Wednesday, February 14, 2007

American Idol: Top 24 Revealed!!

And now, it's time to reveal the Top 24, most of whom we have probably never seen before, since Idol has chosen in its infinite wisdom to show only bullcrap auditions.

Emily Deschanel is still not hot. Never has been. And that David Boreanaz guy is kinda fat.

Ryan talks about "ultimate cuts" while ironically not referring to his closely cropped hair. Wish I could get mine to do that. Anyway, let's just get right down to business. Assume when you see a contestant crying that they made it through. I've found that Idol does this in their teasers to trick me quite frequently. They show a contestant crying, and it's usually either tears of joy or because one of their BFFs got cut. Or because the battery on their Ipod died, or any number of reasons that these high-strung people use for just cutting loose and bawling.

Here we sit in Pasadena, watching Jordin's hands shake and some random people that we've never met before agonizing over the fact that even if they make it, we're not going to vote for them, because we have no clue who they are or what they're about. We were too busy paying attention to Chicken Lady or Special Needs Boy and not getting to see Actual Talent.

First up is Sanjaya Malakar who could swallow his own foot with that grin of his. He was the one who cried a lot last night because his li'l sis didn't make it, which is sad, but you knew SOMEONE had to get cut. Dude, somebody get both of these siblings a quarter pounder! I'm not saying they're thin, but if Shyamali turned around and stuck out her tongue, she'd look like a zipper. Sanjaya is in the top 24. Warm up your voting fingers. 11 more men to go.

Amazon chick whose name I missed who Simon called a giraffe is going to go back to grazing at the zoo. She can't believe she's cut, and she goes through all the stages of denial at once, right before our eyes. Oh, it's Anna. Too bad this is the last we'll see of her.

Bernard Williams is headed back to B'ham. One less shot at another Southern Idol.

Eric Davis and Tammy Gosnell aren't going through. Too bad. I liked Tammy. And I really hate that she's going to have to go back to driving a PediCab. No clue who Eric is.

Melinda Dolittle blew me away with her initial audition, so I'm hoping she does well. Wow, tell me again why we couldn't have seen this Hollywood Day 4 audition last night? Good thing we get to catch up a bit tonight. Simon thinks she's no longer a back-up singer, and she got the unanimous vote to go through. Simon's happy with her, and so am I. 11 more girls to go.

Brandon Rogers who is CRAZY talented should go through. His Myspace has been disabled. I've heard his entire CD, and I love it. He will be in the Top 24. No big shock there. Love him, love him, love him. I'll vote for him till my fingers turn blue. 10 more men to go.

Gina Glocksen is up next, and I will throw something at the TV if she doesn't go through. I hearted her last year, and I heart her mightily again this year. She wore it out in Hollywood, looked smokin' hot, and sang really well. She stands out in a way that could get her far. Paula fakes her out, gets her all ready to leave, which any Idol contestant worth their salt should know is immediately followed by "you made it." She tells Paula to "shut up" facetiously in a way that most of us would like to tell her in sincerity. 10 more women to go.

Jimmy McNeil and Erick Johnson go home. The guys are really having it rough this year! Good job getting this far, though.

Haley Scarnato and her legs are on deck. I hope that's how you spell her name. I wasn't impressed by her Day 4 audition, but she was good enough to get through. We have this year's Katharine McPhee, I fear. She has talent, but is going to depend heavily on looks. 9 more women to go.

Phil Stacy was part of the amazing group performance last night. Y'know, the one with Blake on the beat box. I'm digging the Day 4 audition, and he has Elliott potential. He's the guy who missed his daughter's birth, which reminds me why I don't like him all that much. He's going through, so I guess it sort of paid off. 9 more men to go. Hopefully no more offspring, though, till he can figure out his priorities. Sorry...I don't think I would want an "Idol" that puts the birth of his child at a lower priority than a talent competition.

I think I'd rather be shot in the eye than watch The Wedding Bells.

Time for Idol to pimp a...wait for it...Fox movie. The guys get to watch The Simpsons Movie and so do we, or at least all the funny parts. Don't you hate that about movie teasers? You get a raucously hilarious trailer, and when you see the movie, it blows like a hurricane. It's also nice how we can have a commercial happening when the commercials are over.

Chris Sligh has a sense of humor all the way, and I totally dig him. His voice ain't no slouch job either. He looks weird, but that works for him. All the other competitors really like him, and so do I. He'll be in the Top 24. 8 more men to go.

