By our guest blogger, Catherine Fuentes
This might be my favorite "American Idol" Top 24 in a few seasons, and I feel I accurately predicted so many “surprise” additions and omissions, but for the most part, I don’t think anything was too shocking. The people who deserved to get in made it in, and the people who didn’t make it in were largely urged to try again next year, which is not only a tremendous vote of confidence in them, but shows the strength of the pool as a whole.
I’m still not sure why Thursday’s episode lasted two hours, when really, it could’ve been edited down to a half hour, unless they wanted us at home to feel some of the anxiety the contestants were feeling in the waiting room. And then leading every contestant who got moved onto the Top 24 to believe that they were getting eliminated got old incredibly fast.
Thankfully next week, real singing (and voting!) begins.
Another addition to the Top 24 very highly complimented by veteran judge Randy Jackson was Jacob Lusk, whose performance of “God Saved the Child” was described as one of the best single performances in ‘Idol’ history. In my opinion, I think that’s a totally fair statement to make.
Robbie Rosen was an early, quick yes, assuring that one of my other early favorites will sing for our votes. I think Robbie Rosen has one of the best voices of the competition, and I’ve always been pulling for him. Other not surprising votes into the Top 24--Karen Rodriguez, Julie Zorrilla, Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina, Pia Toscano and James Durbin.
Thia Megia and Jessica Cunningham were the final two girls to make it in front of the judges, and they were told together that only one would continue. I knew it would be Thia. Even though she faltered a tiny bit in Las Vegas, she’s been consistently excellent, and she’s the young phenom American Idol has been looking for. However, Jessica being the show’s sole rocker and veteran auditionee – this is her 7th time! – made me think for a tiny second that the veteran might make it in. The judges made the right decision in the even-tempered Thia, as the leather-clad Jessica stormed off stage, gave the camera the double finger, and made me believe that she will not audition for an 8th time.
Three guys came in at the very end for only one remaining spot, and looking at Jacee Badeaux, Brett Lowenstern and Colton Dixon standing together, I knew the spot had to go to Brett, the skinny boy with the gentle soul and fiery red hair. Sure enough, it did, not without the judges emphatically urging both Jacee and Colton to try again in the future.
I think Jacee and Colton are both incredibly talented, and feel that Colton is a bit more “American Idol” than Jacee at this point in time, but Brett just had such a big, memorable personality, and I think he’s really going to resonate with the viewers. I felt all along that Jacee is too young for this competition, and as adorable as I find him, I’m glad I won’t have to get misty eyed every time he comes on screen. Although, Brett’s incredibly kind words and tremendous sensitivity – he simply nodded to tell his parents he made it since the other two guys were sad – make me think that Season 10 will be an incredibly emotional one.
Bring it on.