By our guest blogger, Catherine Fuentes
The biggest shock of the announcement of the Top 12 is that the Top 12 is actually the Top 13… and there are more females than males in it.
It took Ryan Seacrest nearly two hours (plus the world premiere of one Jennifer Lopez video) to send 11 contestants home. While some of my early favorites are in that grouping, there’s really not much to complain about regarding the Top 13--the contestants still there are all deserving of their spots.
There weren’t many shockers about who made it in, but in a situation like this where there were more than 13 talented and deserving contestants, the shockers seem to be in who’s going home. Early favorite Julie Zorrilla, the girl who Jennifer Lopez called the “winner” after her first audition, was sent home without even being offered a chance to sing for a Wild Card slot. It just goes to show that a poor song choice could be absolutely crippling to an otherwise great stint on the show thus far.
I’m also sad to see Robbie Rosen and Brett Lowenstern go, as I appreciated both their talent and Brett’s endearing quirkiness. Robbie was given a chance to sing for the Wild Card and he sounded near-flawless – I think choosing Naima Adedapo over him for the last slot was a shocking mistake, and the one head-scratching contestant in the Top 13, although she did give an incredibly moving performance in her shot at the wild card.
The other member of the Top 13 that I haven’t always been a huge supporter of is Scotty McCreery, who I think is far too one-note for this competition. But when it comes down to it, he can probably be a hugely successful country singer, and judging from fan reaction online, he’s incredibly likable. I need to give him a more objective listen when he sings on Wednesday night.
While I liked Haley Reinhart a whole lot, she’s never been among my favorite girls, and part of me wishes that Lauren Turner could be up there instead of her. Haley has perhaps the most interesting female voice in the competition, and I hope she picks some soulful songs to show off her raspy voice.
Otherwise, I think the Top 13 is great. My favorite guys Paul McDonald and Casey Abrams are both safely included, and I hope they last an incredibly long time, since I find their voices and musical stylings to be so unique and needed on this show.
I hope Pia Toscana’s brilliance from Wednesday night can be replicated week in and week out, because her lead performance has become a huge ‘Idol’ moment, and deservingly so. I really like her, and I really think that if she’s consistently that good, she can easily win the competition--she’s very personable, she’s stunningly gorgeous, and she sang beautifully.
I’m excited to see how well the youngest competitors, Lauren Alaina and Thia Megia, do, and am so thrilled to see both of them up there, even though I was confident in believing that they were both locks.
It was tough seeing six people sing for Wild Card spots knowing that only two or three would actually be receiving them. It must be incredibly tough to sing for your life on zero notice, but all six sounded incredible. I honestly had no clue who would receive a Wild Card, even though I felt I’d see Stefano Langone get one.
Here’s the not very surprising Top 13: Casey Abrams, Naima Adedapo, Lauren Alaina, James Durbin, Ashthon Jones (a recipient of a Wild Card slot), Stefano Langone (another Wild Card winner), Jacob Lusk, Scotty McCreery, Paul McDonald, Thia Megia, Haley Reinhart, Karen Rodriguez, and Pia Toscana.