Blake Lewis is making it through. I'm down. I'm not totally sold on the hair though. I bet he and Seacrest will share the phone numbers of their stylists.

Thomas Lowe gets about five seconds of screen time before fading permanently into obscurity.

Rudy Cardenas is one of my favorites this year. I've listened to a lot of his acapella performances with his group MPact since hearing him first on Idol. The guy has talent. Rudy is going through. 7 more men to go.

Paul Kim has decided that he will be consistently barefoot and that he will wear the same underwear on each cut day. No word on whether or not they will remain unlaundered. Can you say gross? I much preferred him when he was standing on his soapbox railing against William Hung and the alleged anti-Asian establishment in the music industry. He will be making it through and so will those crusty drawers. 6 more men to go.

Jordin Sparkes is one contestant that I really liked. She's really bright and bubbly. 8 more women to go, because Jordin is going through! She screams, squeals, hyperventilates, and does the crying thing that we saw in the teasers. I hope she can fight through the competition and still keep her composition.

Three girls go home in quick succession with the stink of failure on them. I couldn't catch their names.

Tommy Daniels gets his mack on with Antonella. If I were Antonella's dad, I'd be loading for bear right about now. He looks at her the same way Larry the Cable Guy might look at a rare steak. Lovely, another Idol relationship. Those ALWAYS work out. Especially the teen ones. Did Tommy get through? I wasn't quite sure. I really kind of hope not for Antonella's sake.

A.J. makes it through. Do you even really need to know his last name? He rocks. 5 more men to go.

Stephanie Edwards is good. 7 more women to go. She can't believe it. I can't believe I've never heard of her before, or at least can't remember her.

Leslie Hunt doesn't ring a bell with me either, which is a shame, because I really really like her voice. 6 more women to go. I can't wait to get to know her.

Nick Pedro, who, in case you hadn't heard the first 100 times it was said, bowed out of the competition last year, is going to get his shot this time. 5 more men to go. Nick calls the sis, who then screams loud enough to cause tide changes.

Alaina Alexander is all nerves. She doesn't want to sit in the chair, probably because she doesn't want Simon staring up that mini. She really really sucked on Day 4. Sorry, but that was tremendously wretched. And she didn't own the stage. If she makes it through, it will be because of another earlier audition. She did make it through, but if she doesn't get better, she'll be an early eliminee. 5 more women to go.

Chris Richardson has a decent voice, even though he sings through his nose. We'll see a lot more of him, because we haven't seen ANY of him so far. 4 more guys to go.

Sabrina Sloan has a spectacular voice, and has been around in the music world. I've listened to some of her indie stuff. We'll be seeing her again. 4 more women to go.

Jerome Chism, Joelle James, and Matthew Buckstein are going home. I really really hate this for Matt. I liked him a lot. I wish nothing but the best for him.

Princess Johnson is going home. She asks if the judges are sure, and the fact that she asked that makes ME sure.

Lakisha Jones left her small child at home to come play around auditioning for Idol. Yet another Idol orphan is born. Fantasia would be proud. I don't know whether to hope that she goes home or stays away from the kid. If nothing else, let's hope she gets a better weave. Lakisha will be going through, not going home to her daughter where she needs to be, and not getting one single vote from this blogger. 3 more women to go.

Y'know, I just really need to say this. I don't dislike Lakisha for being a single mother. If that's the choice you want to make with your life, then by all means, go for it. But when you choose to have a child, you have to realize that that choice means there are other things that have to go. Dumping the child off on whoever and running off to Hollywood is just a really sucky thing to do. You bring a child into this world, then your first priority better be raising that child, so that that child doesn't rob me at an ATM when he/she is 15.

Nicole Tranquillo, whoever she is, is in the Top 24. 2 more women to go.

Jared Kotter takes away another spot.

Amy Krebs is hoping to get one of the last 2 slots. There's ten minutes left in the show, so we should be wrapping this up soon. One more slot to fill.

And it's between Marisa Rhodes and Antonella Barbo. It's also between Sundance Head and Tommy. It's Sundance. Just accept it. Tommy's too cocky.

