Weekly Watch: American Idol – Who’s Who

Fellow Idol worshippers, we have finally arrived.  The Top 24 have been revealed, which means it’s time for my favorite Idol activity: making snap judgments about people we don’t even know.

But first, The Count!  There was less crying this week, but significantly more hiccup singing (and 12 of those instances were from a single contestant!).  The streak of saying that this season has the best talent EVER was broken during the Top 24 Reveal episode, but we at least got to see someone forget the lyrics one last time.  The Top 24 episode was relatively heavy on the superlatives, and treated us to our first blurred out fingers!  My favorite count item was in Hollywood Week Round 4 (Vegas), when we had our first instance of a contestant telling us we’d see them again, but even more notable, the first appearance of the phrase make it your own.  Get your liquor ready, because the drinking should increase considerably from now on.

American Idol Count Hollywood Week Round 4 and Top 24

On to the contestants and thoughts on the episode!

Here’s a quick take on each of our Idol hopefuls.

Ashthon Jones – I hardly know who she is.  She got minor screen time during the group rounds.  Did she sing Whitney during her final performance?  She’s got a good voice, may is fairly forgettable.


Bret Lowenstern – Little Carrot Top has gotten plenty of screen time.  They’ve played up the lonely, misunderstood outcast angle as well as his bromance with the Little Chubby Kid.  He’s got the voice to back up the hype, so expect him to make it to the Top 10.

Casey Abrams – Another producer favorite, with his quirky personality, bass ability, and vocal stylings.  The judges clearly love him.  I’d be surprised if he doesn’t make the Top 10.

Clint Jun Gamboa – He’s gotten a decent amount of screen time too, but much of that was devoted to his being portrayed as a villain.  I think he’s a jerk, and he’s at the top of my Idol Hate-O-Meter.  I hope he doesn’t crack the Top 10, but with so much screen time, it’s not unlikely.

Haley Reinhart – Singlehandedly responsible for 75% of the hiccuping instances in last week’s count.  She thinks that growling, hiccuping, screaming, and hollering make you a good singer.  She’s also at the top of my Hate-O-Meter.


Jacob Lusk – I hope he stops screeching, because that is going to get old really fast (faster than Haley Reinhart’s hiccuping and growling?).  Other than that, he’s got a good personality, but may suffer from lack of in-your-face screen time.  He may have alienated people with his over-the-top reaction to making the Top 24.

James Durbin – Adam Lambert v2.0, and admittedly so.  His screeching will also get.  However, Idol will play up his disability and his young children and his unemployment status, hoping to garner some sympathy votes for him.


Jordan Dorsey – Idol’s other villain.  He has a lot of what Idol is looking for – presence, good looks, and vocal talent.  We’ll see if he can overcome his portrayal as a major pompous jerk during Group Week.


Jovany Barret – We saw his audition, but I barely remembered him, which is too bad.  He’s good, but we’ll see if the producers showed him enough love to get him through to the Top 10.


Julie Zorrilla – Idol really wants you to like this girl, but I can’t.  She’s also at the top of my Hate-O-Meter.  She dresses like a Barbie doll, obnoxiously hams to the camera, and expect to be sick of the story of how her parents fled Colombia in about 5 minutes.  She has good vocals and producer backing, so should make the Top 10.

Karen Rodriguez – The lone MySpace contestant who got any screen time.  She idolizes JLo a little to much for my tastes, but I seem to recall that she has good vocals.  She’s fairly forgettable though.  She may make the Top 10 because others are even more forgettable though.

Kendra Chantelle – I have no idea who this girl is, and in my notes from last week’s episode, I wrote that she looks like a transvestite.


Lauren Alaina – Steven Tyler’s #1 Fan.  She has a great voice and a nice personality.  She’s gotten plenty of non-polarizing screen time (mostly shots of her crying).  She should make the Top 10.  My favorite female contestant.


Lauren Turner – Have we seen her before?  Did we see her audition?  I don’t remember her at all.  She’s had very little screen time, and I think the judges gave her a hard time for being inconsistent or falling flat towards the end.  I’ll be surprised if she makes it to the Top 10.

