Hey, American Idol
fans! We're one step closer this week as the 40 or so remaining contestants are whittled down to 24 or so. American Idol
is two hours tonight, and a total of six hours next week, but on the upside, at least no one will accidentally watch Mobbed
. ("At least they didn't call it Flashed
!" - a mom).
Jennifer wore her green sparkly dress this year (again?), and you just know she was saving it for the Green Mile episode. Oh, and this time they are surrounded by a LAKE OF FIRE. Two days before the final judgment, on January 19th (that is recent!), the remaining contestants arrived at The Wynn hotel to perform their solos. They were then "treated" to a performance of Le Reve by Cirque du Soleil, and would soon perform and discover results on the same gaudy stage. VOTE: Who Is Your Favorite Season 11 Guy?>>VOTE: Who Is Your Favorite Season 11 Girl?>>
Last year Jennifer wore a green dress and had a meltdown, and this year her dress is sparkly. So, I was wrong. She always sparkles in my mind, though. It's decision day and the contestants are on the holding room, supposedly reflecting on their American Idol
journey. I bet they were hoping they could get some snacks. Are we really pretending that this happened "yesterday"? As in, the time we weren't born?Jen Hirsh
is up first! She auditioned in Galveston and I don't remember her, but we have since really come to like her. In her final solo, she didn't out-do "Georgia" but she is a great singer. Randy thought it was "O-K." At the results chair, they faked her out a little, obligingly, then told her she made it and is one of the best singers this year.Creighton Fraker
is next to hear his results. He is one of the few auditioners I remember. He's got a little Justin Timberlake, a little white guy soul, and I have since forgiven him for being a "starving artist" in New York. He attributes his sound to his "unique background," meaning he was a preacher's kid and his biological father was the lead singer of an 80's hair band called Flotsam and Jetsam. The judges love Creighton, but I think he can sound a bit screechy at times. But he will screech into the Top 24 and undoubtedly strain a vocal chord before the Top 7.
A weird thing happened when he was telling his family the results, he said, "they want me to be on the show." Isn't that kind of weird? I feel like that's a weird way to view it, however true.Lauren Gray
still needs to learn there's no crying in music. She was sick for the second group round, but pulled it together, then did even better in her final solo. I'm just so thankful no one fell off this stage. The judges tell her it became more difficult for her as the process went on. Maybe she got inside her own head? Regardless, she didn't make it this year. The good thing about not making it into the Top 24 is that you can still come back. If you get into the Top 24 and are not voted through, you can NOT come back. Lauren came back into the room, and Ryan touched her robotically on the back, then stood there like a wax statue.Joshua Ledet
hears results next, and he has just gotten better throughout this whole process. His voice is insaaaane. He seems like a nice guy, too, and I like that he really feels what he is singing. What the hell was that in the background behind him while he was singing, though? Get outta there, Le Reve! This stage belongs to Joshua today.
Lucky for Joshua, Randy just loves a fake-out. He is in, and it's just cruel to relish doing that to these kids. What a great reaction, though! He couldn't help but sing to Jesus!
A girl named Blaire Seber
, and another named Naomi Gilles
, did not make it this time. She thought she was going to make it, but if she'd seen the cut we've seen, she would know she didn't.Haley Johnson
just started shining in Las Vegas, especially in that group with Eben and Reed, who we already know on a first name basis. She's a shy girl, but a pretty girl. Love those bangs. Surprisingly, Haley is IN. She got to hug Heejun, who is so happy to touch a pretty lady.Neco Star
was born to be on this show, if only just for his name. But there is already one Bruno Mars in the world. He could audition for the X-Factor, though, and win a lot of money. "The devastation continued" for Clayton Farmat
, whoever that is, and River St. James
. So many star names! Caleb Johnson
also, apparently, fell apart on his solo, asked to start over, and we will never know if he was allowed to.Elise Testone
is "old," in Idol
years. She's a professional, though, and she is in for Season 11. She couldn't come back next year if she wanted to. Randy tells Elise that she is "one of the best singers we've seen," but he can't say that to EVERYONE. He didn't say it to Haley. Elise is a great singer, but should amp up the personality if she wants to stick around!Reed Grimm
is next to hear results, and he is still a twitchy, half-insane, skat man. To no one's surprise at this point, he sang "It Don't Mean a Thing (If You Ain't Got That Swing)" and played the drums. He will bandy-legged strut on into the Top 24, though, so we will hear him skat next week. It's SO MUCH.Erika Van Pelt
, another person who may not be able to come back next year because of age, is so sure of herself. It's really refreshing. She did well in Hollywood, but her final solo was an ill-suited Adele song. The judges sound like they're letting her down easy, but they just GRACIOUSLY let her into the Top 24. Jennifer told her not to let them down anymore, which was kind of bitchy?Chelsea Sorrell
forgot the words to "I Told You So," in Hollywood, and that's all we know about her, but she's through to the Top 24. The judges faked her out, of course. And what will become of other country singer Baylie Brown
? Her last solo didn't seem that great. Like, it seemed over-emotional and a little weak. Damn that hair is straight! Does she use a Chi? Anyway, the straight-haired Baylie Brown is in.