The girls make some small talk about how they love each other and it doesn't matter who wins or loses, as though we're buying it. Marisa looks just a bit sickly. Antonella annoys me a bit, but I think she's the lesser of two evils. Antonella is going through, and Marisa nearly chokes on her jealousy. She's plenty peeved at the judges, you can tell. She collapses in the elevator, which is incredibly opposite to the way she was acting on the way up. Compose yourself, girl! Someone has to go home, and this time it's you. There's the requisite babbling about how everybody thought she was going through. Reality check: everybody didn't include the three judges.

Time to divide and conquer with the last two guys so that Tommy can go pack and Sundance can start warming up for the next round. Tommy goofs off a bit. Sundance did suck a bit in Hollywood, but I'm pretty sure he's got this. And he does. Sundance's blood pressure shoots up and he turns as red as a baboon's butt. Tommy ain't bouncin' so much now. He says a naughty word on the way out. Tommy flips off the camera. Twenty bucks says he cries like a little girl when he gets out.

Time for the girls to dance to Kat McPhee's CD. The guys spaz out to Taylor's CD.

All told, I think a guy wins this year. Time to vote!


At 11:23 PM, Blogger PezKat said...

Whee, I'm first! ;) A couple of comments/ corrections:

Since you say Rudy is one of your faves (me too!), you should know that is was he in the Quartet of Awesomeness, and not Phil Stacy. They’re both tall & baldish but Rudy was the one doin’ the dancin’.

Also, we have seen Chris Richardson before. He auditioned toward the end in NYC; he wore a green t-shirt and sang “A Song for You,” with the same strange/rushed phrasing as we saw tonight, but I think he has a really good voice. He was actually my favorite guy from NY.

I'm excited! My favorite girls are Jordin & Melinda, and I like lots of the guys, especially Rudy, Blake, Chris Sligh, and perhaps Jared but need to see more. Hey by any chance do you know the names of the songs they showed AJ or Chris R. singing?

At 9:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And just exactly what number show will it be when Seacrest uses the Napoleon Dynamite line, If you want to "Vote For Pedro" dial 1-866-, after Nick performs?

Nice 'cap as usual.

At 9:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was the boy's song Taylor?

At 9:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The boy's song was Bo Bice's cover of "Vehicle."

And I disagree with you wholeheartedly, JD, about Lakisha. Her daughter needs to see that nothing can hold back your dreams, and to say that Lakisha is somehow giving up on parenthood... it's just disrespectful. Lakisha is very talented and deserving of at least top ten.

At 10:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This group is very short on looks. Not an eye candy in the whole bunch.

At 10:54 AM, Blogger J.D. said...

Yeah, sure, don't let anything hold back your dreams, least of all a human life that needs you for proper development.

Sheesh. Chase your dreams, but don't have babies if you do.

At 11:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

JD, if Fantasia did not leave her daughter and go on AI, she would still be an unemployed high school dropout on welfare. Do you think her daughter would be better off if that was the case ?

At 12:01 PM, Blogger J.D. said...

Money does not = happiness.

Many many poor children grow up to be well-adjusted people.

Fantasia did what she did for herself, not for her baby. If she was concerned about her baby, she'd have gotten a job that would allow her to spend time with her kid.

At 12:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm.... So, Fantasia's baby would be better off if her mom worked at a minimum wage job with long hours and no benefits (which is all you can get as an illiterate high school dropout) and if they lived in a housing project in some crime-infested neighborhood with its inferior schools and dysfunctional families all around them. Poor Fantasia's baby - look at all she's been missing. All because her mom decided that a career as a pop star would afford both of them a better life. Bad mommy.

At 12:52 PM, Blogger J.D. said...

Again, in case you missed it before, money does not equal happiness.

Many are the stories of children of superstars and billionaires who don't have happy or "good" lives. To wit: Nicole Richie, Paris Hilton, and a endless host of others.

Equally many are the stories of great human beings who grew up strong in the face of adversity because their families stayed together.

Ask yourself this: if we were talking about Sean Preston Federline, would we be saying the same thing?

It's too bad, Anonymous, that you let your being a fan of Fantasia bias against your own sensibilities.

At 1:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, if being poor is so good for you, then why do all of us strive for a better life ? I am sure you won't be giving up your worldy possessions and raising your kids in some crime-infested housing project on the theory that poverty is good for the soul. I guess single mothers should not try to improve their lot in life. They should be happy living among crime and dysfunction and working in McDonalds.

At 1:57 PM, Blogger J.D. said...

