American Idol Review: Harry Potter Glasses, Seth Rogan, and Baby Lock Them Doors Make the Top 24
This week, American Idol tested our loyalty by giving us not one, but two, 2-hour episodes on back to back nights, resulting in 4 full hours of drama, tears, and even some singing.
The antics began at “daybreak” in Las Vegas, Nevada, as told by Ryan Seacrest. Really, Seacrest? Daybreak??? Who says daybreak? What is this, the old West? Anyhoo … the remaining 61 contestants had 24 hours to learn and perform classic Beatles songs. (New Rule: any contestant who claims to not know who the Beatles are, or doesn’t know even one Beatles song, should be automatically eliminated and thrown into a ravine, just for fun.) The wacky kids formed duos or trios, and then stepped out onto the stage to sing for the judges.
Despite not knowing any Beatles songs, there were quite a few standout performances. Stefano Langone and James Durbin did a pretty kick-ass rockin’ version of “Get Back” that showed off both of their vocals and personality; while the trio of Jacob Lusk, Haley Reinhart, and Naima Adedapo soared with a soulful and gorgeous “The Long and Winding Road“.
I must say that my very least favorite Beatles song of all-time has to be the annoying “I Saw Her Standing There”. Which is why I was shocked at how much I loved the fun, upbeat version performed by Lakeisha Lewis, Jerome Bell, and Tatynisa Wilson. Lakeisha has such a stand-out voice, and this song was so much FUN; it sounded like something that should have been on the soundtrack of Hairspray.
Paul McDonald and Kendra Chantelle surprised me with a lovely duet of “Blackbird” that showcased their unique voices; while the trio of Lauren Alaina, Denise Jackson, and Baby Lock Them Doors McCreery baffled me with their trainwreck “WTF was THAT?” weird-ass bad Vaudeville routine to “Hello, Goodbye”.
Basketcase “I Need a Xanax” Ashley Sullivan and her partner Sophia Shorai did a really terrible job of “We Can Work It Out”, actually somehow making the song sound annoying and whiny. Then randomly and out of absolutely nowhere, Ashley and her boyfriend decided to take advantage of the Las Vegas atmosphere and get married at the same chapel where Britney Spears done and got married on the fly years ago, cuz “Britney Spears is my hero!” says Ashley. Well, that explains a LOT. Strangely enough, after the judges pretty much told her the performance was awful, for the first time EVER, she didn’t flip out or cry or shake uncontrollably. Looks like marriage agrees with her.
I think my favorite Beatles performance came from the team of Casey Abrams and Chris Medina, whose duet of “A Hard Day’s Night” was hilarious, inspiring, unique, and filled with guitar playing and some amazing vocals. It was a total blast.
After the Beatles numbers, the show moved on to immediately making some cuts, (including Carson Higgins, Denise Jackson, and everyone’s favorite trainwreck Ashley Sullivan. Boooo!!!!) which left the total number of contestants at 40. From there, Idol hopefuls had one last chance to prove their worth with a solo song of their choosing. The show began to reveal the Top 24, featuring and showing some of the contestants solo performances along the way.
Before I tell you who is in your Top 24, let’s talk about a few of the people who didn’t make it ….
*Hollie Cavanagh – even though this girl was overemotional at times, I really think she should have made the Top 24. Her voice is just too good for her to not make it, and J.Lo agreed, saying that she was “outvoted” on the very tough decision to not put her through.
*Lakeisha Lewis – this woman, who is both large in voice and in body, totally deserved a spot in the Top 24 over a few of the other females they put in. How can you not put this woman in? Her voice is killer, and its the kind of voice we need on the show. Raw, strong, and beautiful.
*Jacee Bordeaux – Well, this one just broke my damn heart. The Pillsbury Doughboy went home. How can you send the Doughboy home with that sweet as an Angel voice that makes everyone want to sing together in perfect harmony? HOW??? This boy has a voice that promotes World PEACE, dammit! It is a travesty of epic proportions. I just want to hold him in my arms like an infant and rock him to sleep while he cries because he didn’t make it through. Poor Doughboy. The kid was screwed ever since that D-bag threw him out of their music group at 2am during Hollywood Week. I will never forgive Harry Potter glasses for that one.
*Chris Medina – Sigh. This is heartbreaking. First of all, they never really explained WHY he didn’t make it. They sort of vaguely said that he was “inconsistent.” Was he? Where? When? He kicked ass during Hollywood Week, his duet with Casey Abrams was AWESOME and they claimed to love it, and his solo song was absolutely beautiful. The guy has a heartbreaking backstory, yes, but his voice is totally worthy of Top 24 status. I am just sort of baffled by some of the men they DID put through, while leaving this very talented guy behind. Jennifer Lopez could barely keep it together while telling him that he was being sent home, and the second he left the room, she broke down in tears. I liked J. Lo before this happened, but for the first time this season, I really felt her very REAL emotions and heart for these contestants. I felt so badly for her, because you could tell that she was really touched by Medina and didn’t want to send him home. She was really upset; and upset at herself because she felt that she didn’t deliver the bad news in the best way possible. After claiming through tears: “I can’t do this anymore…”, Randy and Steven comforted her and took a 5 minute break, before continuing slashing more people, and building this years cast.
