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American Idol Recap – Road to the Top 24

Unfortunately there was no recap last night, as I was celebrating Maggie’s birthday (which apparently is more important that blogging about Idol), then watching the end of Carmelo’s debut and the Terps big win over FSU.

But before tonight’s revealing of the rest of the Top 24, here’s a recap of last night’s two hour show.

– 61 contestants remain, put in groups of 2 or 3, singing Beatles songs in Las Vegas. Very happy to finally see Idol show this portion finally. Usually it goes from after Group Week when they put the contestants in 4 rooms straight to announcing the top 24.

– Good to see Lauren Alaina finally showing some nerves, was afraid she’d get too arrogant.

– My favorite moment (even though it involved my least favorite contestant) was when Ashley Sullivan got married, because it was at the The Little White Wedding Chapel Of Love, the exact same place Maggie and I got married four-plus years ago!  I’m a little disappointed that Ashley didn’t opt for the drive-thru wedding like we did.

Paul McDonald, Tim Halperin and Pia Toscano might have sounded the best doing the Beatles.  Was a little disappointed with Chris Medina and Casey Abrams duet, didn’t really mesh well.

– Sad to see Sophia Shorai get cut after her performance.  Probably her own fault for partnering with Ashley Sullivan.

Thia Megia may have an incredible voice, but I think it’s confirming that 15 is too young of an age minimum for this show; she looks like a frightened puppy out there.

– They need to cut Scotty McCreery already, he’s a one-note low pony, plus John Wayne Schulz should be this year’s resident cowboy. Also if Rachel Zevita makes it thru to the Top 24, I may boycott.

– Not making the cut after Beatles performances include Ashley Sullivan, Molly DeWolf, Carson Higgins, Caleb Hawley, Denise Jackson and Melinda Ademi.  Not sad about any of those cuts.

– After cutting the 61 down to 40, that’s when the judges started announcing one-by-one who made the Top 24 (apparently they all got to do one more solo performance).  They’re dragging the announcements out over two nights, but those who got thru last night were Naima Adedapo (in some sort of Little Mermaid-esque dress), Haley Reinhart (who tried out last year and never even got a golden ticket, and probably won’t make Top 12), Ashthon Jones (the annual token black girl with big curly hair), Clint Jun Gamboa (still hated for his earlier antics) and Paul McDonald (looking like a poor man’s Bradley Cooper).

– Already told that it’s the end of the line were LaKeisha Lewis, Alex Ryan,  Deandre Brackensick (who Jennifer Lopez said could be a recording artist now), Hollie Cavanagh (who Jennifer Lopez said could win this competition in two years).

– And sadly it’s the end of the line for favorite Chris Medina, who may have had the most touching story in Idol history, but unfortunately the judges were right to cut him as his voice wasn’t as powerful or special as most of the remaining guys.   That’s where it ended last night, with Jennifer Lopez broken down in tears after having to tell Chris it was the end of the line for him, and unsure if she could muster the strength to carry on.  Again, 12 million reasons she’ll be able to carry on so not much of a cliffhanger.

Still 18 slots left to filled tonight (8 women, 10 men).  And I’m going to predict, in true Idol-fashion, the very last two people left to fill one spot will be Jacee Badeaux and Brett Loewenstern with Brett getting the final spot and Jacee getting the sad goodbye.

Production has come to a halt after last night’s meltdown, but the Fly Girl rallies and is going to be alright, what a miracle.  First up tonight is Karen Rodriguez who shrewdly chose a Selena song for his final solo performance and is the 4th female through to the Top 24.

Robbie Rosen (aka the Jewish Christopher Moltisani) doesn’t let the judges say fugedaboutit and is the 3rd male to make it.

I’d like to point out the sweater Randy Jackson is wearing tonight, Maggie also has.  I’m not sure what to make of that.

Next up is Tatynisa Wilson, and I’m going to predict no here, since she hasn’t done anything memorable outside of forgetting lyrics, but apparently I know nothing and there’s room for two black girls with big bouncy curly hair.  Only 7 females spots left.

Quick cuts for Brittany Mazur and Jimmie Allen, which is impressive since I didn’t even know who they were.

Fresh off a great Beatles performance, Tim Halperin chose an original song for his final performance, but it was pretty subpar, but since this could be the season of subpar, Tim grabs the 4th male spot.

