After more than 33 million American Idol fan votes and three “Wild Card” picks by the judges, we are finally down to the “Top 13”. The ten fan choices in the order they were announced included: Phillip Phillips, Jessica Sanchez, Hollie Cavanagh, Joshua Ledet, Heejun Han, Shannon Magrane, Skylar Laine, Elise Testone, Colton Dixon, and Jermaine Jones.
Overall, I thought the American Idol fans did a great job with their selections and really only had a problem with the selection of Jermaine “the Gentle Giant” Jones. As you might remember, the judges brought Jermaine back as the 13th guy. I thought his inclusion by the judges was a bad choice and he hasn’t done anything since then to change my mind. While Jermaine is likeable and has a terrific baritone voice, he has as much chance of winning American Idol as a Republican candidate has of winning the 2012 presidential election.
There are some really good singers in the “Top 10” and I am certain that the eventual winner is part of this group. In dramatic fashion, the American Idol judges selected six of the remaining twelve contestants to perform in a “Sing off” to determine the three “Wild Card” picks necessary to complete the “Top 13”. “Sing off” contestants included Jen Hirsh, Jeremy Rosdado, Brielle Von Hugel, Deandre Brackensick, Erika Van Pelt and Reed Grimm. While I had absolutely no problem with the selections of Jen, Jeremy, Brielle and Erika, giving another opportunity to Deandre and Reed was mind boggling. I thought Hallie Day was one of the top female performers and not giving her a second chance in the “Sing off” was a disappointment. After some terrific performances by Jen, Erika and Jeremy, average performances by Brielle and Deanadre, and a really bad performance by Reed, the judges announced their picks. Randy Jackson selected Erika Van Pelt, Jennifer Lopez selected Jeremy Rosado and in a surprise (based on his second poor performance in a row) Steven Tyler selected Andre Brackensick. Based on her performance, I thought Jen Hirsh earned that last spot. I’d rather watch reruns of Gilligan’s Island then sit through another squeaky Deandre performance. Hopefully American Idol fans will right this terrible wrong and send him home as soon as possible. While I definitely agreed with the judges’ selection of Erika and Jeremy their overall grade in the “Wild Card” selection process was no better than a “C”.
The girls clearly out performed the men in “Top 24” and again in the “Sing off”, yet the judges clearly ignored those performances and selected 7 guys and only 6 girls for the “Top 13”. Despite this slight, I still think the girls’ field is much more talented than the guys and will go on to break their 5-year losing streak. Contestants heading home included: Chase Likens, Brielle Von Hugel, Hallie Day, Adam Brock, Baylie Brown, Chelsea Sorrell, Aaron Marcellus, Creighton Fraker, Reed Grimm, Haley Johnsen and Jen Hirsh.
At the end of the show, Ryan Seacrest announced that singers will return to the stage next week with the girls singing Whitney Houston songs and the guys performing Stevie Wonder Songs. Mary J. Blige will be the mentor. With Whitney Houston’s powerful voice, I think the girls have a much tougher assignment than the guys, but I believe the girls will be up to the task. On a side note, in my last blog, I forecasted my picks for the “Top13”. Ten of my selections made it. My misses included Hallie Day, Creighton Frakar and Jen Hirsh.