American Idol: Final Forty Quick Thoughts
Tonight's episode of American Idol is going to trim the field from 40 down to 24.  The final 24 will be comprised of 12 men and 12 women and these will be the contestants who perform in front of a live national audience.  Hopefully, American Idol will take the time to let the viewers get to know some of these finalists, rather than rush through the whole thing like last night.  These are my quick thoughts while watching the episode.

Here's how tonight's show will go down.  Each of the remaining forty are called into a room alone with the judges, who tell them whether or not they've made it to the final 24.  The judges have already made their decision, so there is no leeway when they enter that room.
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  • The room where the judges dole out their decisions is weirdly sterile and unnecessarily large.  I don't know how I feel about it.   
  • Sanjaya, whose twin sister was eliminated last night, is the first contestant to hear whether he's in the top 24 or not.  He's in.  Sanjaya, the first member of the final 24.  Congrats.
  • Anna Kearns, otherwise known as the really, really tall girl.  She doesn't make it.  Simon apologizes for calling her a giraffe, which is nice.
  • Bernard Williams, who I don't remember at all, gets cut.
  • Eric Davis and Tami Gosnell also don't make it.  Whoever they are.
  • Melinda Doolittle, one of my favorites, is next.  You may remember her as the former backup singer.  She's definitely in. She's not a looker, but her voice is spectacular.  Simon gives her a really nice speech about how she's not a backup singer anymore and how she'll be on the front of the stage from now on.
  • Brandon Rogers, the other backup singer, is next.  His Hollywood performance makes him look very good.  He's in. 
  • Gina Glocksen, who almost made it last year, is back again to hear her final verdict.  Her Hollywood performance is pretty good, though unspectacular.  She's through, after a silly Paula fake out.
  • The judges look like they get great joy out of sending the finalists through.  It's almost touching.  Almost.
  • Jimmy McNeal and Eric Johnson get cut.
  • Haley Scanardo, a good-looking girl who I don't remember, gets through.  I'm happy about it.
  • Phil Stacey (the guy who missed the birth of his daughter to audition) has been featured an awful lot.  He's good, got some charisma.  I'm guessing he's in.  And I'm right.   
  • Chris Sligh, the funny guy who sang “Kiss from a Rose” in the auditions, comes in with his usual deadpan humor.  He's actually a pretty great singer.  Simon tries to fake him out, but he's in. 
  • Blake Lewis, the beat boxer , comes in next.  If he makes it, do they let him continue beat boxing?  I guess we'll see, because they let him through. 
  • Thomas Lowe doesn't make it.    
  • Rudy Cardenas, whose Hollywood audition is pretty stunning, hears his verdict next.  He's in. 
  • Paul Kim, the Asian-American who hates William Hung, has a few superstitions.  He doesn't wear shoes while performing and he wears the same underwear every cut day.  He is in.  Pity the underwear.
  • Jordin Sparks, who we didn't see anything from yesterday, is the young daughter of an ex-NFL player.  She makes it. 
  • Olivia and Tatiana and Monique don't make it.  Again, I don't know these people.
  • A.J. Tabaldo, who we've never seen before, has made it to the final twelve.
  • Stephanie Edwards, another person who I don't remember at all, is in.  Am I losing my mind?  Why haven't they shown these people?
  • Leslie Hunt makes it.  I will say no more.  I do not remember her either.
  • Nicolas Pedro.  Now, there's a familiar face.  This crooning east-coaster makes it, as he should. 
  • Alaina Alexander, a self-proclaimed crier, comes up next.  Alaina is a looker and, therefore, I'm rooting for.  She makes it through.
  • Chris Richardson.  They show his Hollywood audition and I'm not a fan.  He should be singing for O-Town.  He makes it, however. 
  • Sabrina Sloan, whose Hollywood performance was awesome, makes it through.
  • Jerome Chism doesn't make it.  Sorry, Jerome. 
  • Joelle doesn't not make it.  Neither doesn't Matthew Buckstein.
  • Princess Johnson also gets the boot. 
  • Single mother Lakisha Jones is hearing the news.  She's got the voice, not necessarily the look.  She makes it.
  • Only seven contestants left.  Nicole Tranquillo, a great looking girl with a solid voice, makes it to the last 24.
  • Jared Cotter makes it through.  I'm sure he's good, but I've never seen him before now.
  • Amy Krebbs.  She's cute, and she made it.  Her performance didn't blow me away, but she's solid.
  • We've got two guys and two girls left.  There is only one remaining spot for each gender.  Girls first.
  • Antonella, the remaining Jersey Girl, goes against Marisa, who is, by far, the better singer.  Antonella makes it through, however, which is ridiculous.  Marisa has a tearful breakdown in the elevator. 
  • Now it's Tommy Daniels versus Sundance Head.  Now, Sundance had the best audition I think I'd ever seen on the show.  He didn't have a great Hollywood week, as far as we saw yesterday, but I still think he's got as much potential as anyone.  Sundance makes it, and Tommy is pretty pissed off about it.
  • So that's it.  We've got our final 24.  This was a much better episode than last night.  It was comprehensive, giving us a glimpse of everyone who made it and got cut.  I'll have a full recap on the episode tomorrow.

-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer

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