Tim’s Vegas partner, Julie Zorrilla, who’s starting to look like the Real World’s Johanna from the Austin season, and has failed to impress me so far despite possibly the most overall screen time throughout this process, makes it through and gives us a half-dozen females.

One of my favorite moments is when someone comes out after getting through and you can see the looks on the faces of the other contestants of the same sex who try to fake being happy while realizing there’s one less spot available for them.  They need to make a DVD filled with extras that just show analysis of these faces.

Scotty McCreery and John Wayne Schulz are pitted head-to-head with only one spot available.  Scotty’s solo performance was phenomenal actually and secures his place in the Top 24, leaving only 7 male spots left, one of which John Wayne won’t be filling this year.

Jovany Barreto will be playing this year’s role of the Idol latin lover, and now we’ve got 6 guys and 6 girls in.  Jovany reminds me of Alberto Del Rio…can’t wait to see Jovany in a singing competition vs. Edge.

Maid Lauren Turner, who has a great voice for this competition, but not much of a look, can now star in the Maid In Manhattan sequel as she’ll be the maid in Hollywood as the 7th female in.

Rejection time for Erin Kelly and Tijuan Strong.  Neat.  Up next though is Rachel Zevita, ugh I don’t like her but the judges do, and she’s the 8th female in, and probably the first female out next week.  Only four spots left (two of which better go to Lauren Alaina and Pia Toscano).

Kendra Chantelle makes it through, ok then.  Only 3 female spots left.  Jordan Dorsey, who makes me feel like he could be the first Idol contestant to pull a Ron Artest on the judges, will have to wait to go crazy on them until he gets cut for real as he’s going through as the 7th male.

To no one’s surprise, Lauren Alaina grabs spot number ten for the ladies, and she remains the front runner.  As is the potential male front runner Stefano Legano with the 8th male spot, although his last two performances have been his worst.  Only room for 2 more females and 4 more males.

Jackie Wilson gets cut, but still has a future in…I have no clue what she does.  Cutlery making?

One of the few top-24 locks for several weeks, Jacob Lusk becomes the 9th male to advance.

Back from break, and Pia Toscano is quickly announced as the 11th female.  Jennifer Lopez needs a better poker face, it’s pretty obvious when she’s going to deliver good news.   Which should probably lock Thia Megia up for the final spot after some drama.

James Durbin, who’s desperately trying to be Adam Lambert 2.0 but with tourette’s, finally delivers a solid performance in his last solo showing, and takes the 10th male spot.  Best line of the night goes to Steven Tyler who says “****, take that tourette’s”  Much better than his other line of “I’ll have what he’s having”

Good news for Casey Abrams who makes the Top 24 as the 11th male, but then this news came out today – Casey Abrams hospitalized.  So hopefully this means he’ll still be able to compete.

Down to the final female spot and it’s between Thia Megia and Jessica Cunningham. Apparently this is Jessica’ 7th time auditioning for Idol, which is sad, b/c we’re probably going to see her try again for the 8th time next year as she got cut (on her birthday no less) and Thia is our 12th and final female in.

And incredibly, I nailed my lone prediction tonight and the final male spot comes down to Brett Loewenstern and Jacee Badeaux. Ok, I was slightly off as Colton Dixon is joining them, but my money’s still on Brett, and sure enough it is Brett and here comes the water works with the the sad exiting of Jacee, who I hope we see more of in another season.

So the Top 24 is set, and they’ll start performing next week (hopefully with Casey Abrams), and here’s how I have the 12 females and 12 males ranked going into the first round.

TOP 12 FEMALES
1. Lauren Alaina
2. Pia Toscano
3. Thia Megia
4. Lauren Harris
5. Karen Rodriguez
6. Ashthon Jones
7. Julie Zorrilla
8. Kendra Chantelle
9. Naima Adedapo
10. Haley Reinhart
11. Tatynisa Wilson
12. Rachel Zevita

TOP 12 MALES
1. Casey Abrams
2. Paul McDonald
3. Stefano Langone
4. Clint Jun Gamboa
5. Jacob Lusk
6. Tim Halperin
7. Jordan Dorsey
8. Brett Loewenstern
9. Robbie Rosen
10. Jovany Barretto
11. Scotty McCreery
12. James Durbin

The guys are stronger from 1 thru 12, but the women have the edge with the 1-2 punch of Lauren/Pia. Guys are up first Tuesday, then the girls on Wednesday before we start cutting people. Have a great Idol-less weekend!

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