American Idol: Road to Top 24 review.

Wow, how come the contestants suddenly performed so much better as a whole (although I still can’t recognise half of them)? Must be last-minute desperation. While there still weren’t many WHOA!-calibre performances, the level was generally higher tonight. Some highlights (and, obviously, spoilers alert!):

Siobhan Magnus

Love her weird, hobo, 80s-girl-geek look and her voice is pretty big. Loved the performance and her whole awkward, gawky vibe. Hope she goes far.

Charity Vance

Her voice is pretty and she’s got a quiet, throwback-style confidence. Looks quite adorable too. It’s too bad she’s out. I really thought her performance was one of the best ones of the night. Sad.

Shelby Dressel

Ok I didn’t even know she was still in the competition. And wow, I did not know she had such a big voice! Her auditions so far have been totally meh and I was pretty shocked at her pulling out this one. Hate to sound like a jerk, though, (and I know it’s totally not something she can control) but her face is kinda distracting, especially since we’re supposed to watch them closely while they perform. Still, she seemed to be a genuinely nice person and that last performance was really impressive so it’s pretty sad that she’s not going through.

Random thoughts about the rest

Y’know, I supported Mary Powers back when the show first started but over the past few episodes she’s become kinda gross to me. She still had a solid rock voice but she came across all irksome (even if it is selective editing). And I thought her ‘Hot N Cold’ was kinda weak (although still better than Katy’s live performances, I guess). So glad she’s out (although I totally thought she’d be in just for the drama, if not her huge voice).

Ashley Rodriguez was one of the hot faves at the start of the season but I found her ‘Battlefield’ to be totally underwhelming and nowhere near Jordin’s standard (and she, after all, is a past winner and is thus a possible standard to compare with).

I still love Haeley Vaughn loads and hope she goes far but I thought her ‘I’m Yours’ was kinda shaky and pitchy and all over the place.

Ahh, Jessica. And to think she seemed pretty fine and unassuming and quiet (not to mention taking part in the most awesome group performance ever). Her breakdown was scary and embarrassing. At any moment I expected her eyes to light on fire, the furniture to start levitating and the lights to start flickering on and off.

The ones who got through into the top 24

Ok first, of all, what the heck was up with the game-show/talk-show stage set-up? It looked so weird. And I can’t believe they pulled it out for so long, only to let us know so few who got through!

Michael “Big Mike” Lynche: Decent I guess, but nothing much to shout about yet. He’s been singing pleasant, safe songs so hopefully he’ll choose more challenging, oomph-ish songs. Guess they wouldn’t have given him half an episode’s worth of baby-birthing drama if he weren’t in the top 24 though (although re: Mary Powers, might not be true).

(eta: Oh apparently he’s the one whom they reported a few weeks back as the top 24 contestant whose father revealed to the local media way too early and who apparently got kicked off the show. Still, who knows what will happen exactly? I don’t think they’ll really kick him off lar. Maybe they’ll bring back Jessica?)

Didi Benami: Who?! Oh, the one with the Kara song and the BFF who passed away. I like her and she’s kinda like a more mature, much better Taylor Swift but not sure if her vocals are big enough for the competition (they are pretty good for now, though). Guess she’s likeable (if slightly forgettable), so hoping she’ll pull out more memorable performances later on.

Katelyn Epperly: I have NO idea who she is and I don’t remember any of her previous performances but from what they showed tonight, wow she sounds pretty good. One of the best singers so far. Her song choices are a little snoozy though so she better have some more exciting choices coming up.

Casey James: Haha the whole “cool” joke totally bombed. And they’re making Kara look so unprofessional. Still, about Casey himself, for what I thought was a novelty successful audition, he’s been surprisingly decent. Still, he’s only been okay and I’m not holding out much hope on him (although he’s probably going to go far thanks to horny ladies).

Aaron Kelly: Also have no idea who he is (I think it’s just my old age catching up with me) but, looking at his few songs tonight, he has a pretty nice, surprisingly powerful, if pre-pubescent-ish voice, and I think his whole “yes, ma’am” demeanor is going to endear him to a lot of young girls.

Lee Dewyze: Have absolutely no impression of him and I can’t believe he got through after a bad first day and forgetting the lyrics on the third but guess his rough, raw vocal style is hard to find this year or something (and, TBH, some parts of his performance were pretty decent). Still, some people only start shining when they get to the live rounds so who knows? He might turn out to be really good.

His whole “confidence” spiel sounded cocky and all and at first I got a bit turned off by it but after watching it twice, I think he’s actually just nervous and babbling and he’s actually not that annoying. At least I hope not.

Todrick Hall: Ew. He’s been kinda annoying to me so far and his voice doesn’t seem to be all that great but I still remember his cute audition song that he wrote (although that was actually kinda annoying too). Don’t think he’s going to go far. I hope.

So tomorrow, I think all the people going into the top 24 will be the ones with the most airtime and I’m totally fine with that, as long as the final 17 unannounced spaces include Andrew Garcia, Katie Stevens, Haeley Vaughn and (fingers crossed) J.B. Ahfua.

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