Up next, it's judgment day for Cowboy Richie
and Heejun Han. Good vs. Evil! Richie performed atop the lake of fire and sang a mediocre version of "Ring of Fire." He needs to sing a song about buttoning up your shirt because that flowing plaid is not a good look on a tall skinny dude. "You've definitely sung some ... good low notes," Randy says. Too bad, Richie, you didn't make it this year. You can work on your technique, but you can't work on your personality.
"I don't want to see your personality go," Ryan says, still made of wax. I do!
Did you know that Heejun Han
works with special needs kids? What! He's so amazing. And when he told Ryan Seacrest that he was sweating "mostly water," I laughed out loud. Don't take Heejun away from us, American Idol
. He's the best thing to happen to television in a long time. Of course, he is in. How do you pronounce his name for sure, though? They judges are saying "Hay-joon," and Ryan is saying, "Hee-joon." He and Phillip Phillips had such a great moment. I can't wait to watch their friendship blossom.Jessica Sanchez
hears her results next and I don't really remember her from this week. If she gets in, this could be to her disadvantage. I would argue that fewer of the girls are memorable so far this year. Man, she is a great singer, though. Oh yeah, she's the terrifyingly thin one! She's giving Thia Megia with a punch (and better vocals). Her phrasing is so mature; after just that final solo, I've determined that she is a contender. She's in! I'm happy for her! Ryan Seacrest tried to moderate her emotions, and then creepily guided her into her screaming family. Lay off, Ryan.
Phillip Phillips is going by Phil Phillips
now, mind you. Randy notes that Phil is a true artist. I like him, and I like him even more because he and Heejun are friends and it's sweet. Phil starts to console himself before the judges can even fake him out, so Jennifer just eases into it with no bullsh*t. "Phillip, you're staying." He's in! I am relieved.
So this season, the judges goaded Colton Dixon
into auditioning and basically promised him a spot in the Top 24. But his sister Schyler was NOT promised such a thing. Colton addessed it before his final solo performance, somewhat passive aggressively. I don't care for him, personality-wise, I think he has proved somewhat immature and butthurt this whole time, but he performed "Fix You" very well. He is in, of course. He thanks his sister, who promises she'll keep auditioning until Colton is out of the picture for good (next year!).
Oh god, Brielle Von Hugel
and her obnoxious mother! Her hair is better/fuller this season. I don't know that this weird, half-reggae version of "Killing Me Softly" was a great choice, nor was that giant flower in her hair. But it is what it is, and Brielle is in. She interrupts Brielle's Mom and Seacrest banter that will never air to tell them she made it.Adam Brock
is a dad. Lest you forget, Idol
will keep telling you about his wife and daughter, and Adam will keep dressing like a dad. He also keeps calling himself "White Chocolate," which is not so cute. He is the Gokey-Soul Patrol Connection 3.0. It just doesn't come across as super sincere. And where is the market for this voice these days? But I'm getting ahead of myself. "We still have to figure out who you are," Jennifer admits. Adam cries, revealing a little endearing humanity. Randy tells Adam their decision is NOT unanimous. I'm sure next time they will tell him that he's in. But we'll have to wait to find out for sure!Any surprises for you?
I thought most of these were pretty straight-forward, aside from the two country girls so far. (images courtesy of FOX)