I didn’t watch the first season of American Idol. There, I said it. I missed the house being built by Clarkson so I have no idea how many amazing girls started out that year or how many were in the top 10 or anything. Tonight our trusty panel of judges built our final Top 24 and producers pulled a fast one on us by giving us 13 girls and 11 boys — and didn’t even tease us about any wild card slots. I’m usually so confused with the way Idol progresses now I feel like I’m being led around by Ryan, happy for whatever comes next. I’m usually ok with this but tonight I’m all, THERE BETTER BE A DAMN WILD CARD!
Ok, I’ll settle down. I’m fairly happy with most of the chosen ones and I think I nailed 16 out of 24 but there were a few big mistakes. I had Jessica Cabral pegged to be in the finale. She has a voice that melted and oozed every time. She was flawless and personable and not at all annoying and, wait for it, relatable! Likable and memorable because of her voice and her personality and I don’t think in a way that we would grow tired of her after a few weeks. Same goes for Zach Person. Maybe not the melting and oozing voice but for sure a talent that was evident from day one. He had an audition that I wanted to go on forever and then we never heard from him again. I get that they think we needed 13 girls, ok no I don’t, but Zach deserved a spot. I would kick out a couple of the girls for him any day.
Here is your Top 24 almost in order of selection. I’m going to be honest because gloves are off. We’re serious now.
1. Stephany Negrete is a beautiful girl who looks like she has been practicing pop princess since birth. I won’t take away from her voice because it kills but her whole package is off-putting to me. I think JLo said at one point that she is almost too polished and I agree. She needs to hang out with the girl from the mountain. They each need a little bit of each other’s super powers.
2. Shelbie Z has a powerful voice and her stage presence is finely tuned by the producers and coaches over at The Voice but something just doesn’t settle right with me. It might be her questionable fashion choices or her insistence on channeling Steven Tyler with the mic scarves. Great singer, not a fan.
Let’s take a time out here to say goodbye to Michelle Marie, the sweet girl from the trailer park who looks a lot like a tiny Lea Michele. Also, during this point in the show we lost both Colette Lush and Jessica Cabral which had me tearing out my hair and threatening boycott.
3. Mackenzie Bourg is my favorite. His hair is dreamy and he played Elvis tonight and I’m sorry Mackenzie for not voting for you on The Voice. Seriously, I think he has a shot but I won’t jinx him like I did Jessica.
4. Trent Harmon did Tiny Dancer tonight and had on a cool red hat. I like his style but his faces are weird sometimes. I’m happy he made it so we can hear him again when he doesn’t have the mono.
5. Jenna Renae got dropped into the top ten with a montage of 6) James VIII and 7) Adam Lasher and 8) Kory Wheeler. Finally a girl from my own top 24 list made it!! These guys are all great but we didn’t get to see them sing so we basically know nothing more about them. Oddly enough, Adam Lasher made the Top 24 without one bit of screen time during Hollywood Week. Bummer.
9. Jeneve Rose Mitchell is the girl who lives on a mountain who apparently has no electricity and learned to dress from a Sears catalog. I’m sorry to throw shade because I don’t like to be mean (who am I kidding) but her interesting voice doesn’t cut it with me. Is anyone going to buy her music?
10. CJ Johnson from Little Rock had me at Chris Stapleton! Well he already had me before tonight but I love his voice and his energy and his hats. His version of Parachute was a little more rock and rasp than Stapleton’s version but I liked it a lot.
11. Amelia Eisenhauer thankfully made it because I want to see her really play that violin. It’s fresh and interesting to have a violin player and I think Amelia has a whole package that will play nice with America.
12. Lee Jean got a little cocky tonight but I still adore him and could honestly listen to him sing for a while. JLo scolded him a bit for shushing the audiences one time too many but I thought it was kind of cute. Maybe he can shush those background singers when he gets to the big stage. That’s something I wish he would do 100 times.
13. Avalon Young surprised me tonight. She claims to be un-interested in being the next anybody but wants to be the first her. I didn’t realize what a good singer she was until tonight but I’m mostly excited to see how much the Idol fashion squad tries to change her. Could be fun.
Then we had to say goodbye to Chynnah Sherrod who called it like it is. Some really good people did go home and some really ok people stayed. Agreed, Chynnah was on my list! We also lost Zach Person at this point but you already know how I feel about that.
14. Dalton Rapattoni was up next with a sort of self-deprecating opener but he NAILED IT with an NSYNC tune and I’m all in with this guy. Hopefully he can tone down pretending to think he isn’t awesome because he is awesome.
15. Manny Torres looks so good on stage. I’m not supposed to notice that first but Harry got it right when he said Manny just looks like a guy you want to go to a baseball game with. He did a reggae bit tonight which I’m not a huge fan of but I’m still a fan of Manny.
16. Thomas Stringfellow had the dumbest girlfriend on the planet…or came up with the best story every to make us think he did. Thomas took the stage with heavy heart tonight announcing that his girlfriend just broke up with him and then sang a One Direction song. Check, check and check the tweener votes. All of them! After he made the top 24 he jumped into his Dad’s arms in one of my favorite father son moments ever on Idol. This kid is too much. Thank God he can sing.
17. Sonika Vaid is a beautiful girl and her voice kind of reminds me of a lot of other divas but she really needs to work on her vacant performances. JLo told her she needs to come alive and I hope she takes that advice to heart. Pia Toscano ring any bells?
18. Olivia Rox made it in the same skirt Tristan wore yesterday. They are both pretty tall and maybe they are BFFs and sharing clothes. Probably not. Can’t wait until we get to hear her sing a whole song.
19. Emily Brooke (duh) has had a few missteps here and there with her voice and her confidence but this girl is like Carrie Underwood Jr. only already polished and moving around the stage. I hope she can push through the next rounds because she is good and seems ambitious to win it all.
20. Gianna Isabella was good but I wasn’t sure she was good enough to make top 24. She proved she was tonight doing a version of her mom’s song. Reminder that Brenda K. Starr and Jenny from the Block took dance classes together back in Brooklyn. Brenda can’t help but micro-manage her kid but her face when Gianna sings breaks my heart!
21. Jenn Blosil did an interesting version of The Hanging Tree and was haunting and moody. She’s going to be fun to watch if she can keep it different.
22. Tristan McIntosh made it. I know, another big shocker that nobody saw coming. She’s good, she’s pretty and she didn’t cry tonight. Props all around.
23. Jordan Sasser was awarded the last spot for the guys even though we were only at 11 so that was weird. I’m still not sure I get this guy but he is more interesting than I remember so I’ll give him a chance.
24. La’Porsha Renae was assigned the dreaded “down to the last two” spot tonight. I don’t know why they make a mom with a baby sit there for so long. Anyway, she totally deserves it and makes Idol life worthwhile.
Tune in next week for whatever kind of elimination round they’ve got in store for us. Fingers crossed for some wild cards or I might lose it!
Oh, is it time to predict anything? Nah, we’ll save that for next week. Hopefully we get to see them all sing a whole song first.