The Winners Return: American Idol Flashback Week is Here

Now we are getting down to business. Starting February 10, American Idol brings out the big guns with the return of Idol winners and fan favorites to mentor our Farewell Season Top 24. Of course they can’t make it simple or like last year, or any other year, so for this final go-around we have two performance nights before the judges make another cut down to seven contestants to move on to the next round. That’s brutal but we need to move things along as this season is on a shortened schedule, set to end in early April.

On Wednesday we will see the first group of twelve — MacKenzie Bourg, Emily Brooke, Gianna Isabella, James VIII, Jeneve Rose Mitchell, Stephany Negrete, Jenna Renae, La’Porsha Renae, Jordan Sasser, Thomas Stringfellow, Sonika Vaid and Avalon Young perform solo. Thursday the kids are joined by Ruben Studdard, Fantasia, Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina, Caleb Johnson and Nick Fradiani for duets before the judges send five contestants home. This already looks interesting with the possible pairing options here. Velvet Teddybear and La’Porsha Renae could knock some socks off. Who doesn’t want to see Emily Brooke do a sweet duet with Scotty McCreery? I’m just excited to see the winners/favorites come back. I hope they don’t all have to wear white all the time.

The following week (February 17-18) is shaping up to be my favorite of the season! Wednesday we have the second half of our Top 24 —Jenn Blosil, Amelia Eisenhauer, Trent Harmon, Lee Jean, CJ Johnson, Adam Lasher, Tristan McIntosh, Dalton Rapattoni, Olivia Rox, Manny Torres, Kory Wheeler and Shelbie Z up for their solos. The following night, some of my personal favorites return to duet and mentor and bring their magic back to the Idol stage – Constantine Maroulis, Chris Daughtry, Kellie Pickler, Jordin Sparks, David Cook and Haley Reinhart (that’s right girl)! If David Cook and Dalton Rapattoni take the stage together my head might explode. I don’t even care who Haley gets to mentor, I’m so happy to see her (robbed) face back on Idol. I just hope the judges don’t throw her any undue shade. At this point we’ll be down to 14 contestants.

On February 24 the judges will announce eight of the top ten finalists, with the final two spots awarded via a sing-off by the remaining six. Oddly this means we don’t get to hear the best eight singers I guess. Live rounds start on Thursday, February 25 with the announcement of the final two spots (based on America’s vote) before the Top 10 take the stage. I’d like to say there is a wild card selection process in there somewhere but, well, a girl can dream. Did I mention that the guest judge on Thursday will be Kelly Clarkson? Oh, yes, there is that!

As we head into the final stretch, I’m slightly confused how we get from ten down to two in four weeks but nobody said I was good at math. I’ll just wait and see what other surprises are in store. As long as they don’t parade out a bunch of kids and announce a Season 16: American Idol Next Generation, I’ll be happy. #SYTYCDFail

See you Wednesday!

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