JLo kept pushing for this guy.

    WIldcards:

    CJ – I love him and been rooting for him since the beginning. I happen to disagree with Keith, I think CJ has lots of emotion when singing. Sure, he may not have the best voice, but he can sing, and he does sing from the heart and gut.
    Jena – I was appalled when America didn’t put this girl through, but you chose Jessica? Jena has more talent than that chick does. Play more piano, Jena, because that’s when she really stands out.
    Spencer – Such a joke. What the heck was he singing that song for? Doesn’t he know this is a fight for your spot moment? Why didn’t he sing “Say Something” on the piano like he did during Hollywood Week? He makes me puke anyways. Trying to sing for the girls.
    Bria – She can sing, but I think she can only sing that song and that song only. She’s not one of those “you can sing the phonebook” kinda girl. Her voice isn’t all that spectacular.
    Kristen – Really? Over Malcolm? Singing “Unconditionally” is a nightmare to sing. It’s one of those songs that only Katy can sing, and for many reasons. She doesn’t have an amazing voice to sing that song and hit those notes. Those notes might appear simple to many, but they are hard…all of Katy’s songs are hard in some way. Kinda like her “Firework” song, people bomb when they try to sing that song. This isn’t giving Katy props, because she doesn’t have a spectacular voice, and most is auto-tuned, but she can only sing those songs. Kristen stunk, and she couldn’t hit a note if she tried, she was cracking.

    Out of the three chosen, I’m happy CJ and Jena made it. Kristen can be the first to go IMO.

    My only disappointment is Jena not making the Top 10 (glad the judges put her through), and Malcolm not getting another shot.

    This season isn’t great, and I don’t really see hope for it, but we shall see.

  30. Sarah says:

    I’m still outraged that they cut Brandy Neelly from the top 20. I thought she was really good. It was obvious that the judges (and producers) were desperate for Spencer to go through and I’m glad they didn’t put him through based on those performances. I would have chosen Malcolm over CJ for the other male contender. Jena won the night for sure…I couldn’t even tell that that was an original song and she should be considered a front runner going into next week.

  31. DJ says:

    I agree with you about Kristen – I’m not convinced she’s ready for primetime – but considering America’s bottom 5 girls (Kristen, Briana, Marialle, Jena, and Bria), she’s clearly the second-best girl, after Jena. And while I’m not on her bandwagon, even I must admit she had the second-best performance Thursday night, again after Jena. I was also disappointed that Malcolm and/or George didn’t make the sing-off, especially after seeing what little Bria and Spencer brought to the table.
    Overall, based on the judges’ Top 20, I think we ended up with the best thirteen singers. (Seeing Marialle, Spencer, Kristen, Emmanuelle, and Bria ALL outside the Top 10 has given me a newfound faith in the American intellect!!!) Granted, looking at the seven who left tonight compared to the ten that left Tuesday and Wednesday, don’t you feel like the judges dropped the ball multiple times??? (i.e. Jillian, Casey, Kenzie, etc.)
    (As an aside, why does Spencer keep trying to shove that boring song he wrote down our throats? I didn’t like it during Hollywood Week, and I didn’t like it tonight either – by the way, that little “shoutout” before you started only made it worse!)

  32. Adam Fachry says:

    Everyone’s saying “this would be a guy’s year”, “the top 5 would consist of guys only”. While that might be true, I still hope that the finale is going to be Jena VS. Majesty.

  33. Bonnie A. says:

    Know I’m in the minority, having enjoyed Kristen from the beginning, and I was excited she gets to sing at least one more time. Her tone and range just appeal to me. And we have seen plenty of other Idol contestants grow in their performance ability over the seasons they were in, so hoping she can step up her performances.

    Was surprised on the contestants that were voted into the top 5, especially that Spencer didn’t make it. Agree with others, that the new voting system, limiting votes may be helping.

    Looking forward to next week’s shows more than I expected after Tuesday night. I thought we were going to be in for a long season.

  34. Jerry says:

    Maybe the limited voting is paying off! I see that based on tvline polls (which is way better than a lot of recent American Idol results), all the top 6 girls and top 6 guys are in the top 13. The only controversy seems to be Kristen, but according to viewers here, she did give a better performance than Spencer and Bria. (Though wildcard picks in itself is rather controversial)

  35. Zombie Smurf says:

    Just some observations from over the years – The judges, along with the producers who pay their contracts, are not always prone to do super-well with their add-on picks; I can remember other “judges picks” from past years to round-out a top 12 or 13 — that none made the top 8, sometimes not even the top 9..