There are ways to do it that don't involve running off and gallivanting around Hollywood, leaving your child to be raised by God knows who for months at a time. You know this with as much certainty as I know that some bridge somewhere is missing it's lower level occupant.

At 2:03 PM, Anonymous Cleo said...

When it came down to the last two of each gender, I think the judges made the wrong choices. Based on Hollywood Week performances, Antonella and Sundance should have left and Marisa and Tommy should have stayed.

But whatevs...

Right now my favorite female is definitely Melinda Doolittle (the nervous, humble, and polite back-up singer from the Birmingham auditions) and my favorite male is probably the kid who looks like Jack Osbourne.

At 2:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fantasia's mother is now "God knows who" ? That's a nice way to put it. Would you address your own mother like that ? But, yeah, the kid would be so much better off if Fantasia just stayed on welfare. She would have her mom there 24/7.

At 2:41 PM, Blogger J.D. said...

Hey anon, who's paying YOUR bills? Since you have all day to troll the comments section on a blog, apprently.

Regardless, it's fairly obvious you're either a die-hard Fantasia apologist, or someone who's trying to deal with their own guilt. Er go, there's no way to get you to look at it objectively or penetrate your abnormally thick anonymous skull with reason. Much less impart to you the courage to put a name to your incoherent ramblings, rather than cowering behind a keyboard.

So, I shall conclude this discourse with you by encouraging you to go find out what your baby is doing while you're typing on the internet. And, by the way, bite me. Any further comments will just be met by me mocking you mercilessly. Because that's a lot more fun for me.

At 2:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's the matter, JD ? You can't debate me in a rational manner, so you resort to personal insults ? But I don't blame you for quitting the argument, since trying to continue would only expose your woeful lack of common sense. So, go on with your rant and rave.

At 3:35 PM, Blogger J.D. said...

What's that? I thought I heard something, but then I turned around and it was only some ANONYMOUS noise.

Certainly someone who's afraid to say their own name couldn't have been babbling about intellectual honesty, now could they? How woefully lacking of them...

At 5:03 PM, Blogger Texas Biscuit said...

This is where anonymous lost me: ...I guess single mothers should not try to improve their lot in life. It is clear to me that is not what JD is saying. Of course, we all want better for ourselves and our children. Lakeshia IS very talented, but if I were a single mom I would have a hard time spending 3 months away from my toddler - even if it was her grandmother caring for her. And if she turns out to be THAT good, those 3 months on AI will turn into several more years of touring and album recording and late nights away from the family. I hope that Fantasia and Lakeshia's kiddos will adjust beautifully, but I'm agreeing with JD on this one. Following that particular dream in that particular way wouldn't be worth it to *me*.

Off my soapbox. I wish we would've gotten to see more of the group rehearsals and auditions - their interactions with the others under stress shows so much about their personalities. But as it stands, I'm excited by this top 24. Whee!

At 5:34 PM, Blogger J.D. said...

I agree. For some reason, I feel like I know less about these contestants than I did in previous years. I would've really liked to have gotten to know a couple of them, but I guess we'll see how things go next week!

At 5:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm going to jump into this just for the heck of it. You both have some valid points and some that seem a bit stereotyped.

J.D. - (Love ya by the way) You are right that money does not equal happiness. What it does do however, is enable opportunity. The option is then available move to a better environment, place your child in a better school (or live in a community with better schools.) The ability to give your child lessons in things they are interested in or to travel.

It's also important, children or not, to pursue your own dreams and, let children know it's possible for them to pursue their own. Some individuals however, do pursue their own passions to the neglect of their kids and that is definately wrong. I don't know anything about Fantasia but it sounds like this may be the case with her. Certainly people like Brittany and K-Fed come off as shining examples of that. Babies having babies doesn't work.

However, this girl Lakisha took a chance on a dream. She could have been cut (and statistically she would have been) after an afternoon at an audition. She could have been cut day one of Hollywood and suffered no more than a couple days away from her child. As it is, she could be away as much as what, three months? Perhaps her mother or parents are taking care of the child. We don't know anything about them. They could be very supportive and have decent parenting skills. How exciting for the child (if they're old enough) to be sitting with grandparents and seeing mommy on television. Especially if mommy is maintaining regular phone contact.

The point is, we shouldn't stereotype this situation until we see more facts. I agree that the guy who missed the birth of his child has his priorities in the wrong place. There are other cities, and other seasons (although I think he's 29). However, I can't see bashing Lakisha just yet. Oh, and I'm annonymous simply because I don't choose to have a Google account but it's Bradfo69 who you've seen both here and on the Recap boards

At 7:07 PM, Blogger J.D. said...

