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American Idol “officially” announced the top 24 singers for season 7 tonight. I write “officially” in fake quotes because all 24 were correctly identified on a list leaked more than one month ago. So these auditions were truly a waste to us fans, who already knew who’d be singing for our votes.

In this one-hour episode of American Idol (wow, only one hour, how did they squeeze all that information into such a small period of time!?), we saw my second favorite part of Hollywood week, after the group sing (which was sadly nowhere to be seen). It’s the ELEVATOR!

The Elevator is a fickle mistress. While you go up the Elevator, your mind is a mess. Contestants are nervous, excited, doubtful, all at once. On the way down, it’s another story altogether. The ones who were cut cry tears of sadness. The ones who made it to the top 24 cry tears of joy. The commonality is that the Elevator will make you cry. It’s like the end of Titanic, or chopping onions.

The reason I’m wasting time in this recap talking about the Elevator is that, since the list was dead-on, there isn’t much to say about the top 24 that hasn’t already been said. For your convenience, I’ve put them all into five nice, neat categories.

Pretty White Blonde Chicks
Kristy Lee Cook
Kady Malloy
Alaina Whitaker
Brooke White
—There isn’t much to say, they’re all pretty, white, blonde and chicks. Only one or two will make the top 12.

Soulful Ethnic Singers
Joanne Borgella
Asia’h Epperson
Chikezie Eze
David Hernandez
Ramiele Malubay
Syesha Mercado
—For some reason people like to say American Idol is racist. To that, I say half the past winners weren’t white. Regardless, there’s a wide variety of multiculturalism this year, and I suspect we’ll be seeing three or four of them in the top 12.

Tween Girl Dreamboats
David Archuleta
Colton Berry
Garrett Haley
Danny Noriega
—Four boys, all 18 or younger, all vaguely “cute.” The best thing they have going for them is, like any great boy band, they’re all cute in different ways. Berry is the eccentric blonde (aka “The Kinda Gay-ish One”), Haley has the long curly hair (aka “The Mysterious One”), Noriega is Latino (aka “The Ethnic One”), and Archuleta is the generic pretty boy in the vein of Zac Efron (aka “The Leader”). Two of these boys will make the top 12, and one (Danny) will make it much further than he should.  In my live thoughts I called him the new Sanjaya.  And he totally is.

Robbie Carrico
David Cook
Michael Johns
Amanda Overmyer
Carly Smithson
—I’m not sure if all five of them qualify as rockers, but they are. They all have that older, edgier style and will frequently be compared to either Janis Joplin or Chris Daughtry. Most if not all will make the top 12 (Smithson and Johns being near the top).

Anonymous Faces
Jason Castro
Amy Davis
Alexandrea Lushington
Luke Menard
Jason Yeager
—Who the hell are these people? I have no idea, and neither does America, because we saw very little of them in tonight’s episode, and even less during the actual auditions. In a competition where you need fans to support you, being an anonymous face in the crowd is not a good thing. If they’re lucky, one of them will make the top 12.  That will probably be Castro, because he has dreadlocks, which sets him apart from the others.

It’s convenient when all 24 performers fit conveniently into little boxes like this. The biggest question is: which box will your next American Idol come from?

-John Kubicek, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image courtesy of FOX)

Read’s take on this episode of American Idol

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.