    It will take about 4 – 5 weeks to get into the real meat of the competition, unless the judges get a save, or maybe grant themselves additional saves – then it will take longer.

  36. twnkltoze says:

    First off. We will have a male winner this year. There’s clearly more raw talent on the male side. Very happy with the overall choices for top 13 except for maybe Kristin. Not sold on her yet. I find I’m watching more for the judging than anything. Harry is really inspiring JLo and Keith to some degree to up their game. Harry is clearly the best judge Idol has ever seen. Credible and honest without being cruel. The audience clearly isn’t accustomed to this level of musical knowledge and well-thought out critiques and advice and I love it. Keith is adding much more substance to his critiques this year and JLo is proving to be a quick study. I hope this continues throughout the next 13 weeks. My faves so far are Sam, Alex and Jessica, in that order. They are the most musically adept. I’m glad Spencer was left out. He’s got a few more years to mature as an artist. I have the feeling this may be his first real rejection, having gotten by more on looks than talent. Congratulations to the judges for recognizing that. A first for AI. Looking forward to a fun season.

    • MamaLis says:

      You know what? I normally can sight the winners early in the season with quite a high degree of accuracy (if I do say so, myself. =) I think I’ve gotten it right since Adam’s season and last year I called a Candice win as soon as she was confirmed in the Top 10.

      But this year…. I think it’s really a different ball game. I think there will be a few surprises, actually. And my guess would be the Top 2 or 3 could quite possibly be a boy/girl split.

  37. McJagger says:

    “not Spencer” was my mantra tonight, so I’m happy. After America picked 5 white guys, I thought they have to put through CJ or Malcolm as the 6th guy.. But I was still worried they would force Spencer on us as the 13th person,,,, phew….

  38. Bohr says:

    I felt bad that Briana wasn’t given a chance to sing again. I felt she was more ready than Kristen or Bria who both sounded painful. I still have her version of Royals stuck to my head. On the men’s side, as much as I like CJ, I don’t think he has the potential to grow and I always get distracted when he performs. So far he hasn’t brought the magic from auditions/hollywood week. All in all, this is one of the weakest group of contestants I’ve seen so far in AI. The semifinals and the wildcard performances tonight (with the exception of Jena) proved this. Right now, Sam Woolf and Majesty Rose are the ones to beat, even if they still have to deliver wow performances in the live shows. I’m very pessimistic about this season. I suddenly missed Season 8 and 11, my favorite seasons.

  39. darcy the slutty twin says:

    With her mouth open while singing, Kristen kind of looks like a blow up sex doll.

    • mike hollingworth says:

      well thanks a lot slu…your comment has made the rest of my evening intolerable…..I was laughing so long that I lost my breath and my not too compatible wife (who incidently is not nearly as hot as the first four) screamed at me to leave the house immeadiately and take my pet moose for a long, long stroll. So I am looking for the moose’s fav plaid coat and matching toque cause it’s kinda chilly out there.

  40. darcy's evil twin says:

    I’m late posting here because I was down at the mall doing naked cartwheels since it looks as though my prediction of a Sam/Spencer Top 2 is NOT going to come to pass. Wow, I’m stunned Spencer isn’t in there. I was stunned he wasn’t voted through and doubly-stunned the judges didn’t put him through DESPITE that tepid song. Oh well, guess I won’t be getting a job at Psychic Hotline anytime soon. Wish George or Malcom had been given the opportunity to sing instead.
    .
    Of the “sing for your life” performances I agree with everyone else – Jeeeena’s was the only one that was stellar. Personally I think Brianna Oakley should have been given a shot rather than Bria or Kristin. Harry was right – Bria was a mess and should have stuck more closely to the melody on that song.
    .
    In past seasons Marialle and Emmanuel would have been in the Top 13 as well, torturing us for weeks to come. So there’s something for which we can give thanks. I still don’t get the appeal of Malaya, though.
    Predicting Sam will win. Confetti shower coming your way in five…four…three…

    • Adam Fachry says:

      Cue “This Is My Now” song everytime Sam gets discussed by Slezak and Melinda in Reality Check

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        You get a Made Me Laugh, Adam. :-)

        I don’t have a solid favorite yet. But I do hope Kenzie, Brianna, Austin, Casey Thrasher, and especially Brandy give it another shot next year. Several people said Brandy was “generic”. Well, so was Carrie Underwood. She was as generic as they come.

