Who Takes the Hollywood Gold? 'American Idol' Live Thoughts (Page 3/4)
Who Takes the Hollywood Gold? 'American Idol' Live Thoughts (Page 3/4)
Abbey Simmons
Abbey Simmons
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
So Room Two is looking like the big loser, because Room Three has Didi Benami in. And unless Didi actually killed someone on stage during her final solo with malice, there's no way she is not making it through to the top 24. (I'm pretty sure if she murdered someone on stage by accident they'd let her through anyway.)

Shelby Dressel

Shelby is having a hard time with the lyrics, just like she did during her initial audition. Unfortunately, the judges won't think swearing and forgetting the lyrics is cute now. On stage, Shelby seems to struggle with the tone more than the lyrics, but we still like her bluesy swagger.


Olympic Ranking: Bronze

Aaron Kelley

Finally we get to see the singing boy wonder, who unfortunately forgets the words to his final audition song and during his group audition. Ouch Aaron. Even forgetting the lyrics, this boy is tween audience gold and there's no way that Idol is passing that up. Especially since even when he is forgetting the lyrics, Aaron can sing. He's the male equivalent of little girl, big voice.

Olympic Ranking: We should disqualify you, but.... Bronze

Ashley Rodriguez and Lee DeWyze

Ashley continues her flawless Idol audition streak with her solo. This girl is the closest thing to a ringer we have this season, though I worry she may be a bit too perfect and cookie cutter to make a lasting impression on the Idol viewers.

Lee has that big bold bluesy voice that at least one male Idol contestant has to have each season. For that reason alone, I'd say that Lee is a pretty safe bet for the Top 24. Jeff Goldford had the gravelly-gorgeous pipes too, but they've spent more time on Lee than Jeff during Hollywood Week.

Ashley's Olympic Ranking: Silver
Lee's Olympic Ranking: Gold

Haeley Vaughan

I still don't think Haeley Vaughan can sing. And if she can sing, I just don't like her voice at all...it's nasal and has no richness to it. Unfortunately, the judges and the rest of you seem to disagree completely.

Olympic Ranking: Bronze

Janell Wheeler


One of my pre-season favorites struggles with lyrics and a dying voice, but she rallies for a workhorse of a performance. While it wasn't great and has definite shades of Taylor Swift's disastrous Grammy performance, Janell has hopefully proved herself with the other auditions.

Olympic Ranking:  Bronze

The Judges' Decision

It's time for the judges to break the news to the three rooms, who will be safe (Room One) and who will be sent home (Mary Powers, Mary Powers, Mary Powers)?

Room One: SAFE (including Tori Kelly, Lilly Scott, Chris Golightly, Siobahn Magnus, Tyler Grady, Michael Lynch, Katie Stevens and Andrew Garcia)

Well, that was rather anti-climactic as we knew there was no way they were sending that room home, and Ellen's cheesy fake-out didn't help matters at all.

Kara and the judges walk into Room Two like the funeral march that it is. Simon does his best at diplomacy, saying "most of you have been better than we thought you would be." With his accent and intention, it sounds more like an insult than a compliment.

Room Two: CUT
(including: Mary Powers, Charity Vance, Bryan Walker, Big SuccSexy and Hope Johnson)

Cue crying and sad Ben Harper soundtrack. The most brutal blows in that room are Charity Vance and Bryan Walker, who hopefully both return for season 10. They're both perfect for Idol. That being said, I might be willing to sacrifice them for the joyous victory that is seeing Mary Powers cut.

Room Three: SAFE (including: Haeley Vaughan, John Park, Angela Martin, Shelby Dressel, Aaron Kelly and Janell Wheeler)

Cue short live celebration segment. 46 people have made it through this far, but we know that only the top 24 will make it through. Up next? The beginning of the final judgment and what Ryan promises is "the most dramatic top 24 reveal ever." By which I assume he means, "the most dramatic partial top 24 reveal ever."

Inquiring Idol reviewers want to know....how is there almost an hour of Idol left? Plus an hour tomorrow? How many back stories can one audition process have? Oh, about 46 you say? Goody.

Final Countdown Judgment

Ryan lets us know how tonight will go. Dramatic elevator ride. Dramatic walk. Dramatic music. Dramatic unlit stage. Most dramatic partial top 24 reveal ever, remember?

First Idol hopeful to get the dramatic news?

Big Mike Lynche: Top 24

Our guess? 100% yes. He's the singing teddy bear model that Ruben Studdard perfected and has proved potent on Idol. Plus, he got the big old Idol back story treatment, I mean, they should have just called the group night episode: "Big Mike's Wife Gives Birth."

Simon drags out the intro and says the biggest problem with Big Mike is that they're not sure he thinks he can win. We like that about Big Mike. He doesn't seem to have the ego of someone like Todrick Hall. It's called earnestness and humbleness Simon, and America eats that up like cherry pie. He is unanimously through and is our first member of the top 24.

Big Mike then becomes my favorite person ever by lifting Ryan Seacrest like the petite cheerleader he is. Dear readers, please make a .gif of that. I would watch it over and over and over again.

Didi Benami: Top 24

This is another no brainer. Didi has had the strongest stand-alone female vocals in a year that's supposed to be all about the ladies. Add to that the exploitable back-story that Idol loves so much (female Danny Gokey edit anyone?), so she should be heading straight for the top 24.

We see a bit of Didi's final audition, where she sings the sob-inducing "Angel"  by Sara McLaughlin, it's her weakest vocal performance to date, but still lovely. Sitting in front of the judges, Didi begins to cry again. We're calling her out already as this season's sobber. "Crying Girl" has nothing on you Didi.

Didi-Benami-American-Idol-Top-24-ggnoads-01-2010-02-16.jpg Surprising no one, she gets four yeses and cries what are hopefully her first tears of joy. Ryan even calls her out, "I'm only used to seeing you with your make-up running." Seacrest has also noted that Didi is the Idol crier.

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