So, ladies and gents, here, along with some commentary and opinion on each, is your American Idol Top 24:
*Naima Adedapo – extremely deserved, unique persona and vocals.
*Clint Jun Gamboa (Harry Potter Glasses) – To put it simply, I loathe this dude. His self-important attitude, conceited persona, and overdramatic antics make him my least favorite contestant by far. And to top it off, his singing voice is like nails on a chalkboard to me. I don’t get it. The fact that they put HIM through and CUT the Doughboy makes the whole thing even more vomit-inducing. May he go home immediately.
*Paul McDonald – A unique style and voice. Don’t know enough about him yet to feel too strongly one way or the other, but he seems to have a very engaging and different style of talent.
*Ashthon Jones – This girl is what Whitney Houston used to be – before the crack and Bobby Brown stole her voice forever. In addition to having a gorgeous voice, Ashthon also seems to have a vibrant personality.
*Haley Reinhart – This was her second time auditioning, and last time she got cut right before the Top 24, so it was nice to see her make it through.
*Karen Rodriguez – loved her Spanish Selena solo, and she has a great energy about her. Really good potential.
*Robbie Rosen (Pubic-Hair Head) – This guy has a voice … like buttah. And a head of hair like a Chia-Pet. The show seems to love everything he does. I think he is great too, but they seem to all want to bear his children and build statues in his honor.
*Tatynisa Wilson – I don’t understand this choice AT ALL. Sure, she is talented, but talk about not consistent; this chick is the poster-child for it. She completely forgot the words in one round, was totally off-key in another and asked to start over, and her group song wasn’t the best either. How can you put her through and at the same time, call Medina “too inconsistent?” I don’t get it. Plus, I still think that Lakeisha had the strongest voice in that trio, and yet they sent her home and kept Tatynisa. Hmmm.
*Tim Halperin – I am sure he is a lovely person, b
ut I seriously remember absolutely nothing about this guy. Not a thing.
*Julie Zorrilla – Personally, I think she is a tad overrated, and never quite understood the instant love for her. After her first audition, J.Lo asked: “Winner?”, meaning, had they just seen the winner of the show right there? I say no way, or I really hope not. She has a nice voice, but nothing about her excites me or is all that different. To me, there are a billion other girls that look and sound very similar to her, so it just isn’t all that interesting. But what the hell do I know?
*Scotty McCreery (Baby Lock Them Doors McCreery) UGH. Here is another example of inconsistent. Sang the same damn song 15 times, and then completely lost ALL the words to “I Hope You Dance.” I suppose they just need to have their one country-boy in the Top 24, but man does his whole demeanor and voice drive me bonkers. Everytime I hear him sing in that twangy, low-register – I have the urge to hurt innocent people. And that’s just not nice.
*Jovany Barreto – Who the hell is he?
*Lauren Turner – I have no feelings about her one way or the other. She doesn’t really do it for me, but she doesn’t anger me either. She’s just there.
*Rachel Zevita – This chick kind of irritates me and I’m not sure why yet. I guess I just don’t get it. I would have chosen others over her for the Top 24.
*Kendra Chantelle – I feel like I know little about her, but I did quite enjoy her Beatles duet of “Blackbird”. Right now, that is about all I’ve got.
*Jordan Dorsey – Very nice voice, but for some reason, I don’t find myself caring about him as a person.
*Lauren Alaina – This is the chick who is obsessed with Steven Tyler and sings to him over and over. I really do like her voice. It is strong and sort of rockin’. Just not too sure how I feel about HER just yet. The jury is still out.
*Stefano Langone – He was one of my three favorites from day one, and I still really adore him. Fantastic voice, great smile, and just all-around good talent.
*Jacob Lusk – Wow. Just “wow!” Like Randy Jackson said, his version of “God Bless The Child” was the best performance EVER in Idol history. I completely agree. This guy has “it” in every single way you can have it, and I see him in the Top 10 for sure. His voice makes you want to go to church, even if you’re not religious. An immense talent, and he also had the BEST reaction to getting through to the Top 24.
*Brett Loewenstern – extremely unique and eccentric, with a gorgeous vocal ability. I look forward to hearing him perform and seeing what he does.
*Pia Toscano – Pretty girl. Pretty voice.
*James Durbin – one of my favorites still. I love his story, his attitude, his voice, and his overall spirit. I like the guy.
*Casey Abrams (Seth Rogan) - Very quickly becoming my overall favorite in the competition. A Stand-up bass? And that voice? Come ON now. The guy is absolutely incredible and I would buy his CD tomorrow.
*Thia Megia – I don’t get it.
Whew! Okay, I’m tired now. There you have it folks – your Top 24. Next week, America starts voting as we get to hear the men sing on Tuesday, and the women on Wednesday. What are your thoughts? Was your favorite contestant sent home this week? Are you happy with the Top 24? What would John Lennon think of all this? Sound off here!
Need more Idol? Read “The Long and Winding Road” by Erin Biglow.
Season 10, Episodes 11-12 (originally aired February 23 & 24, 2011)
Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8/7c on FOX
Images courtesy of imdbpro and Ray Mickshaw.
Read more American Idol opinions here.