Friday, February 05, 2016

American Idol: Top 24 Revealed!

Tonight we saw the Top 51 contestants take the long walk down the hall to see the judges and get the verdict.  After 2 hours, Idol unleashed its Top 24 for the final season...

Stephany Negrete - I can't really warm up to Stephany. She looks a bit like a Kardashian. J Lo has complimented her ability to walk on heels more than her voice. 

Shelbie Z - Shelbie looks like she could be part of the Honey Boo Boo clan, but this girl can belt. During Hollywood Week she dared to sing not one, but two Heart songs! She performed "Alone" and "Barracuda." She's got a ton of confidence. 

Mackenzie Bourg - I've liked this kid since his first audition, when he performed a medley of songs by the judges. With his old-fashioned glasses and plain white shirts and tousled hair, he's a nerdy teen dream. For his showcase performance he sang "Can't Help Falling in Love You" and really made it his own - plus he performed a great original song in the solo round. He's got a beautiful tone to his voice, and chicks are going to dig him.  

Trent Harmon - Poor Trent got diagnosed with Mono during Hollywood Week and couldn't be in a group, so they let him sing alone. He displayed a lot of heart and soul, powering through the illness and delivering well in his performances. For the showcase, he sang "Tiny Dancer" and his twitchiness reminded me a bit of Taylor Hicks (and that's a compliment from me)

Jenna Renae - I mainly remember her from her first audition where she wore a fedora and played piano. It was good but we didn't learn much more about her during Hollywood Week. 

James VIII - He's likable and soulful with a very unique name.

Kory Wheeler - Kory was a barista but he won't be making coffee for at least another couple of weeks. He's a likable singer/songwriter type.

Adam Lasher - He made it to Hollywood Week last year but this year was more polished and had a more clean cut look. 

Jeneve Rose Mitchell - I'm really happy they passed her through. This country girl who lives off the grid stayed true to herself. Her final performance of "Ring of Fire" was very dramatic. She's cute and a bit bizarre - definitely one of the quirkiest to ever make the Top 24. 

CJ Johnson - He's a bar singer from Memphis and he's got serious rock and blues chops. Plus he gets song choice points for me for doing "Go Your Own Way."

Amelia Eisenhauer - When she brought a samurai sword to the first audition, we all expected it to be a joke audition - but she's a beautiful girl who can really sing and plays the fiddle too. She's another quirky choice.

Lee Jean - This kid is so cute - J Lo has been saying it since his first audition and he's only become more likable during Hollywood Week, developing a cute friendship with fellow contestant Sarah Sturm. During his showcase, he told the crowd to be quiet twice, and J Lo told him he can't do that again. He may not have the maturity to win. 

Avalon Young - She's a tomboy, yet has extremely long hair. She sang "Excuse Me Miss" in the showcase and showed a lot of energy and sass. 

Dalton Rapattoni - He's been my crush since his first audition (those eyes!) and I'm so happy he made it! He almost doomed himself by talking too much during the showcase and telling the crowd the competition gave him low self esteem. But his personality-packed performances saw him through.

Manny Torres - J Lo has been rooting for him the whole way since they are both Puerto Rican, and he survived some uneven times. He has a lot of swagger. 

Thomas Stringfellow - This kid has boy band looks and revealed the sad tale of being dumped by his girlfriend the night before he flew to Hollywood. They had dated a year and she was afraid he wouldn't be loyal. I think she's a bit nuts to do that before he even makes it on the show and also the timing is cruel, but, hey, Thomas pulled himself together and performed great. 

Sonika Vaid - She's pretty and talented, but the judges feel she is missing something. Her performances are a bit understated but she could be a dark horse. 

Olivia Rox - This girl is cute with the pink streaks in her hair but the band drowned her out during the showcase. I don't see her lasting long. 

Emily Brooke - She made it to top 50 last year, and J Lo said she never saw anyone grow as much in a year. I'm underwhelmed so far.

Gianna Isabella - We don't know her as anything much beyond Brenda K Starr's daughter, and we see a clip of Brenda pissing off musical director Ricky Minor with her stage mom behavior. Gianna even sang her mom's song at the showcase! She's a cute girl with a strong voice but she'll have to cut the umbilical cord. 

Jenn Blosil - She's bizarre as hell, but kinda pretty. She forgot the words during her solo performance but she's got such a unique style and gripping voice that she made it through anyway.

Tristan McIntosh - I think we knew this girl would make it through after her first audition when she was compared to Alicia Keyes and her military mom came out and surprised her. I was somewhat annoyed by her crying fit during Hollywood Week when she thought she couldn't sing "What Hurts the Most" because 3 other girls had claimed it. Sure, it had personal meaning for her, but her breakdown was so bad that I wondered how she will hold up during the pressure of the competition. Lucky for her, some girl who got cut gave the song up, and Tristan did deliver a great performance. 

Jordan Sasser - He's a worship director who auditioned with his wife and he made it and she didn't, causing a short-lived domestic dispute. He's very likable and handsome, especially when he let his hair down from the man bun for the showcase performance and rocked out. If he wasn't so churchy, he could be another Constantine.

LaPorsha Renae - I feel like they torment LaPorsha. They made her sing last during the showcase and they made her do the final walk with one other contestant to find out who would get the final spot. None of us had any doubt it would be LaPorsha who has such amazing presence, and a voice as big as her afro. 

A few cuts that were hard to take...

Michelle Marie - This girl was definitely kind of annoying with her sequined cowboy hat and giddiness, but you couldn't dislike her because she had such pure enthusiasm and a love of the show.  She revealed she lives in a trailer with 9 family members and has to sleep in the kitchen! I hope this show will be a platform for her to get some local gigs and get out of that situation.

Colette Lush - Beautiful redhead with a lovely voice. Harry thought she was a favorite during her first audition, but she didn't quite seize the day in Hollywood.

Malie Delgado - This radio personality from Alaska was so likable and I really felt she rocked the house in her showcase performance.

Lindita - She was the final one to be cut, although she gave a sexy showcase performance.  She had lost 150 pounds before auditioning.  Despite that, there was something a bit off-putting about her.

Next week 12 contestants will perform solo and in duets with former Idols, and 5 will be sent home.  This is a diverse and quirky group and I'm intrigued to see how the season unfolds. 

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