American Idol: Your Top 24, America!

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Well, we have our top 24 American Idol hopefuls now, and while we’re happy that these early rounds are over, we can’t say we’re thrilled with all the talent. A few contestants are worthy (the obvious talent like Andrew Garcia and Crystal Bowersox who can arrange tired pop songs into new versions we love), but then you get the head-scratchers like skinny jeans and 70s-hair guy Tyler Grady and wonder why we let this show waste our time. At least they didn’t let hipster glasses girl Maddie Penrose through. We  wouldn’t be able to live with her for another week.

Get Outta My Chair

Angela Martin was pretty impressive during her solo performance on Tuesday, in addition to having numerous sad backstories – three previous Idol auditions, a father who passed away, a daughter who needs to be hospitalized for seizures, and six days in jail for unpaid parking tickets. That’s like Idol gold right there. She deserved so much more than to have Kara DioGuardi force her out of her seat to give her a too-close-for-comfort dismissal. First of all, was it necessary for Kara to get so intimate? But more importantly, when delivering bad news, doesn’t Kara know it’s best not to make the recipient be the one who has to sit on the arm of her own chair? Maybe, you know, make her comfortable since you’re going to give her new that will force her to tears…but that’s beyond what Kara is capable of.

Grady On Our Nerves
We definitely can’t judge any of these contestants seriously yet since we haven’t heard all of them sing (so many montages of emotion, so little time for performances during Hollywood Week), but we’re pretty concerned with some of the talent they let through. Tyler Grady who refers to The Doors’ frontman as just “Morrison”, for instance. Maybe we just hate that song “I’m Going Home” a lot, but his version of it was pretty painful so we’re not sure what the judges saw in him. And Aaron Kelly, the sixteen-year-old who kept calling Ellen DeGeneres “Ma’am” on Tuesday – there was just no spark there. We could be proven wrong, but we’d happily have kept Thaddeus Hall around instead (if for no other reason to spare him from his public bathroom stall weeping).
The Finalists

The players that did make it through last night (all seventeen of them were): Janell Wheeler, Tyler Grady, Crystal Bowersox, Alex Lambert, Joe Munoz, Ashley Rodriguez, Lacey Brown, Katie Stevens, Lilly Scott, Paige Miles, Siobhan Magness, Michelle Delamor, Jermaine Sellers, John Park, Tim Urban, Hailey Vaughn and our favorite, Andrew Garcia. Of course, once again we know in advance that lastnight’s finalist Michael Lynche doesn’t stick around, so the one unknown in all of this is who will replace him.

The episode was satisfying, although during the final hugging-and-crying montage, we started to wonder who died – isn’t that the rule in television, that playing “Hallelujah” over the end of a popular television show means a main character has been offed?

Next week we go live and you know what that means – random celebrities in the audience, ugly upholstered Coca-Cola couches and all the homoerotic Seacrest-Cowell banter you can fit in a Ford Fusion Hybrid.