Thanks for the input, Bradfo69... I think I recognize you from the boards. You do have some valid points, and much of this will bear watching.

Just a quick point for those who are anonymous, when entering a comment, if you don't have a Google acount or a Blogger account, you can always choose the "Other" option, enter a name, and post that way. At least that way I can keep track of which person I'm talking to :)

At 7:42 PM, Anonymous Bradfo69 said...

Didn't realize I could do that. Thanks!


At 9:25 PM, Blogger Tez said...

Hey J.D.
Don't worry too much about Tami Gosnell. She loves driving a pedicab, and we love her. She's such a talented singer, songwriter and guitarist, but she's great at pedicabbing too. Check out her comments at our Pedicab Blog. And contrary to popular belief, driving a pedicab is actually pretty cool. It helped Tami earn enough extra money to get her first CD produced.
Mile High Pedicabs

At 3:33 PM, Blogger smarin2654 said...

I missed the "Top 24" this week - caught in a snowstorm :-( Anyway, thanks for the recap, JD. Great review as usual!

At 12:33 AM, Anonymous artslvr said...

Thanks for helping me keep all these singers straight, JD. Like you, I strongly support mothers and fathers making children a priority. Even though we had an income below the poverty line when our 2 oldest children were small and my husband was still in school, I stayed home so that I could be there during those crucial formative years. To bring in a bit of extra income when our oldest was a toddler, I watched other people's children. I myself wouldn't have traded that time with my preschoolers for any glamorous or highly paid career. Nevertheless, if my husband's dream were to have a career in music, I could see myself telling him to go try out for AI, even while I am having a baby. If Dad could see videos and photos later, I kind of understand a family making the choice that Phil Stacy's family did. As important as being there for the birth of a child is, it's even more important that a father be there day after day and year after year for his children. Let's hope Phil will be that kind of father. A famous quote from a wise man is this: "No success can compensate for failure in the home." So JD, I applaud you for valuing children and family life. All too often, children are the casualities of their parents' selfishness and greed. I hope that any parents, such as even Chris Daughtery, who take time to be on AI will shower their children with attention and genuine love once AI is over.

Let me mention one other thing. During the season three tour, I heard a report about Fantasia crying because she missed her daughter so much. Jon Peter Lewis tried to comfort her by putting his arm around her and talking to her, etc. Being on tour like that for months would be so hard for any parent and for the children. Such a long separation even can take a toll on a marriage. Being on AI is not a decision for a parent to make lightly, that's for sure. For me, it would not be worth what I might lose.

At 1:51 AM, Blogger bad kitty said...

Yay! Time for the snark again, which I love (that's what got me reading your recaps the minute they hit the internets). We'll forgive you for late/absent recaps, though, under the circumstances. Just know that we'll really appreciate the ones that you do put up.

Here are my early picks for top ten contenders:
both Chrises

and for the girls:

and I think the winner will be a girl this year.

At 2:54 PM, Anonymous RH said...

I'm not a Fantasia fan, but I have to say I agree with her choice to do AI.

There are not many jobs available for high school dropouts, especially those who are illiterate. Those that are available do not pay enough to afford day care and would likely not allow the mother to spend much time home with her child. Continuing school in order to try to get a better job would take time away from the child as well.

I think that sacrificing some time with the child initially (when she would likely have been sacrificing time with her child even if she could have found employment anyway), is worth it for the payoff that would come later.

There is a lot to be said for being able to afford health benefits and being able to put your kid in a decent school. I'm sure she sees her daughter more often now than she did when she was on AI, and even if it's not what we would consider an ideal amount of time, there are lots of parents who work less than ideal schedules in order to support their children.

I like Lakisha Jones. I think she's a sweet and humble girl who is trying to do her best for her daughter. I personally believe that trying for her down dreams (while making sure that she cares for her daughter the best she can) could be very good for her daughter. My mother worked a job she hated because she got insurance and good pay, but I grew up with the expectation that I would have to stick with something I hated for the same reason. I never learned to be a dreamer. I appreciate what my mom did, though.

I also just wanted to note that Phil Stacey said that his baby wasn't due for another week, and really - if his wife didn't care, why should we? Perhaps his wife felt it was worth it.


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