    • darcy the slutty twin says:

      Pretty sure mike hollingsworth was with a video camera in hand.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        LOL. That’s why I went in the middle of the night. ;-) There’s a police precinct at the local mall. I have connections. Thank goodness.

      • mike hollingworth says:

        sorry I missed the show… was breathlessly viewing the “attributes” of ALL the female figure skaters……….however my uncle JeanJaccquesPierre de MapleSyrup happened to have wandered by and instantly recalled one of his pet Canadian beavers, so he told me!

        • MamaLis says:

          I don’t know what the heck you just said. But you shouldn’t use the term “beaver” anywhere near a previous post entailing naked cartwheeling.

          For Blog Scanners like myself, it causes a SEVERE double take. ;))

    • JayNC says:

      I think Harry made a mistake and said Bria Anai instead of Briana. And by then it was too late.

  41. Rei says:

    Was very surprised to see that Briana didn’t get another shot. Wasn’t a fan of her but I figured she’d get another one. And just to be selfish I wish Marrialle Sellars actually made it because she’s so frekin hawt!

  42. Adam Fachry says:

    I’m sorry if I come across as offensive, but I couldn’t help but laugh everytime I see CJ’s crying girlfriend. Like, girl, calm down.

  43. Doing says:

    Could you make a poll for this?

  44. marie says:

    So glad the new producers’ housecleaning included getting rid of those hideous stools that look like oversized golf ball tees. The new ones look more comfortable. Always hated those old stools.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      That’s funny, marie – I thought the exact same thing.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Except those 15 year olds should be able to perch on those old stools for hours with no problem.

      • marie says:

        Well, certainly, I’d bet they CAN perch on those things with no problems. They just always made me – with my considerably older, and crankier, derriere – wince just looking at them and contemplating the discomfort! There’s a realty office in my neighborhood that uses those damnable golf-tee stools for customers. The first time I saw them there, I remarked to my wife that I’d sooner live in a cardboard refrigerator box than consult those folks on housing!

  45. Kayk says:

    I deleted the show after watching, so I can’t go back to check…help me out here…I thought when Ryan interviewed the first 10 to make it (or was it all 13?) he asked something like “What does this mean to you?” And one of them, I think Malaya (the tuba/sousaphone girl) excitedly said something like. “We’re going on tour!” Is that true, though? I thought only the eventual top 10 go on tour? If that’s the case, was she assuming that she’d be going on tour for sure since she was an America-voted Top 10 and not a Wild Card? Can somebody clarify this for me? No big deal, it just caught my attention when it happened. :)

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      I still have it on DVR so I replayed it – when Ryan asked the contestants what they thought it was Majesty Rose (sans) York that said “We’re going on tour”. I’m not sure what the criteria for going on tour are this year. Unless it’s changed it seems like it’s usually been the Top 10. hopefully someone else will weigh in.

  46. steve s says:

    All of those commenting on “no solid favorites” this year are spot on. Even the British bookmakers are confused. They have just made MK, Majesty and Sam co-favorites to win it all at 5 1/2-1. Next in line are: CJ at 6-1, Alex at 7.5-1, Emily at 9-1, Jessica 10-1, Ben 11-1 then Caleb, Jena and Malaya all at 14-1. Last in line are Dexter at 16-1 and Kristen at 33-1. Most solid push from them would be Kristen to get bounced first.

  47. Jared says:

    Michael, Yes Yes Yes to mentioning Lisa Leuschner. One of the worst injustices ever.
    Also, I agree that Stefano’s first single was great, but seriously, his follow up “Yes To Love” was even better!

  48. takatomon says:

    I gotta say, after the complete injustice of not letting Kenzie and Jillian even have the opportunity to sing live on stage, I can safely say that this Top 13 I can live with and makes me excited for Idol all over again. I may still have a bone to pick with the producers and the judges but I’ll keep watching.

    Rooting for Sam, Alex, and Majesty. All the other ones….meh.

  49. CTZ says:

    I think it is a good top 13. There are some average singers and some great singers — as there are every season.

  50. Karen says:

    So happy that Jena and C.J. got in as Wild Cards and that pretty but marginally talented Spencer is gone. I wish Malcolm would have been given a chance to sing to earn a spot — I’d take him any day of the week over bland, boring Kristen.

    As for the Top 10 the voters put in, they did a solid job, although there are a LOT of WGWG who are going to cancel each other out at some point.

    My way too early prediction for Top 3 — Sam, Alex & Majesty, with Sam winning the title.

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