American Idol has always been a bubbling cauldron of nonsense, but this year, they’ve tried to illustrate that as literally as possible. Now, the Runway of Doom leads Idol hopefuls across raging waters to a dystopian island ruled by the Three Least Important People in the World, who judge the fates of all who come before them with the determination and swiftness of a mentally challenged, three-legged tortoise.
Seriously, who came up with this Idol water-world? And who encourages the judges to make the final cuts as drawn-out and agonizing as possible? And just for whom is this process more agonizing? The contestants who just want to hear “yes” or “no” without 10 minutes of carrot-dangling bullshit, or the viewers, who likely already know what’s up because the Top 24 list was leaked weeks ago? For a show obsessed with futuristic-looking set designs, they could at least employ some futuristic technology to move it along. Just put all the contestants who didn’t make it on a Logan’s Run-esque carousel and call it a day.
Anyway, if you’re one of the few still in the dark about the finalists, or if you just want to humor me and pretend like you don’t know who they are, here’s a quick recap of last night’s show—a two hour-long extravaganza that still only managed to reveal 14 of the Top 24.
- A couple of girls I don’t remember ever seeing before
- Lauren Gray – Despite a pretty good final solo, this early J.Lo favorite didn’t make the cut.
- Neco Starr – Despite some pretty awesome star spangled pants, he didn’t make the cut. The judges thought he needed more time to find out who he is. In other words, Neco didn’t want to be who the judges thought he was.
- Clayton Farhat – Clayton [gunshot noise] was rightfully sent packing. I can’t believe such a terrible singer made it this far. Wait, no…I’ve seen the Top 24 list. I’ve watched this show since Season 1. Correction: I can absolutely believe it.
- River St. James – River saint what, now?
- Caleb Johnson – Perhaps he’ll have better luck on Don’t Forget the Lyrics. But probably not.
- Richie Law – The launch date for McCreepy 2.0 is officially pushed back.
- Jen Hirsh – DUH.
- Creighton Fraker – Double DUH. I enjoyed the reveal that Creighton’s birth father was the lead singer of Flotsam and Jetsam, best known as the band that Jason Newsted left to join Metallica. Upon discovering this, I immediately went back and revisited none of Flotsam and Jetsam’s catalog.
- Joshua Ledet – Another church singer who will be sacrificed at the altar of the much less talented.
- Haley Johnson – This is a girl who never got much attention until joining Reed Grimm’s Vegas group. Cannon fodder.
- Elise Testone – I like Elise. She’s not bland or bitchy like some of the other girls. *cough*Baylie*cough*Brielle*cough*
- Reed Grimm – Triple DUH. I loved how the judges tried to pretend for a minute or so that he wasn’t a lock. These episodes are always a great showcase for J.Lo’s acting chops.
- Erika Van Pelt – J.Lo didn’t like her final solo, nor the fact that Erika can sing circles around her, but she still made it.
- Chelsea Sorrell – I didn’t really remember this girl from any of the auditions, but based on what they showed, she has a pretty strong voice.
- Baylie Brown – Wasn’t it precious how she kept running out of breath during her final solo?
- Heejun Han – His final song was “New Yok State ob Mi.” Seriously, this kid can’t enunciate worth a damn but he’s adorable. He’ll be fun while he lasts.
- Jessica Sanchez – I didn’t like her during the Vegas groups when she just screeched and growled, but her final solo (“The Prayer”) was really good. I was pleasantly surprised.
- Phil Phillips – I guess someone finally told him that Phillip Phillips sounded ridiculous, so he’s officially going with “Phil” now. Good. That makes it so much easier for the lonely housewife contingent to make Phil McGroin/Maboob/Meupp jokes. I haven’t been a huge fan of Phil’s throughout the audition process, but thought his last solo was his best. And he really does have the cutest face. Plus, he used to work in a pawn shop, which will make for a great rags-to-riches story. So much better than Lee DeWyze and the paint store.
- Colton Dixon – Oh Good Lord, he sang “Fix You” for his sister, as if she died instead of just being sent home in the last round. I was hoping that he’d join her, but no such luck.
- Brielle Von Hugel – Great, another bitchy brat with a terrible, annoyingly affected voice. I can only take comfort in the fact that no one will ever vote for her, so she won’t be around long.