If you want to know what Chinese water torture is like, then you needed to watch the full two-hour episode of “American Idol” the final installment of the Top 24. It was the first time the show profiled all of the Top 24 contestants, not just highlights like in seasons past. The only saving grace of the combined three-hour borefest revealing each and every one of the Top 24 was their last performances. Obviously the ones who were subpar or cracked under pressure did not make it. We did see a lot of great talent, so I am truly looking forward to the start of the competition next week.
Highlights of Last Performances of the Remaining 19
One of my absolute favorites was AI-10 semifinalist Robbie Rosen. If I’m not mistaken I think they showed his final performance in its entirety. He was absolutely amazing. I realize this was an unplugged, nonjudgmental performance. That would explain why many sounded relaxed and at ease. It will be entirely different when they perform live. Too bad Scotty McCreery did not sing the only song he truly knows “baby lock them doors and turn the lights down low.” I wanted an encore of that Scotty. Yet he stayed true to Josh Turner and sang another from his repertoire.
Jovany Barreto, who is also in the Top 24, showcased his magnificent vocals instead of his bod during the New Orleans audition last year. Finally “American Idol” has allowed original material, even if it was for the Top 24 auditions. Tim Halperin and Julie Zorrilla penned some wonderful songs that were a breath of fresh air to listen to. Unfortunately I can’t say the same for Brett Loewenstern, though his lyrics had a message about anti-bullying. He needs to get a songwriting partner or stick to performing.
It’s My Party and I’ll Shoot the Fingers
On the ladies side there were two left, Thia Megia (who had the vocal coach from hell in Vegas) and Jessica Cunningham (who has tried out seven times and came so close to making the Top 24). It was also Jessica’s birthday, which she boldly told the judges, as if that would make them choose her. I was surprised Randy Jackson did not seem to remember she has tried out so many times in the past. Now Jackson seems about as jaded as Simon Cowell.
At the end of the day, Thia Megia was chosen to move forward. Afterwards, Jessica was not too happy about her cruel joke birthday gift from American Idol. She had a gift for the judges, producers and anyone else associated with the show and it was her two middle fingers gesture. Naturally as she predicted they had the American Idol bubble covering them up. To say she was bitter would be an understatement. Has she ever heard of the “three strikes you’re out” rule? Seven times to go through this grueling process would be nothing short of mental, emotional and psychological torture year after year.
Jacee Badeaux was grouped with two others, Brett Loewenstern and Colton Dixon, but it was Brett who made it through. When they showed Jacee’s final performance you could see he was absolutely not ready for the next step, which is live TV. He has a nice voice, but that is all. His exit was not entirely shocking. It is amazing to see the progression and decline some of them have made since their auditions. The real test will come next week when the ladies and gentleman perform live for our votes.
Season 10’s Top 24 American Idol Semi-Finalists
Clint Jun Gamboa
Jim Cantiello, “‘American Idol’ Recap: The Top 24 Are Ready for Prime Time”, MTV.com
American Idol – Official Site for Videos, Photos and Community, American Idol.com