American Idol 8: And Here Goes the Top 12--Well, Almost
American Idol 8: And Here Goes the Top 12--Well, Almost
Finally, we have the Top 12 for American Idol 8.  Well, not exactly—we only have nine contestants in the list so far, with the remaining three slots to be contested by eight more tonight.  And, throughout the three weeks we've been watching these performers rock the stage, or crash big time, or make a fool of themselves, things have been pretty consistent: there's the surprise inclusion and the shoo-in.

Take Lil Rounds, for example.  Obviously the judges love her.  Obviously the producers do, too, something made very obvious by the loads of screen time she got.  Or, in some cases, it's not whether you have a lot of screen time, but whether you have the best screen time.  Danny Gokey and Adam Lambert were also favorites—and also shoo-ins for the Top 12, perhaps obvious from as early as the audition episodes themselves—and each were the last performers in their shows.

American Idol 8: Ranking the Wild Card Contenders Slideshow
American Idol 8: Top 36 Power Rankings


And then there's the matter of those people who we never thought had a chance at the Top 12.  Varying factors make this so: it's either you didn't get a lot of screen time (as was the case with my bet this year, Allison Iraheta) or you didn't exactly make an impact in the auditions.  Allison barely got screen time, but she got us at “Alone” and consequently got the slot.  Perhaps it helped that we didn't expect her to have that talent at age 16, or perhaps it's the hair, which is totally debatable.

The latter is more complicated.  Take Alexis Grace, who didn't seem to be one of the best singers until she performed three weeks ago.  Then again, she was lucky enough to perform in a group that practically sucked—or, to put it gently, got very nervous.  I didn't have much hope for Jorge Nunez, but his performance stood out yesterday, and that got him a slot.

And then there's Kris Allen and Michael Sarver.  I wasn't that impressed with Kris' performance last week, but then again, he was a toss-up; going against Megan Corkrey and Jessica Langseth, someone had to give in, and in that case, it was the two girls.  (Of course they later got the Wild Card slots.)  Michael is something I still couldn't understand—I don't like him, and nobody will make me like him, because his performance was ordinary and his song choice was a cliché.  But I guess America liked that.  And, there's this unmentioned need for a working class contestant, which the old rig worker fulfills perfectly.

So there goes the Top 12.  Err, three-quarters of the Top 12.  We still have the Wild Card round, or that attempt by the judges to have a little more control over the finalists.  Among the eight, I'm rooting for Jesse and Megan, two contestants who didn't get the recognition they deserved.  And then there's Anoop Desai, who fumbled with a bad song choice.  I would want to see Tatiana del Toro on the list, too, but I highly doubt it—and I know you'll hate me for saying it.  Okay.  I'm used to it.

I guess we should suit up once more, because next week, it's the beginning of much bigger things for American Idol.  Let's look back at the past three weeks, though, through a bunch of not-so-random links assembled below.  And then, let's all say in half-glee: Top 12, here we come.

American Idol 8: Top 36, Final 12 - Performance Rankings
American Idol 8: Top 36, Final 12 - Episode in Review
American Idol 8: Top 36, Second 12 - Performance Rankings
American Idol 8: Top 36, Second 12 - Episode in Review
American Idol 8: Top 36, First 12 - Performance Rankings
American Idol 8: Top 36, First 12 - Episode in Review
American Idol 8: Top 36 Power Rankings

American Idol 8: Ranking the Wild Card Contenders Slideshow


-Henrik Batallones, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image courtesy of Fox)

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