Naima Adedapo – She’s also gotten a decent amount of neutral screen time.  Idol producers will sicken us with their repeated mentions of how she is the grounds crew at a music festival.  Expect to see this sob story and hear about her babies a lot.  Should make the Top 10 though based on her vocals and style.

Paul McDonald – Who???  We saw him perform during the Vegas auditions with Kendra (above), but I have no idea who he is.  May be hard to get to the Top 10 with so little screen time.


Pia Toscano – I think her vocals are decent.  My problem with her is I can only see Rachel Bilson when I look at her, and I hate Rachel Bilson.


Rachel Zevita – She has the potential to be very polarizing.  She bedazzled her face.  She has to get her operatic register in there somehow.  She may make it to the Top 10, but it remains to see how much she annoys America.  A likely VFTW target.


Robbie Rosen – If I recall correctly, this is the guy who was in a wheelchair when he was a kid?  So expect to hear about that a lot.  Everytime I see him, I see a character from Grease or West Side Story.  He should be making jazz hands and flailing around in tennis shoes.  He’s got a nice voice and seems nice enough though.

Scotty McCreery – I kept waiting for Scotty to go home.  Will America really go for a guy who only knows one song?  Baby lock them doors and turn them lights down low… We’ll find out soon!  I imagine he’ll be on VFTW’s radar.


Stefano Langone – The last of our sob stories, Stefano was in a bad car accident.  Luckily, he can sing, is fairly good-looking, and has a non-offensive personality.  If he makes it to the Top 10, we’ll be treated to many pictures of his scars.


Tatynisa Wilson – I barely know who this girl is.  I remember her because she wore really bright lipstick during the Vegas round.  She has a nice voice, but with so little attention, she may disappear soon.


Thia Megia – Thia is our token 15-year-old and token Asian.  She looks perpetually stoned to me and there’s something about the way she smiles that really irritates me.  It’s irrational, I know.  She’s gotten a fair amount of screen time and has good vocals, so she should make the Top 10.

Tim Halperin – Tim will likely suffer from a lack of screen time as well.  They showed his audition and I kind of remembered it, but since we’ve barely seen him since, it’ll be hard for him to gather a strong following.


Of Note Last Week

  • I was really really surprised by how many people claimed not to know the Beatles or any of their songs.  Apparently they’ve never watched Idol before, because there was even a Beatles week within the past couple seasons.
  • The girl from Massachusetts got way too much screen time, especially for someone who didn’t make it through.
  • The White House Intern was spotted and then promptly sent home.
  • They played a preview of the JLo “very, very NICE!” comment too many times (4 by my count).
  • JLo showed her true diva colors with her break down over having to send Chris Medina home.  She succeeded in making so many moments about her, and that is a genuine diva.  All you others out there, take note – that is how it’s done.
Random Thoughts

  • If a contestant reads their lyrics off a piece of paper count as forgetting the lyrics?
  • Are all of the girls on this show allergic to pants?  Are they contractually-obligated to wear short, hoo-ha-baring skirts or dresses?  And in lieu of that, do they have to wear stripper boots?
  • What’s lamer – when a contestant pretends they didn’t make it (to their friends/family), or when the judges start with “I’m sorry…” in an attempt to fool the contestant into thinking that they didn’t make it?

Biggest WTF

  • I am extremely disappointed that Idol went back to the 12 boys-12 girls model from previous seasons.  I wonder how many people Idol sent home because they had to keep things balanced.  I wonder how much talent they sacrificed for “personalities”.

Scheduling Note
Idol moves to 3 nights a week for likely the next 3 weeks, assuming that they’re following the same 2-contestants-per-gender-group-eliminated-per-week model as they have in the past.

Starting this week, I’ll (do my best to) post Idol recaps on Thursday morning, before the eliminated contestants are revealed.  There’s really no point in recapping Thursday’s episode, because it will consist of the following points: the results show is too long, the group song is silly, the results show is too long, the special guest is just there to promote his/her own album, the results show is too long, the build-up and reveal is unnecessarily dramatic, and the results show is too long.

American Idol is torturing you Tuesday (3/1), Wednesday (3/2), and Thursday (3/3) this week, at 8/7C on Fox.

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